Sunday, January 01, 2006

The Simple Wish of a Man

The Straits Times today gave an update on Jackson Lee, an obese man who weighed 180kg and earn less than $2000 monthly. He had no luck finding a Singaporean wife as they, he said, found him too fat, too ugly and too poor. He ended up approaching marriage agencies and one found him a Vietnamese wife. The 35 year old settle down with a 22 year old Vietnamese factory girl and besides already having a baby, also found renewed goal in life, finding the reason to work hard for. While it is likely that the girl married him to escape poverty and give her folks at home a better life, because of her simple needs in life, the 2 of them do get along. Living simply, they are enjoying each other's company.

A happy story to start the year on. Reading it reminds me of the not so long ago yesteryears of arranged marriages. People just got married and made it work out. Mutual respect and appreciating the simple things about each other usually saw couples growing to love each other. The day may come one day that I seek a foreign bride one day even though I am not that heavy and have a higher monthly income. I hope that does not happen though.

How is the average Singaporean girl to compete against all these "foreign imports"? The debate has always been fierce whenever Singaporean men complain that local girls are too materialistic, too career minded, too aggressive, too pampered, too whatever. The returning salvo will be that Singaporean men are not gentlemenly enough, too meek, too MCP, too whatever... But, in my opinion, the girls who wrote those retorts do not really make people see their points of views. Instead, they further weaken the already poor image Singaporean men have of local girls.

The girls have every right to be choosy. The guys are too. But let us face the facts, girls do have a "shorter shelf life". Unless blessed with some superb genes or had taken extraordinary efforts to maintain their looks, the ageing process is much more unkind on women than men. Once passed the magic number of 25, maybe a combination of work stress and lifestyle, the girls tend to age much faster and look older than their actual age. Superficial, maybe, but men are still basically very much visual creatures.

Anyway, back to Jackson, how many Singaporean women will be interested in a man like him? Overweight and not earning much? How many will be able to live simply, delight in the walks in the park and being a housewife? How many can give up eating at fancy restaurants, give up the annual holidays, give up their shopping trips, give up the luxuries that they have grown accustomed to and lead that simple life?

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