Saturday, June 04, 2011

The Girlfriend Experience

So, man, she just keeps hanging in there.

To recap -- I met her in August 2009, just before I left Russia, and after I got here we embarked on a Skype-and-holiday relationship that I didn't think would last for three months, but somehow has lasted nearly two years.

Obviously the foreign vacations don't hurt -- we went to Barcelona for a week in April -- but greed doesn't seem to be her prime motivation. She frequently suggests ways to save money on these holidays, and dislikes expensive restaurants.

It's really mystifying. She's honest, shy, quiet, hard-working and loyal to a fault. She's on Skype pretty much EVERY night at nine.

She's exactly what I imagined Russian girls were like, before I actually met any.

I'm thinking back -- of all the girls I went out with back in Vodkaberg, how many could actually be called my girlfriend? Certainly no more than 3 of them, and of those -- the longest was only for a couple of months.

While the popular image of English Teacher X is of a heartless cad injecting women full of his misogynistic hatred via sexual intercourse, and leaving them weeping in the stairwell, the actual reality of it was more complicated (if no less sinister.)

The practical girls who went out with me quickly realized that I wasn't nearly serious or wealthy enough to be a good husband -- and there's strong social pressure on girls to be married by 25, in provincial Russia. (Basically, girls had 2 choices after they finished university -- get married, or move to Moscow.)

There were a couple of girls I know who "liked me for me" so to speak -- but in both cases, they had very strict parents. Despite the fact that the girls in question were in their 20's, they couldn't spend the night away from home, except on the occasional Saturday, so it was hard to consider them "girlfriends."

There was one girl, a girl from Kazakstan who was studying in Vodkaberg -- she was great in a lot of ways and, living away from home, she could spend the night with me whenever she wanted. She was the closest thing to a live-in I've had, I guess, and that was really only for about a month.

We argued like wolverines, however, so we broke up, and she got married to somebody else seemingly about a month later.

The party-girls I went out with -- well, they were party girls. They weren't looking for anything serious either. At least, not with me -- some of these girls had "sponsors" -- rich guys, usually older, who they serviced mostly just to get clothes and cash.

These were the most distasteful to me -- the ones who would race to answer their mobile phones in the middle of sex and then run and stick their heads out the window before they answered, so it would sound like they were on the street. "Oh hello honey," they'd exclaim to the married rich guy. "I'm just walking with some friends."

I went out with a couple of divorced single moms. Obviously there, you had the problem of me and my party-boy reputation, as well as not having any money.

So as it turned out, I didn't break as many hearts as you might think. (If indeed most of these girls could be said to have hearts at all.)

Even the girl from Kazakstan kept in touch with me, and we met after she got divorced. (And she got married AGAIN, about a month after I left Russia.)

In general, it would fade out gently; girls would stop returning my text messages, or we'd settle into an amicable friends-with-extras situation, and I'd be somebody they'd call when they were between boyfriends, or fighting with their husbands.

And why not? I was nice to them. A fun guy.

Well. . . almost always nice to them.

There are a couple who curse my name, undoubtedly, but only a couple. And it took a LOT of work on my part, in those two cases. One of those I regret; the other I wish I'd been more cruel to.

(Two, in nine years! That's pretty good, really.)

Anyway, that's what I had to do to get a kind and decent Russian girlfriend -- leave Russia completely. There's definitely a lesson there.

The one I wish I had been more cruel to:

A little retro-Russia gift from ETX to you, on the occasion of his 42nd birthday. God bless us every one!


Tefl Secretagent said...

Happy Birthday Dude =)
and I'm impressed you only broke two hearts in nine years.

Eve said...

@English Teacher X - Happy birthday! The depth of self-awareness of this blog post was refreshing. The desert and the woman are doing you good.

@Secret Agent - I don't buy this "only two broken hearts" thing, though. Suspicious.

English Teacher X said...

Actually, I wasn't trying to say I only broke two hearts -- I more meant, I only really seriously angered 2 girls.

noe said...

Pretty cool blog, can't believe I hadn't come cross it yet.

Anonymous said...

yeah, its funny how a guy can lament the ones he wasn't more cruel to. But that's the way of the world. The next similar women don't have the luxury of your soft underbelly.

Relationships are about the analysis of a bet and then either making it or not. As we get more experience, we learn to make better bets. It sounds like you are taking this current bird as a good bet. By the way you describe her, Id have to agree. Its either place bets with women like this or be resigned to being a lifelong bachelor, because these women are rare (although I think that there are rare niche locations in the world where they are still relatively plentiful).

steve said...

she got a sister ?

WOW Gold said...
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