Fred (name changed) is a retired Air Force guy who ranked pretty highly before he retired nearly 20 years ago. Apparently, when you retire from the military, you get a large chunk of your final salary as a perpetual pension payment for the rest of your life. It’s a pretty sweet deal — it’s no wonder America is so broke. Fred’s wife divorced him several years back, which I understand is unfortunately common for military wives, considering all the travel and PTSD. It’s not an easy life. Fred says he’s not at all bothered by his divorce, as he utters a few choice words about his ex that I’m afraid to repeat. He says it was a good thing, and sums it up to having a “rusty old ball and chain” removed from his leg so he can “soar like a bird” during his golden years.
Fred was lonely. After striking out in the paltry local scene — the suburbs of a large military base with literally thousands of similar aged men in his situation — Fred set out to find some companionship. He had a sizable bank account, as he resided in a tiny home he paid off many years ago, drove a 20 year-old Crown Victoria, and rarely spent anything. The world was filled with options. And what kept resonating in his mind were the whores who serviced him years ago while stationed in the Philippine Islands.
“They seemed so young, happy, beautiful, and…” I cringed as I waited for it… “Submissive.” There it was — the typical long-held American stereotype for any Asian woman. Obviously, a Filipina whore is going to act submissive because you’re paying her to be submissive. It’s all about marketing. If she fulfills your fucked up fantasies, you’ll be back for more. Fred told me about several friends who brought their new Filipina friends home and married them. Twenty some years later, only one couple was still together. And that guy is never home, still doing “consulting” work for the military in the Philippines. She stays home to take care of the house. Fred remarked that Filipina women become accustomed to American culture, and that somehow ruins them and “turns them into bitches.” Regardless of these experiences, Fred still held strong to his fantasy, and firmly believed there was a perfect non-Filipina Asian woman waiting for him. Somewhere. And Fred was going to find her.
So what’s an aspiring 70 year-old guy to do? Go online and find him a wife! Fred signed up for a certain Asian dating website, and was careful to avoid Filipina women. After a brief “free trial,” bought credits that enabled him to immediately begin to correspond with a gorgeous 26 year-old Chinese woman. Several eight dollar emails later, Fred asked me to help him ship his new online love a brand new laptop computer, since she was supposedly corresponding from an internet cafe. Since there’s such a vast time difference, Fred didn’t feel she was safe at the cafe, so Fred also sent her money to get an internet connection in her home, where she lived with her elderly parents. My practicality softly attempted to caution him against this sort of behavior, but there was no stopping Fred and his quest. I began to mildly panic as alarms and sirens were going off inside my head. But who am I to stand between a man and his perceived happiness? He wrote her a check for $500 and slipped it into the laptop box with a Post-it note that said “I love you.” I told him he’d need to fill out customs forms and take his package to the post office, hoping that pain in the ass fiasco might slow him down. No such luck.
A couple weeks passed, and Fred stopped in to visit. He seemed cheery, but that was an act. After digging a bit, he admitted that his Chinese girlfriend “mysteriously disappeared” and was no longer on the dating website. But that did not deter Fred. He found a service through a friend that takes men to several Asian countries and sets up real dates with real Asian women who are looking to emigrate to America. I couldn’t believe there was such a service, but sure enough, these exist. And not just for American men searching for Asian brides. Domestic companies have set up shop with tours to Brazil, Columbia, Mexico, Russia, Ukraine, and even the Dominican Republic that operate under a tourist guise. They’ll typically set up a meeting in a hotel among usually older fee-paying American men and a healthy group of much younger local women who are looking for love that only an older American man can provide — or more likely, an American meal ticket. If couples agree they’ve found something they like, payments and visas are set up, and the man returns in several weeks to bring his bride back home. Fred went to China.
Fred got back and was elated. This time, she was real. He had several pictures of the two of them in a hotel room, some in lingerie. Honestly, she was pretty hot – way above his pay grade. I asked how old this one was, and Fred told me she was 31. “A little more mature,” he remarked. And this time, she was Chinese — “no more of that Filipina problem” of which Fred seemed to be an expert. Fred began to call Filipinas “damaged Asians.” About eight weeks or so later, Fred returned to China to pick up his bride and return her on an engagement visa. They were supposed to get married here. I was looking forward to performing the ceremony, as I am a an ordained minister and a notary.
I haven’t seen Fred since his return trip. I’ve asked around to see if any of his co-workers had heard from him, but no one had spoken with Fred. The mailman did have a clue – said there was a forwarding address somewhere in California. I suppose Fred found the love of his life, and one of them decided Fred wanted to live in Cali.
After Fred’s experience, I began to notice my area had an abundance of American-Asian couples, mostly older men with younger brides. My naivete previously led me to believe these were adopted daughters. I began to evaluate the disconnect that causes a man to travel across the world to find love; and also the one that causes a woman to permanently leave her home and family behind. There are several psychological and monetary flaws at work here that can’t possibly lead to true happiness.
Or can they?
For more on the reality side of things, visit these sites: