Saturday, April 12, 2014

How I met my wife


 I understand it is often difficult for a blind person to find a mate.  Since I mentioned using a matchmaker as an option in a recent FB post on this topic, that remind me my own experience with matchmaking process I had decades ago.

Let me tell you some background info before getting into my own experience with matchmakers.  It was not unusual for Chinese mothers to arrange their children’s marriage, even in the US.  Many Chinese just have a tough time finding the right one to marry in the US due to various reasons.  Some men would even go back to China to find a wife.  Chinese mothers often seek help from a matchmaker.  Matchmaking has long history in Chinese culture, so there is no shame at all with this process.

The modern matchmaking is fairly simple.  Often time the concern mother would suggest matchmaking when she notice her adult son or daughter not getting marry.  That’s what happen to me, after years of trying to find a wife on my own without success, I agreed to give matchmaking a try.  Here are the simple steps:

  1. Mother would give a photo and some bio  of her son or daughter to a matchmaker.   As a side note, mother sometime exaggerate the bio a bit, especially when a Chinese man is looking for wife in China.  The man often boasts his education, job, property, income, etc.  Woman would provide her best looking photo or the photo that was taken years younger.
  2. When the matchmaker find a potential match, she would exchange the photo and bio with the mothers and they in turn share the info with their son and daughter. 
  3. If both sides agree that this is good potential match, the matchmaker would arrange an initial meeting for the man and woman, usually in a restaurant.  Mother of both sides usually in the meeting too.  The matchmaker would make the introduction, the man and woman would make small talk and size each other up.  I found meeting your potential mate like this quite awkward.  Side note: I have heard stories about men gone to China to meet the women and the photo did not match the real person at all, Ouch.  I heard some got marry anyway, no point waste a trip.  I don't know if the marriage last.
  4. After the meeting, the mother would let the matchmaker know whether her son or daughter likes to go out with other.  If no go, repeat the process.
  5. If the matchmaking result in marriage, the matchmaker would receive a fee in a red envelope plus an invitation to the wedding banquet.  
Because I only wanted to meet people who can speak Cantonese and English and has a driver's license or willing to learn to drive, I had a very limited choices.  Over the years, I had only few photo exchanged which landed me with three of those face to face meetings.  Too bad that none resulted in a marriage.  One woman I met did not go beyond the initial meeting.  I went out few times with two women but they stop seeing me when I told them I might go blind down the road.  It was very discouraging and I was giving up hope.  But then something happen in the most unexpected way.

One day my friend asked me to help out on his wedding reception.  The reception took place in a dimly lite restaurant and I knocked over couple of glasses of wine.  A lady who also helping out on the reception came over to help me clean up the mess.  We started some small talk and shared a table during the reception.  I didn't know then she was my friend's sister.  She later told me that I was actually a stand in for her brother's other friend who suppose to help out but had a schedule conflict. 

  When someone ask me how do I know the right one would come along, I always said you know it because the random jigsaw puzzle pieces just lock together like magic.  I have spent nearly 10 years to put the puzzle together without success but all the pieces fell into place in just one night.  We got marry after a short courtship.  Sorry, not much of a romantic love story.

Reference info:
Chinese Matchmaking

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