Wednesday, March 30, 2005

I am rounding off the proposal story and moving on...

So why was there no direct proposal to the Singapore girl? As I had mentioned, I need to elaborate further on cultural matters and provide more details about our courtship. Asian culture then and maybe lesser now is that one to one casual dating is not a common practice. The sentiment tended to be that if you took a girl out more than once, it is not just a casual date but the beginnings of a courtship in which marriage is expected.

I think even today some of this sentiment still exists which explains why a man is often afraid to take a girl out. There is a lot of "losing face" or embarassment if a dating couple breaks up so why start it? Neither is there a practice for the girl to go out with more than one guy at a time if she has already got a steady date. What a drawback for women over here compared to an American housewife who told me once that while she was dating her husband, she was going out with 7 or 8 others! In her view,she was wanting to marry the best man! An Asian man would be turned off by that.

In my situation, I am more open minded and because of the Church influence I believe the Singapore girl had been brought out for dates like to Church socials and dances etc. I wouldn't have minded casual dating the Singapore girl even if she had a few suitors after her if I lived in Singapore. Since I was from a long distance away, after the first 'together' activity in visiting the Lim's residence and a short group social with other single adults of the church, it would be a difficult thing to do.

I returned home with a strong interest in her. I therefore wrote a very direct letter to her. I think she may still have the letter with her somewhere so I might get into trouble for saying what I wrote. Heck, I've got good insurance coverage so here goes. It was basically a very honest and direct letter about my feelings. I remember that it was a letter that basically stated that I wanted to get to know her better and that I wanted her to know the real me in a way different from the conventional dates. I explained that I didn't want to act like a hypocrite in a date where you are at your best, perfume and everything but that I wish she could read some of my journals and thoughts to know the kind of person I truly am in totality. I think I did say I had written my personal journals to be read by my future wife one day.

I believe that I did say if she was interested to pursue a relationship with me, she should write to me. The story goes that she did write a letter to me before mine was received by her but hers never did get to me. I was therefore despondent when no mail came to me. Then on one Sunday morning, her Singaporean friend Jessie was on a visit to KL and at Church asked me if I had received her letter to which I replied no. Hurray! The Singapore girl is interested in me and I think we caught up with each other either by mail or telephone to arrange for her to join me in a round country trip.

She was escorted by her father by train to KL and he flew back as my mother and friend took over as chaperones in our journey described earlier. The point is therefore that our relationship had started off with a serious note from the beginning and I believe she was notified that I am seriously looking for a partner for life. It was then left for her to decide if she would be interested in me.

Another major reason why there was no direct proposal from me is that my mother passed away about 3 months after the time we first got together. According to Chinese custom, if that happens, a couple dating had to either marry within 3 months of the death date or wait for 3 years! I think neither of us wanted to wait that long and we started to make our plans for a wedding in which we were civilly married on 22nd Dec 1982

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