Stickman Readers' Submissions May 18th, 2012

Silly Me

Silly me, I went to a dating website. I’m a girl, I even posted a picture. I’m thin and blonde. I happen to be white with blue eyes but please don’t hold that against me.

I got a response/reply. Some man in the UK thought we were meant to be a couple. He said he stared at my picture and knew. This is all very flattering your/my first time out of the gate. But maybe I’ve been in Asia a little longer
than most. Ding ding, ding. He sent a photo, he was clearly a little older and had a darker complexion than I did. He was bigger. Out of shape, beer belly? I don’t have any prejudices concerning color, religion or age. I’m a
soul seeker. But here’s the thing, he was almost demanding we meet right away. He could fly here, to Bangkok tomorrow. I backed off, then he called me. Silly me. I had given him my phone number. What was I thinking of to do that?

His voice sounded a little musical. I wasn’t sure what accent I was hearing. I was polite, he did most of the talking. He called me dear a lot. Persuasive, persistent, pleasant but a little pushy.

His willingness to fly here, half way around the world at the drop of the hat unnerved me. I told him it wouldn’t be a good idea, I was working seven days a week, couldn’t get time off until end of February or October (that
was no lie). I needed to plan and book the time off. All the time I’m thinking where the heck does this stranger think he’s going to sleep? I don’t even own a bed. I sleep on a day bed, chaise lounge is a more accurate

I bought my chaise lounge when I was new to Thailand and thought I would teach privates. When it rained we’d have to move from the garden at my apartment building into my room. A bed in a teacher’s room would not fly, so
I bought the stupid chaise thinking I would make my “students” more comfortable sans a bed dominating my room. I was green and didn’t know then what I know now.

1. You can’t get/keep/make money here with private students, don’t even try.

2. I should have bought a proper single bed for me to sleep on. Five years (almost) in and I’m STILL sleeping on a chaise lounge. Now it is getting lumpy and I need to buy a bed. Which I will soon.

So Terry, he wasn’t asking me to make a reservation for him anywhere. No way a dude I meet on the internet is stepping anywhere near where I live.

Also being so fast to fly here tells me he likely doesn’t have a job but does have enough room on his credit card for a flight here. He also said he was a single parent and would like to be part of a “real” family
again. When I quizzed him about his daughter, it turns out she is twenty-three, is married and has kids of her own.

After the phone call we corresponded by email. I’m losing my enthusiasm by the second. I had given up controlling man/husbands years before. He signed his emails “your match”, “the man for you”, “the
one and only for you”, “devoted”. I was sorry I tried the ‘net. He was curious about my nationality, which I suppose any one would be. He was wondering salary ranges for teachers. He was curious about rent, food,
bills. He never came out directly and asked what I earned but he was angling.

From his photo he wasn’t particularly handsome, his grammar was fine but this underlying neediness to take charge of my life thing I found worrisome. I thought maybe he was looking for a safety net. I am not anyone’s safety
net. I managed to keep my emails light and airy and non committal.

Then it happened. I got an email from him and he signed it “Mr. Terry”.

I went nuts. Here. I was horrified. I could not believe some yahoo from the UK would sign his name to me – the love of his life MR. anything.

I wrote back and very sweetly suggested we have obvious insurmountable cultural differences if that’s how he signed his name to the “love of his life”. I asked him what passport he was holding. It wouldn’t
have surprised me if it were Indian, Chinese, Japanese or anything in between. I told him clearly if you call yourself Mr. to me, there is a subservient master/slave thing going on I want no part of. Mr. indeed. So I signed my Mrs. XXX and
suggested he refer to me as Madam hence forth.

Where upon he wrote back and said he was “half caste”. I wrote back and asked which half? I also told him I think I read about that in a novel that was a hundred years old or so.

He wrote back with apple-gies all over the place. I wrote back and said clearly we were from different planets and let’s stop now.

A few weeks went by. Then I got an email from “Mr. Terry” saying he just saw my post on the web site and we were meant for each other. I wrote him – Hey, Remember me? Mrs. XXX? We already did this dance and I’m
sitting this one out.

I signed it Madam.

Be careful out there. There is no such thing as love at first email. Love over the internet is like a unicorn, lovely to dream about, but not plausible on this planet in real time in this space. If you dive in be prepared to get a person with baggage,
problems and trouble you will have to deal with at some point. The tendency is to fall in love at the first expectation. We all want acceptance. That isn’t sustainable, reasonable or realistic. Why would a cute young Thai girl or boy
go with an aging overweight out of shape farang of either sex? It isn’t unconditional love, not in this youth worshipping money hungry world.

I think it is fine to have a financial arrangement that satisfies all parties. I’m all for that. Some people lose their way here by not recognizing that need can be greed in disguise. There are many kinds of greed, emotional greediness
can be harder than financial greed. I mean in self, not in others…


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Nice. Yep, there are some real desperadoes online. Can you imagine some of the crap some of the Thai women get?

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