If you read yesterday’s article about FCX, the Chinese gold standard in finding love, then you might be wondering why I married my husband. It’s clear we look nothing alike. Even non-Asians, for whom every Asian looks the same, can tell us apart immediately.
It’s not just that his face is cake-tin round, whereas mine is as long as a horse’s. Or that his eyes are hooded, giving him excellent natural protection from glare, whilst mine are relatively large, upturned crescents that require constant shielding with sunglasses. It’s that unless you know us both, you wouldn’t pick His Royal Highness and I for a couple, from a room full of people. More tellingly, he has to introduce me, before people can tell how we are related or if we are in any way connected to each other. Even then, a frequent comment, which I take as a compliment, is how much better looking I am compared to him. This, my friends, is the absence of FCX. People don’t think you go together.
But why did I marry him? Given my strong feelings on facial compatibility, shouldn’t I have tried to find someone with whom I can pass off for Siamese twins? I did and discovered that he was a total asshole. More on that another day.
Belying his great intelligence, His Royal Highness was the most down-to-earth person I had ever met. He never once sought to impress me with the string of letters after his name or a flash ride or fancy pants clothes. He was always about serving; first his family, then me and now our daughter.
I liked that I could call him at any time of the day and he’d pick up the phone. I didn’t need a reason to, I just could. There was an ease to our interaction that manifested itself in hundreds of hour-long phone calls before I decided to uproot from Singapore to join him in Melbourne. And our conversations were never just about the weather, IKEA, our relatives or other similarly banal topics. We could banter about politics, religion, history, current affairs, climate change… a veritable smorgasbord as wide as our combined imaginations were long.
We both loved dreaming – he, about how the world can be better, and I, about our future. We knew very early on that we were very different people but there was enough mutual respect between us to consider giving our relationship a go. I respected his friends and they respected me. They weren’t just random people he saw once in a way, but folks he’d gone to high school and medical school with, who knew him almost as well as they knew their own family members. There were no comparisons to girls he’d gone out with before because I was the first girl he brought to meet them after a 7-year “woman drought.” As friends, they were beginning to worry that he was going to end up alone. This, even though he was regularly asked out by pretty blonde nurses no less.
Perhaps more than anything, I loved that he made me feel special. When I was hankering for chips, he’d drive me half-way across Adelaide to the Hog’s Breath Cafe for a feed. When I said I was hot, he’d offer to take me to the Hilton for a snooze in air-conditioning. He only bought me three roses but spent three thousand wining and dining me over the course of two and a half weeks. I was thrilled he had never spent half as much on anyone else, or according to his friends, looked quite the same way at anyone, as he did at me.