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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Confession of a "Mistress"

"Once they saw you, they would think either I got a stint in a Southeast Asia country or getting a mail-order bride." - Boyfriend

Ouch. Not a very pleasant prospect.

I met and started dating my boyfriend a few months ago, and as much as I love him I found that people's reaction towards me quite annoying. From his side of the world I was labeled gold digger, from my side of the world I was labeled gold digger as well. We had Facebook comments that clearly accusing me of gold-digging activities (or to boyfriend's sarcastic retorts for the hater: greencard-digging activities); we had people calling me his "mistress" or even suggest that he's my John in Bali. It frustrates me because, well, I'm neither.

The "Mistress" labeling was disgracing for both of us. It implies I have very low goal and ability, and implies that my boyfriend was not good enough that the only one he can get is a "third-world country gold-digger" or a "green-card pursuer". As a matter of fact, I believe that we have a much better relationship than most people, albeit the 14000 km distance. We communicate daily, only interrupted if it's bed time. We would talk about our work and goals and ambitions. We encourage each other to pursue what we do best (he's an inventor, I'm a writer). We play Words with Friends constantly and actively trying to slay each other in it. We had discussions about Christianity and religious views at 7 in the morning, and Sumerian numerical base at 7 in the evening. We love each other in such a way that we compete on showing the others how much we really care and love. What's so gold-digging about that?

I can see the reason why people accusing me of using him to get a better life. Indonesia is notoriously well known for its corruptions, poor human rights equality, and low wage. The thing is (and this is what most people are not aware of, both on my side and his), Indonesia is the most beautiful and magical place to live. At least in my biased opinion. The people are friendly as we have learned to live with different sub-race and religions and beliefs for hundreds of years; I can go to the beach right after work; I can eat delicious Balinese Paella for only IDR 3000 (about 33 cents in USD); I can go praying and indulge in the exotic aroma of flowers and incense while hearing the beautiful gamelan playing. It is not a place that I would be happy to leave, and I would probably never think of leaving if Destiny didn't come calling. I have more to lose by leaving my country: my job, my family, my friends, basically every thing that I know in life. The only thing that kept me going is my desire to be with my boyfriend daily, creating a family and erase the agonizing physical distance we have now.

To be fair, the way some women act also give bad reputation. He told me about the tacky Southeast Asian women he met there with their vacant stares and ridiculous outfits who were more crass than class. Small wonder that there were slew of memes about Thai girls or other Asian, nor should I be surprised for the prospect of being thought as mail-order bride. In my part of the world I also seen so many women who, sadly, actively pursuing foreigners (especially Caucasian). Preference is preference, I have my own sets of physical preference which I hope to (and gleefully) find in a partner. It was the heavy flirting that disturbs me, the painful attempt to try to fit in in a western world (fashionably hanging at places where foreigners hang out, dressed like one, trying to look upscale and worth dating for). And when they got one, they'll try even more to fit in and be a foreigner, some even willing to go blind eye with the partners' obvious cheating or disrespect as long as they can present the foreign dude and says, "Yes, I'm with him!!"

It all boils down to ability to see a bigger picture. When the news broke that I am in a relationship with a foreigner some of the foreign-dude women reach out for me and welcome me to their "club", which I decline politely. I am not dating my boyfriend because he is white, I'm dating my boyfriend because he's wonderful (which, I hope, they will realize and follow suits. A loving respectful boyfriend of any race will make one a wife or partner instead of "mistress"). Me and my boyfriend are well educated, competent in our work, and smart enough to live a good life and make a living. You'll find a pair like us in America, a pair like us in Indonesia, in India, in Iceland, anywhere really. Two people in love, respecting others and ready to live our forever together. It's just that I'm Indonesian and he's American, I'm Malayan and he's Caucasian. Our race and nationality has nothing to do with feelings and dreams. It's about time people learn to see pass the skin [color] and tags. Well, one could hope.


10 minutes after I post this article I got a spam of book called "How To Get Many Pen Pals and the Woman of Your Dreams in the Philippines, Thailand, And China" (which oddly show 2 Caucasians on the cover). I rest my case. Foreigners, Asian women are NOT only for mistresses only and we can do with proper respect. Asian women, please stop giving the retarded people fodder to disgrace you. Rise and shine, lovelies.

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