The first and, to this day, only time that I have received a marriage proposal, was during the summer of 1997, when I was 21. The problem is that I didn't receive the proposal from the woman who wanted me to marry her. In fact, to this day, I've never met her.
I put myself through college, so in addition to working during the academic year, I also worked multiple jobs during the summer, and one of these jobs was at the office of my mother, a family law attorney.
Incidentally, if you want to lose all faith in humanity, I highly recommend working in a family law office. There is little that allows you to see the true character of an individual better than seeing how they treat those who they claim to love or formerly claim to have loved. People make false accusations of child molestation, attempt to drag out the various issues – and therefore drag out the divorce – merely to have some control over (and cause misery for) their former spouse, and do all manner of other less than kind things. In short, outside of a war crimes trial, you are unlikely to see as many people behaving as inhumanly as in a family law office.
But back to the point of this essay…
This office had a paralegal who was from Fiji, as was her husband. One day, I was sitting at my desk when the paralegal, who I will refer to as Linda for no reason other than that Linda was the first name to come to me when looking for an alias for this woman, approached me and said "hey, how would you like a trip to Fiji?"
I looked up at here and asked "why do you want to send me to Fiji?"
Linda looked at me with an attempted, and failing, expression of innocence on her face. "I just thought that you might like to see Fiji."
"Now, Linda," if that was indeed her real name, which it wasn't, because I just made it up as a cover for her real name, "I know you aren't going to send me to Fiji just to send me to Fiji. So, what is the story?"
"Well, Jehosephat," the name I have assigned her husband for the purposes of this essay, "has a sister that wants to come to the U.S., and it will be easier to get a green card if she is married to a citizen."
"I think the INS would frown on this proposition. Besides, I'm not going to marry someone that I have never met!"
"Oh, don't be a wimp. We'll send you out to meet her one time before you agree to marry her."
"I doubt that I am going to feel inclined to marry someone that I have only met once."
She gave me a frustrated look. "Oh, come on, do you really think that you can choose a better mate on your own? I've seen the women you are attracted to!"
"Hey, what is that supposed to mean?"
"Do the words 'scary cult' mean anything to you? "
"Hey, that was a bad choice on my part. But, hey, how could I have known what was coming?"
"The fact that she was insistent on you kneeling before an altar to Dagon should have been a clue. Not to mention the sack-cloth robe that she insisted on wearing every time you two went out."
She ticked off a finger, and headed for another "Or how about the one who broke up with you because you wouldn't tell her what classes she was required to take?"
"Well, she had some problems…"
"And she wanted you to pick out her outfits for her. Every day. Including when you were out of town. And she wanted you to create a daily schedule for her ot follow in case nobody was around to give her instructions." Linda pointed a finger from her non-ticked hand at me.
"Okay, a lot of problems, but how should I have seen that coming?"
"Maybe the fact that when you first asked her out she asked you what color would best match your clothes should have been a clue."
"Okay," I said, my frustration rising. "I made two bad choices. That hardly constitutes a pattern."
"It does when you have only dated two women. You're no Lothario, you know. Now, we can settle the whole matter and make your life easier by marrying you off to my sister in law." With her hands on her hips, Linda looked like she meant business.
"Hey, I am not marrying your sister-in-law, and that is final! I don't see how marrying her will do anyone any good, especially me!"
And that was the last I heard of it. However, for some time later, whenever I related this story to a male friend thinking that he would get a good laugh out of it, he instead got a thoughtful look on his face and asked "Do you think they're still looking for someone?"