We’ve all been there: a night on the gin, a hangover of immeasurable proportions, some distant memories of a girl or guy we certainly embarrassed ourselves in front of. Philip certainly has. In a desperate attempt to avoid this fate in the future he thinks he’s found a solution, and all he needs is a postage stamp.

Waking up one morning particularly gin-ravaged, a night of hitting on a girl from Berlin who talked incessantly about her Latino boyfriend festering murkily in my mind, I came to the realisation that I can’t carry on this game of chat-chat-grope any more. This inescapable cycle of talking about stuff that makes you feel things, all while trying not to sound like a closeted masturbator with a more-than-slightly-debilitating obsession with Gabby Logan, has finally become too much. I know, I know, you’re all saying it – ‘but Phil, how are you going to get all those blow jobs that you deserve?!’ – it’s a tough one, and I have say at first I didn’t have an answer for you.
Then, considering never drinking any fluid again in a silent protest to woman’s universal boyfriend-having and dying as a dessicated hollow husk beneath my bed sheets, it came to me.

I need to own one.
So I packed my bags, jumped on the Mail Order Brides Tour and went online to buy myself a lady.

Signing up to this bloke’s site, I get a rather pushy offer of a free download of his e-book in which it says that, “It’s been said that ‘Bride Villa wrote the book on International Dating.’”
Somebody had to say it.

It then goes on to describe at great length, and in scientific detail, the psychology of mail order brides, offering astounding insights such as, “American men are seen as being less chauvinistic, less jealous, and more faithful when compared with Latino men.” Bloody Latino men – seems like I can’t turn anywhere without someone talking about them these days.

Chapter two of the e-book, on ‘The Mate Selection Phenomenon’, puts forth a truly compelling argument for old men from Canada, the US and Western Europe who come to rescue women from their poor developing countries, being deservedly rewarded with the ability to date women, “20, 30, 40, or even 50 years younger” than themselves.
It’s flawless reasoning.

My personal favourite chapter, however, has to be number six – “Honduran Women VS Colombian Women”, which again offers simply mind shattering insights such as, “Both Honduran mail order brides and Colombian mail order brides are quite eager to meet American and other foreign men for romance, love and marriage.” I’m quite eager to meet the author of this generation defining e-book, if I’m quite honest.

Equipped with the knowledge of Honduran and Colombian literacy rates (one in five Hondurans are illiterate, whereas Colombia has a literate population of 90.4%) and flight times, I sought to buy a Honduran lady. But it seems I can’t just buy one – what Bride Villa proudly offers is a Non-Stop dating tour on which you can “Date 1 Or More Beautiful Mail Order Brides Every Day Of The Tour!” What this website is, is basically a vortex channelling you into a frothy old boys’ tour of Tegucigalpan brothels. Still in the throes of gin’s relentless attempts to kill me from the inside out, I couldn’t bear the thought of getting on a plane over the Atlantic, so my hunt went on.

Now, I’m clearly no mug, and eager to get away from the surprise charges of needing to fly round the world myself, I googled free Mail Order Bride sites. Apparently I wasn’t the first.

A Yahoo! Answers user known as Raymond Pist, something I believe a clever pseudonym, put the question out there specifying how he would only bother reading answers that conformed to his strict guidelines.
I particularly like how he’s gone out of his way to ward off what I think is my favourite kind of answer, the “negative femanazi”. Perhaps we can put two and two together and figure out just why this guy’s looking to buy a woman too. I also like that this so-called “Blunt” who answered the question wished him good luck – pah! As if you need luck to buy a woman. Amateur.

Undeterred by the eventuality of having to fork money over to some Russian cyber pimp, who I can only imagine is a deeply unpleasant individual, I persevered and searched for a site which will offer me a woman for one simple down payment. From a list highlighting the best sites for ordering your bride, I tried – specialising in Asian women that want husbands.

This one plays it more like a dating site – you have your profile and you send the women you’re interested in ‘smiles’ that let them know you like the way dat profile picture bangs. It’s all digital-age, respectable, online love-machine stuff, but you can’t help but smell the faint stench of desperation, or notice the visa permits rolling in their eyes. The constant reminder of how many children the women have/want to have underlines the whole vibe of the site with a large, menopausal marker pen.

Kim’s profile page, for instance, offers a “one click to ask if my children live at home” button. I asked. She didn’t answer. Soul crushing. Time to move on to a new site.

According to this page, which helpfully ranks mail order bride sites by factors such as chances of getting a date, Elena’s Models trumps them all, so I set up a profile.

I went for that whole black and white looking away thing that used to be all the rage before Instagram came and filtered everything – I didn’t want to seem like an obnoxious kid, you know. I was cultivating that whole amorous criminal look. But again, nothing.

So I tried another site, this one called Kiev Connections – specialising in exporting Ukrainian women to the rest of the world. Now, I’d highly recommend clicking that link – perhaps not if you’re life-threateningly hungover as it may cause an anxiety attack – but if you do you will be greeted by the floating, bodiless, animated head of the company’s owner, who, in weird, glitchy android head jerks, talks sinisterly of how he’s, “proud to say many new babies have been born.” This is definitely my kind of creepy and I couldn’t help but inquire about one of the numbered women that were presented to me in paid-for head shots. I particularly liked number 9344, and sent an email asking whether I could buy her.

Again, I’m still waiting for a response. Perhaps I should have sent him some of my raps. You know, to kick my application up a gear or two.

With the hangover starting to wear off, and the stark realisation that I may or may not have made a grown woman cry last night, I figured I’d try just one last site.

Welcome to…

With a name like that I was surely quids in. But, unsurprisingly, this site wasn’t letting me contact the women without having entered into a binding pay monthly contract which, based on the Olympic medal tier system, allows you to have varying degrees of communication. Because they’ve trademarked the whole peeping Tom thing, as a self induced ‘Gold Member’ I’d gain free access to the VoyeurCam™ and be privileged enough to send 30 free emails a month and gain access to all the girls’ photos and videos. Tidy. But for $29.99 a month I want to be getting a little more for my money. Maybe like access to my Match-Up survey? Oh, damn. I need to be a platinum member paying $49.99/mo for that.
What is with all this? I was lead to believe that anybody could buy a poor woman on the internet. That there were hordes of them grateful for the opportunity to be with a white European man like me. Now it seems as if they’re all out looking to fleece you for bit coins and terrify you into taking the animated head of Brett Ousely for your God.

The process of just buying a woman isn’t what it used to be. Or at least it’s not as easily googleable – curse you SEO specialists and second search page malaise!

All these sites now have shop fronts akin to your regular digi-love dealers like OKCupid, and they’re all aching to squeeze pennies out of you so you can send imaginary facial expressions to your prospective wife. I was entering the same information for website after website, the same details – trying to be smart and funny and individual in equal measures, much like in an everyday conversation. Unlike talking to a real life woman in front of you, however, you have to pay for the privilege of your dull sentences falling on hardened Slavic eyes and ears. It’s just the chat-chat and none of the grope – the dull without any of the other D.

As soon as my mind cleared and I realised that I was looking at real human beings through a tiny box in my backlit monitor, the reality set in. This is a bi-gendered game of exploitation. Both the men and the women are consecrating themselves to the old Gods in one way or the other, in order to better their lives. These women are looking for better opportunities and have resided themselves with the fact that they can use their gender to their advantage. The men know that these women, in all likelihood, will never love them or care about them, but loneliness is perhaps the cruelest fate, and what does it matter anyway if it’s not true love? Who could possibly know what so-called true love really means? If money can’t make you happy, perhaps what you can do with it will.

However, it’s the digital pimps like animatronic Brett that seek to gain in the long run. They let all the desperate people fill out the forms, offer over their lives, and hand over their hard earned cash. While we are struggling to find love or a ticket to a better life, they sit back in some foreign land in straw Stetsons and sandals, laughing at how we are pathetically undermining our own existences in order to pay for a little Bogotan girl to hand them cocktails with tiny umbrellas.

As much as I’d love to own a woman, I don’t want Brett or Jeffrey or Spike or whoever, hopped up on the power of selling people, to benefit from my torturous desire to find love, or at least a girl I can grope without making her cry.

No. That’s me done, no mail order bride. It’s back to bed and my bottle of baby oil. Who am I trying to kid anyway?

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  • Tom Kershaw

    Phillip. Brilliant stuff.

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