“How do you feel about arranged marriages?” This was not a question that came up in library school. The talk about objectivity was presented in weasel language like, “A librarian maintains professional objectivity when assisting the patron during the reference interview and search. We are not in a position of judgment about people’s information choices. We facilitate the satisfaction of their informational needs. This upholds our commitment to intellectual freedom and acts as a check and balance in our society against suppression and tyranny.”
Well, you know what I mean. It was kept on a theoretical level, with personal politics being the primary example given. I agree on a theoretical level, too, but I could use some practical advice, as well. The lady who wondered who her husband really was, or the man who scheduled his job interview around smoking crack were never mentioned.
They certainly never mentioned mail-order brides. In my safe little life, I never really thought about this. I thought it was limited to third-world countries where people lived in villages and the bride and groom's families bargained over goats. This was how it worked where we were in Africa. My daughter, who was born there, was given the name Treasure, because she would bring her father (!) a large bride price.
Here in the States, though, I have since learned, American men are all seen as rich and more kind than the men of various Asian countries, and Australia and Russia, where many of the women come from. The women pay someone in their country who advertises on the internet, and the man pays the service and her plane fair.
I don’t care what anybody says, the least you can say is that these women have guts. How sad that their societies are structured so that they cannot support themselves financially or find a mate that will treat them decently.
I guess you could say the same about our society, too. How sad that there are these men who can’t find a mate here. There have been quite a few men who browse these sites in our library over the years. I am sorry to say that they all seem to be disadvantaged on our marriage market. One is a uniquely unpleasant Indian man who is never pleased by anything we do, not the search terms, not the results, and he is not above making comments about our personal abilities, either.
Brrr. The thought of being married to him chills me.
The particular man I am thinking of isn’t like that. He is always clean, fairly-good looking. He has some teeth missing on the side. His clothes are clean, but not fashionable. His hair is well-cut and he is pleasant when I speak with him. He acts like a silly boy sitting with his friends, pointing at their screens and laughing, but I haven’t noticed that men of any age or income group act much differently. Some particularly dignified professors, maybe….
The thing that bothers me about his situation (besides my proximity) is the timetable. Four days ago, this man first asked me for help with his email. He said he had sent the email, but had left a letter out of the address, and wanted to send it again, feeling it had not reached the correct person. I showed him how to copy and paste his message into a new blank message and send again. I wasn’t reading over his shoulder on purpose, but the first and last lines were along the lines of, “Hello, my name is….I am looking forward to getting to know you, your friend…..”
Today, four days later, this same man approached me. “I need some help printing. Can you come to station seven?” He pointed to his screen. “I’d like to print this letter, and there is a picture attached. Can I print that, too?”
I asked if he wanted them on the same page, if he wanted the email header and ads in it. No, neither one. So I copied and pasted again. The letter was from the same address, “My dear, sweet darling…..I will run to you at the airport. I kiss you strongly. Love…..”
I apologize if this is judgmental, unprofessional and subjective, but I feel so sorry for them both. Do they really think they are going to find what they are looking for?
I know. This is absolutely none of my business. I agree. I just wonder – does he believe that he really has gained her love? In four days? Just with his money? Gratitude, sure. Love?
I have been married twenty years in August. I have two teenagers. Our marriage has withstood living in foreign countries, malaria, pregnancy, depression, two masters degrees and living with our mother-in-laws. Marriage is hard. Life is harder.
Love grows. You don’t pay for it. You don’t gain it from obligation. I don’t think what they want is impossible, just unrealistic. They are setting themselves up for failure. Do they not realize that statistics are against them?
Tsk, tsk, FGL. Statistics aren’t everything. Love can survive against the odds. Yes, I agree. Is what they have, after four days, love?
Just as no one asked my opinion on arranged marriages, my opinion on love doesn’t really matter, either. And for the record, I hope it works out.
Now can someone please figure out how to mail-order world peace?