Filipinos love to joke around. Because I am white, single, and don’t understand a word of Visaya, I end up being at the brunt of a lot of jokes. I can’t understand most of what they say though, so I don’t mind. I think God prepared in advance for me to have this lot in life, because he chose for me to be be born into a family with 5 men.
The ongoing joke since I moved to this country, is that I’m getting old and must get married soon. I’m already 22, after all. The purpose being that we can marry and live happily together in my cave in the Moffit basement and I can continue to homeschool the children. Husband = I get to stay in the Philippines. It’s a win-win situation, apparently.
In order to dodge the men that are thrown my way, I have come up with a running list of qualifications. Because I’ve become so picky, the entire church congregation has been recruited to be on the lookout for Mr. Right. Here is a meager sampling of some of my qualifications:
- Must be higher than my waist.
- Must have 50% of his teeth.
- Must be single. As in unmarried. Apparently, having a girlfriend doesn’t place him under the “unattainable” category. Sheesh.
- Must be between the ages of 22–50.
- Must not be crazy.
- Must be able to moonwalk.
Apparently, I ask too much. Those first two are the clinchers. What started out as an inside joke in the family, grew to include pretty much everyone I’ve met since moving here. As we would drive down the main road, the girls would point out different men in town, letting me know they fit my qualifications, to which I would add even more to my list; to make sure they no longer qualify. After the dramatic death of our fridge, a few delivery guys showed up one day to drop off the new one and take the old away, when Lang came running into the classroom to tell me that my husband was downstairs. That was when I added the “Can’t have a high-pitched, nasally voice” rule.
What got me was when (6-year-old) Neo started joining in on the ‘husband quest’. I was teaching in the school room one afternoon when the exterminator came in to scope out a job, as he was walking out the door, Neo tapped my leg and whispered, “I think he would be a good man for you to marry.” That’s when I added the classic, “Must not get high for a living” rule.
Because the good people at my church are taking their job so seriously, more seriously than any of us anticipated, I now expect every time we get together to be given a phone number of someone who qualifies, or asked a question about myself; either for themselves to know, or to be passed on to a possible suitor. I couldn’t tell you anymore.
One Bible study, we were all standing around visiting and eating dinner, when I got asked by a male in our group what my waist size is. By the way, weight questions are considered fair game in polite conversation here. As soon as he asked, all the conversation in the room died down so everyone could hear my response. So I told him. 26. This resulted in teetering and snickers and a conversation I didn’t quite catch. I still don’t know… I’ve narrowed it down to two options though:
I) They don’t measure waistlines in inches and I gave them a barbie size measurement for myself.
II) I’m a way bigger size than any of them and that’s hilarious for some reason.
I think I lean more toward the latter. I’m latina; my hips don’t lie!