Home Away from Home

Why?

In a previous 2023 entry, I referred to an upcoming trip as if it was a big deal. Well, as a matter of fact, it was and is, a very big deal. It refers to the uprooting of my life as a whole, and replacing it with an entirely new existence.

Well, Larry, that sounds like pretty serious stuff. Just what is going on here?
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In my mind, there isn't any way to explain this without going back to the very beginning, and the very beginning begins to begin sometime around spring of 2019.

The benchmark event was the departure of my wife of 20 years, and the complete re-ordering of my life to a new existence where I was the chief cook and bottle-washer, and a lonely one at that.

I had not had to take complete control of my life for a great many years, and so this event was a shock of the first order. For a while I managed to manage on my own, but then I brought my retired sister out from Tennessee, and we kept things going jointly for a couple of years.

However, I hadn't really given up on the possibility of 'fixing' the status quo, and the thought/hope that maybe the ex- lady might eventually have a change of heart (she didn't). But that hope/consideration didn’t keep me from examining the concept that maybe in the interim I might be able to find someone to spend time with.

Meanwhile I had changed my living circumstances to a new location in New Mexico, a place even lonelier than the Boise home had been. And so at some point I really got the yen for a companion of sorts... not necessarily a live-in one, but maybe someone to spend some time with, dinner, travel, etc. To be sure, I did not have a clear idea what that would look like, but I figured that the details could be colored in later on.

So, onto a dating website I went. A wake-up call to the real world that act was, as I was to spend more time reporting the scam artists to the site controllers than actually perusing the various entries.

The end result of all of that was 3 or 4 ladies that were not really interested to be sure, and one who actually came to my digs in Glenwood. It was obvious from the git-go, that she took one look at my home there, and thought, “Po folk…”, and that was the last I saw of her. Whatever… as I said… Ms. Shallow and her daughters, shallower and shallowest.

I was, at that point, really fed up with the women I had been in contact with, so I pulled the plug on that abortive venture, and made the decision that I was profoundly uninterested in the entire dating site thing… as it existed in this country anyway.

So, another year goes by, I am in Boise, ID, living for the month of December in a borrowed RV, and even lonelier than I had been in NM.

So, what to do?

Well, I was getting barraged with ads for dating sites for Russian/Ukrainian ladies who desperately wanted to meet a partner, presumably a partner with money, but a partner nonetheless.

So, what the ----, it can’t hurt to look; so look I did. But that didn’t last too very long, as every female on those sites quite frankly looked like a wannabe sexpot, and cleavage was the focal point of nearly every picture. My response was to say to Ms. Ukrainian/Russian, “Sorry, honey, that just isn’t what I’m interested in. And it isn’t/wasn’t.

Well, that’s it for the bloody dating sites again.

Soon after I bailed out of those sites, and moved back into the ‘what to do, if anything’ mode, I had a interesting thought, and quite frankly, I am clueless as to where this one came from, but the crux of it was, “Well, ya know that the Asian ladies have a lot different philosophy regarding partner age, and the structure of the family, the man’s place in it, blah, blah, blah…”

First response was, now where the he— did that one come from. To be sure, I had never considered looking in the eastern direction up to that point, and wasn’t sure I wanted to… but…

Like before, ‘Well, it can’t hurt to look… (Oh yes it can! Ya just might get tangled up in a mess of relationships, etc., etc., etc.)

So, I joined an Asian dating site, and immediately began to be barraged with ladies that were wild to meet me. And to be sure, in a great number of cases, agendas needed to be questioned closely, as 20yo ladies contacting an 82yo man stimulate a giant ? And truly, there were a lot of scam artists on these sites as well. And several others that I ran into, ladies, presumably that had taken hard knocks, that ended up with real attitude troubles.

So, I enjoyed playing pick and choose, and talked to a few, was interested in one younger one, but my attention kept getting called back to one particular lady, a lady that was clearly not anywhere near my age, but not 20yo either. Why? I’m not clear on that one, as I have told her since, that her profile photo was definitely not one to attract the attention of the normal man.

And so I contacted her. And what is noteworthy here, is that she was the only one that I had to contact myself. All the rest contacted me.

So we talked a few times near the end of December, switched to WhatsApp near the 1st of January, and by the 8th of January, we were in a routine of conversing 3 hours in the morning, and 3 hours in the evening, and that lasted until the 8th of March, where by all accounts we had had many hundreds of hours of ‘getting to know you’ conversations behind us.

Those sessions ended on the 8th of March, because I married her on that date via a Zoom teleconference from Provo, UT. Immediately after the ceremony, I drove to Albuquerque, NM. Flew to LAX, and flew then to Manila, the Philippines, continuing on to Davao, the largest city on the island of Mindanao, where I met in person the lady I had married 26-28 hours before.

But that was only the beginning of my unceremonious dive into the maelstrom of the US State Department political pool. I have since learned that this is an area containing a very large and hungry money pit, and while I am paying considerably to remain in the Philippines while I am attempting to facilitate her access to the USA, I have had to pay great sums for help with this process, and even more great sums to go back and forth on flights that could best be described as endurance tests.

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Now, at this point, usually the advisories begin to flow out of the surrounds, from those that purportedly know more about this lady that I did after our extensive and thorough hours of conversations.

However, this lady is not a scam artist, or if she is, she is the greatest artist/actress in the history of the known world. As I am fond of noting, she never once ever asked me for money, and in fact the first time I tried to send some, she tried to refuse it.

That was unique in my time on the Asian sites. She is the ONLY individual that never asked for money, or a Visa to the USA.

Remember at this point that I am already married. So any advice vis--vis caution or other restraint is largely redundant.

So, whether or not marrying this lady was ill-advised, since at this point there is no turning back, I am going to consider any 'advice' as largely excess to requirements.

For the time being, I am remaining in the PI, and intend to do so until I can get some movement from the US State Dept. regarding her Spousal Visa/Green Card.

Am I enjoying that? Hardly, but I'm thinking that married folks need to be together, so 'together', of necessity, means to be 'together' in the Philippine Islands.

Thank you for taking the time to read this mini-epic.
Larry

The new spouse in question? Lourdes Russel Borres Dal
(It seems that the Filipinos have a penchant for long official 'titles'.)