I’ve had a lot on my mind the last few months. What has been troubling me the most is the realization that later this year I’ll be turning 40. This impending entry into middle age naturally makes a man start asking some “big picture” questions. Am I making the most out of my life? Should I start a family? What’s with all this hair growing out of my ears?
For years, I have talked and joked about my plan to eventually settle down with a Cambodian wife. Pretty soon, I’m going to have to decide whether I’m serious about this. So I recently decided to take some time to evaluate the pros and cons of this decision. It turns out that there are exactly seven reasons why I should probably marry a Cambodian woman.
1. I can get a young, attractive Cambodian wife.
This is important to me. I’m a shallow person. If I’m going to give up being single, I would prefer to settle down with a very beautiful, young wife.
Realistically, it’s going to be difficult for me to find a beautiful young Western woman who is interested in marrying me. We all know what Western women are attracted to in a man. They all want a guy who is “tall, dark, and handsome.” I’m 0 for 3 on this scale. I’m short, pale, and tragically chinless. A hostess at Zanzibar once pointed at my face and told me “You have nose same Cambodia man.” I’m pretty sure that’s not a compliment.
Even when I was in my mid 20’s, my chances of marrying a super hot Western woman were not great. Now I’m almost forty years old. Hot looking Western women in their 20’s don’t even look at me. Even the slutty ones.
I do have a house and a job, so with a bit of effort, I could probably snag a slightly desperate, slightly overweight, divorced Western woman in her mid 30’s. Score. That’s really the best I’m going to do in the developed world.
In Cambodia, however, attractive young local women seem genuinely interested in me. My lack of height is not a disqualifier in Cambodia, because I am still taller than many of the girls. My sickly pallor that turns off Western women is a strange aphrodisiac to Cambodian women. Twentysomething Cambodian girls don’t think I’m too old for them, because significant age differences are not uncommon in Asian marriages.
Cambodia is like a Bizarro world, where everything I know about the pursuit of women is the opposite of how it is in the Western world. I’ve actually had several beautiful young Cambodian women profess their desire to marry me while gazing at my with lust in their eyes. OK, maybe it wasn’t lust. It was more like the look in the eyes of a puppy who wants to be saved from the dog pound. Close enough. My point is that they want me so bad.
2. If you’re still single past age 40 everyone thinks you’re gay.
There’s a scene in The Departed where Alec Baldwin’s character tells a young man, “Marriage is an important part of getting ahead. It lets people know you’re not a homo.”
I don’t think that being single has held me back in my career. But ten years ago, shortly before his death, my grandfather asked me, “So, when are you going to settle down with a . . . partner?”
Partner? What the hell did that mean? I think grandpa thought I was a homo.
So If I marry a nice Cambodian woman, my friends and family would finally stop whispering “Do you think he’s gay?” Instead, they would whisper, “Do you think his wife was a hooker?” I’d say that’s an improvement.
When I was 25 years old, living alone was pretty cool. I enjoyed the independence. I got a kick out of peeing with the bathroom door open. Other friends my age also lived alone. We would get together from time to time. I felt like a relatively normal member of society.
But sometime over the last fifteen years, while I was busy mastering Jenga and Connect Four, all of my close friends slowly got married and started families. We don’t hang out anymore. I only hear about them through their wives’ annoying Facebook updates. Nobody else I know lives alone. Sometimes I feel like a hermit. But at least I drink a lot.
I suspect that living alone only gets worse from here. As I get older, there’s a likelihood that I may encounter illnesses and temporary or permanent physical limitations. I may need someone to help me out from time to time. My nieces and nephews all live at least 2,000 miles away. I really have no “endgame” strategy to keep myself out of a nursing home by age 75.
This is where a Cambodian wife would come in quite handy. By getting married, I can greatly decrease the chances of dying alone. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 70% of wives outlive their husbands.
Of course, I want better odds than 70%. I can increase my endgame odds to well over 90% by marrying a much younger wife. Preferably not your typical Phnom Penh bargirl who lives on the edge, sleeps around, slurps tequila like a Mexican dockworker, and always complains of stomach problems. Bargirls are bad long term spousal investments. Former bargirls probably have the about same life expectancy as former professional wrestlers.
No, the smart move would be for me to marry a young, healthy, non-smoking girl fresh from the Cambodian provinces. A durable lass with low miles on her liver and vagina, who also possesses a farm girl’s natural immunity to livestock-related diseases and venomous snakes. She doesn’t have to be well educated, she just has to be smart enough not to use a hair dryer in the bathtub.
On our engagement day, I wouldn’t just give her a diamond ring and profess my love to her. I would also buy her an indestructible moto helmet and tell her “Just make sure you’re around to change my diaper in 40 years.”
Yes, a young, healthy Cambodian wife would really make my life easier during my final years. Someone who can cook and clean for me. Someone who can climb ladders and replace lightbulbs when my balance becomes unsteady. Someone who can drive me to doctor’s appointments when my eyesight is shot. You know, just your basic nurse/maid/cook/caregiver/chauffeur. Bonus points if she isn’t totally repulsed by the sight of my wrinkled balls.
4. Cambodian women don’t expect much.
Most young Cambodian women lead difficult lives. Poverty is all around them. Because of this, they have very modest dreams. The typical Cambodian girl grows up simply hoping that one day she can find a husband who will love her and provide basic financial support for herself, her children, and her parents. Preferably a man who doesn’t beat her up and keep a mistress on the side. That’s all they want.
To borrow a term from comedian Chris Rock, Cambodian women are “low expectation havin’ motherfuckers.” I am confident that I could meet their incredibly low expectations. My Cambodian wife would immediately be wealthier than she ever imagined. We would live in a nicer house than she ever dreamed of. We’d have windows and everything.
All of my wife’s financial needs would be met. I would even let her fleece me for extra money to support her extended family. If she’s super hot.
Moreover, I would never beat my Cambodian wife or cheat on her. That’s because I was raised to believe that domestic violence and adultery are morally wrong. Also, I’m kind of a weakling and no other women want to have sex with me anyway.
If I married a Western wife, she would undoubtedly have much higher expectations. Western girls grow up living in nice houses already, surrounded by pink walls and stuffed animals, dreaming of marrying a prince. A fucking prince. I can’t compete with that.
Even after Western women outgrow the prince thing, most of them would not be satisfied with a husband who merely keeps them out of poverty and refrains from assaulting them. Western women want a lot of other stuff from a husband. Passion. Emotional support. Orgasms. All things that I am completely incapable of providing on a reliable basis.
I’m a single guy who has visited Cambodia about fifteen times, for no apparent reason. It’s suspicious. People start to wonder.
Although Cambodia is my favorite destination, many of you know that I sometimes vacation in other unusual countries, just so my co-workers think I’m an “adventurous world traveller” rather than a “that unmarried weirdo who visits Cambodia twice a year.” This diversion tactic has taken me to some real shitholes over the last few years. Libya. El Salvador. Nigeria. Belgium.
It’s not just my co-workers who suspect that I’m a creep. When I return to the U.S. from Cambodia, the immigration officers at LAX airport often interrogate me about why I travelled to Cambodia alone and what I was doing there.
One time, a humorless female immigration officer asked me if I took photos during my trip to Cambodia. She then demanded to see what was on my digital camera. I actually had no photos from Cambodia, but I did have photos from a bar in Hong Kong, where a friend and I had spent an enjoyable but expensive evening being hustled for drinks by Filipina floozies. When I got to the floozy photos, I made the point of emphasizing to the officer, “See, adult women.” The officer replied, “OK, I believe you.” Then she let me go.
With a Cambodian wife, I could spend as much time in Cambodia as I wanted without any awkward explanations or suspicions of pedophilia. I would just tell everyone that I was in Cambodia spending time with my wife or in laws. Instant legitimacy. People love that family shit.
6. I’ve already spent all this money on Khmer language cassettes.
That’s right, I said cassettes. Not CDs, not mp3s. Cassettes. After I first visited Cambodia in 2003, I thought it would be fun to learn some Khmer for my future visits. I thought this would really impress the Cambodian ladies and distinguish me from all the other Western creeps they meet.
So I looked online for Khmer language materials. All of the audio courses I could find were on cassettes. First I bought the 27-cassette Huffman course “Modern Spoken Cambodian.” Then the 45 cassette U.S. Foreign Service course. Then the Dunwoody Press Cambodian Intensive Basic Course. That’s another 30 cassettes I think. Of course, I had to buy a fucking cassette player as well, because who the hell owns a cassette player in the twenty first century.
Unfortunately, I have no aptitude for languages. After hundreds of hours of studying Khmer and many visits to Cambodia, I still can’t say much more than “Hello,“ “Thank you,” and “Another beer please, on my friend’s tab.”
Actually, every once in a while, usually after a few beers, I do manage to string together a few Khmer sentences in a hilarious and charming way that makes all the bargirls within earshot erupt in laughter and/or applause. Then I quickly try to leave the bar on a high note.
Aside from the cassettes, I’m “invested” in Cambodia. I’ve been there a lot. I’ve made friends there. I’ve learned which bars have toilets that are suitable for a large bowel movement. l like Cambodia, and I want to continue visiting. Marrying a Cambodian woman would allow me to return to Cambodia on a regular basis, or maybe even live there. If I marry a western woman, what are the chances that she would allow me to continue visiting Cambodia twice a year for fun? Absolutely zero.
I’m not quite normal. This is I know. I am unusually introverted. I am afflicted with social awkwardness and occasional Catholic guilt. This year I spent a disturbing amount of time online looking for photos of Anthony Weiner’s cock.
If I married a Western woman, she would quickly identify and expose my various psychological abnormalities. Then she would want to “discuss” these issues. Most of those “discussions” would go like this: “What the hell is wrong with you? Are you surfing the internet on the toilet again? Don’t you ever go outside? When’s the last time you called your parents? You need professional help, you weirdo.”
But a Cambodian wife would be far less likely to recognize my eccentricities or confront me about them. Due to the significant Cambodian-Western cultural differences, a Cambodian wife might even believe that everything about me is “normal” for Western guy:
“Is he at the computer again? Oh, I guess all Western guys spend 11 hours a day on the internet.”
“What’s that sound? Oh, I guess all Western guys cry uncontrollably during ‘Field of Dreams.’”
“Why is he moving that thing so awkwardly? Oh, I guess this is how Western guys have sex.”
Yes, my sweet Cambodian wife would be blissfully unaware that she married a total nutcase. Instead of confronting me about my abnormalities, a Cambodian wife would just silently observe my odd behaviors. Then she would call her sister and say “Foreigners are crazy.”
Read part II of this article: 7 Reasons Why I Probably Shouldn’t Marry a Cambodian Woman