Thursday, April 5, 2012

E is for everything is relative

I went out to lunch the other day with my law school friend Sally. She told me that a secretary at her firm recently became engaged to and married a Jordanian after a whirlwind courtship of a few months.

After my initial shock (exact words: She's seen the Sally Field movie, right?) Sally and I discussed the various complications that come from marrying someone in an entirely different legal system.

No domestic abuse laws.

The possibility of unilateral divorce.

He can stop her from leaving the country with a court order. He can take another wife without her permission if he has a court order. (By the by, do you know how easy it is to get a court order in America? Pretty damn easy.)

The custody of their children will be determined by the gender and ages of the children -- not a "best interests" analysis.

And the U.S. State Department's official position on marrying a Jordanian in Jordan? "We can't do anything to help you if things go south. So don't ask."

Sally took her friend out to lunch and tried to explain these things to her -- that no matter how great a guy seems initially, even in America divorces generally involve pulling out all the stops to hurt the other party. Why on earth would you agree to the possibility of divorce in Jordan after seeing the Sally Field movie?

Finally the secretary looked at Sally and said, "Fine. Is there a possibility I'll go over there and wind up in some kind of basement dungeon? Sure. But he's my soul mate."

(Question for the peanut gallery: What percentage of possibility of ending up in a dungeon would you be willing to accept for true love? Because mine and Sally's is zero percent.)

Things are getting rough in the New Denver dating scene if girls are running off to the Middle East to get hitched.

But then again, I already knew that.

The day after lunch with Sally, I got notice of my 10 year high school reunion.  Activities include a "family picnic" and "family 5K fun run."

Do you think they emphasized the family enough? 

(I mean, that's not enough pressure to put "dungeon" back on the table, but you could see where a girl might start getting desperate.)


  1. That wouldn't be my situation given I'm too opiniated and prone to fits of emasculating. So, no Jordanian or Middle Eastern love interest in my love interest at all as it seems lol!!

    But if this woman is willing, then I can only hope that she's going in this with eyes wide open and tough skin for the difference in life to come.

  2. If the woman is aware of the serious legal and cultural differences and is still comfortable with her decision to head over there and get married, then good luck to her.

    The Sally Field movie haunts me and I didn't even see the whole thing.

  3. LOVE the title of your blog. It made me laugh out loud.

    NO AMOUNT of love is worth the risk of life in a dungeon. This girl is NOT living in reality. She OBVIOUSLY did not see the movie. YIKES! I wish her luck. Maybe he's the one that will break the stereo-type and be a really good guy, or maybe not.

    Happy A to Z-ing!

  4. No, I just couldn't live with the possibility of ending up in a dungeon. Definite deal breaker there I'm afraid.

  5. I'm attending that very reunion. We'll loan you our baby girl if you want--then you can tell people one of a variety of interesting stories:

    (1) You escaped from your Jordanian dungeon with your baby strapped onto your leg;
    (2) You're not sure who the father is, but he's definitely in attendance at the reunion;
    (3) You decided to adopt as a single parent after loving having a puppy so much;
    (4) Your husband couldn't come since he's currently helping the Russians escape from the international space station before heading out to nuke an incoming, species-killing asteroid.

    Let me know what you think...

  6. That story reminds me of the Will & Grace episode were Grace dates a convict. Will asks "Has it really come to this?" and I kinda want to say that to secretary.

    And if you feel uneasy about your reunion, when you get there, just tell everyone you invited post-its.

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  8. Um. Wow.
    Yeah, I'm sorry. No "soulmate" is worth that.

    Thanks for sharing! I look forward to more A to Z goodness.

  9. The title of your blog really caught my attention...LOVE IT!

  10. Hopefully she will get cold feet before it's finalized. He can't fully escape his culture and his upbringing even if he lived in America; I can't imagine what it'd be like in his native land. Oh poor girl!
    I also like your blog, and I liked the informative post about women in film representing the population etc. . .