Message received, loud and clear
So I mostly managed to get my wish to have my birthday ignored this year. (When you're a dad, especially when you are for your entire marriage the family's only source of income, then unless you're a major gift person you very quickly start wondering about the whole point of "Daddy please give me some money so I can buy you a present." Thanks to Gary Chapman I am aware that it actually means more than that to some people, and so I have dutifully provided a budget for the children to spend on my birthdays down through the years...but as the fellow said when asked about his recent experience of being run out of town on a rail, "Well, you know, if it hadn't been for the honor of it all, I'd'a just as soon walked.") But my birthday wasn't quite entirely ignored...and in fact, I was pretty deeply moved by the Troika. I told them, when they asked me several days before the Big Day what they should get for my birthday, I said, "Girls, I appreciate the thought, but I'd just as soon keep the money." So yesterday they knocked on the bedroom door and came in...and proceeded to give me cash, saying, "Papa, you said you'd rather keep your money, but we know that you're worried about money right now [true, because of legal bills]; so instead of presents this year, here's money to help with the bills." And it was, for three girls (plus a fiancé) who have one barista job between the four of them, a sizable chunk of cash.
Then they gave me my birthday card, which was homemade, and which had four paragraphs: a general "Happy Birthday" paragraph like a store-bought card would have, then a paragraph from Kinya, a paragraph from Anya and Roma, and a paragraph from Natasha. And, much to my amusement, a common theme emerged, which was basically, "And here's to the new wife you need to find this year."
It would seem they consider that I've had a more than reasonable amount of time to get used to being single and that I need to get crackin'.
Well...um...okay, I don't suppose I have any objection if they want to go find a girl for me. But just to help 'em out, why don't I supply a basic list of requirements?
- Theologically conservative evangelical Christian. (Because a theologically conservative evangelical Christian, old-fashioned guy like myself is not somebody you want to get stuck with for the rest of your life unless you are yourself a theologically conservative evangelical Christian, old-fashioned girl.)
- Early- to mid-thirties. (Because I can't imagine loving a woman enough to marry her and not wanting to have at least a couple of kids with her...but then I also kinda think that "she needs to be closer to my age than to that of the youngest of my nine children" is pretty close to mandatory, doncha agree?...which makes the cutoff 27, and I'm rounding up 'cause I'm picky.)
- Likes to laugh. (Because otherwise how is she going to keep her temper living with an airhead like me?)
- Has no objection to retiring to a small town with lots of snow in the winter where everybody knows everybody and everybody else drives pickup trucks too. (Because I ain't kiddin' about the "Redneck" part of the blog name.)
- Brunette mandatory; Chinese ideal; Japanese not a chance (if you think Chinese and Japanese women look alike then all I can say is that you need glasses); Kazakh or Filipina or Latina more than acceptable; Welsh also acceptable but only if she looks like Catherine Zeta-Jones. (Because I'm blond enough for the both of us...no, seriously, I just don't find blondes attractive, oddly enough, and while I am not nearly silly enough to think that physical attractiveness is the only thing that matters in marriage, I am also not nearly silly enough to think that it doesn't matter a whole heckuva lot, especially to guys, of which I am one.)
- Likes kids enough to not mind taking on nine stepchildren and still be interested in having a couple more. (The world is just full of women like that.)
- Speaks English. (Because she has to be able to talk to my parents and kids.)
- Speaks some other language besides English. (Because one language is just not enough for me to make myself a sufficient ass in.)
Also, I have no intention of encouraging myself to fall in love with a woman I don't already know well enough to be reasonably confident that she'd be a good person to be stuck with for the rest of my life, because I am all too well aware that once you're in love and the hormones have taken over your brain you are an insane person completely incapable of seeing the truth about whichever person your hormones have gone and attached themselves to. So, no dating women I don't already know well enough to trust their character. But on the other hand, I place a very, very high value on friendship and wouldn't want to go out on a date with a girl who was a good friend, because the odds that I'd wind up gaining a wife would be much lower than the odds that I'd wind up losing a friend. So no dating women I already know well and am good friends with.
Well, this shouldn't take long, should it? [grinning happily...because, um, I'm really not at all distressed by this whole celibacy thing, which is quite a bit better than the only alternative I have any experience with...]
UPDATE: For the benefit of Gentle Aggie Readers, who may be prone to misinterpret that last sentence...I only mean that I find being single preferable to being unhappily married.