My buddy John is an odd guy. Extremely attractive, charming, well-groomed and well-off, he met his bride when doing a search on the internet using the key words “Black Christian Virgin”. He found a page, put up by the girl’s own brother, where his future wife solicited from Ghana for a wealthy American husband. He then paid a dowry for her, and they were married. Over the last few years, he’s funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars into Ghana as a result, usually with no actual return, only photographs of the bus service he owns, or the mansion that’s been built by the family for him there.
I’ve never quite understood him, who is objectively speaking so much more marryable than I am, but still felt compelled to actually shop for one. In fact, I don’t understand any of the men who go for mail-order brides. But they’re out there, and if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to shop for a woman like a car, Harper’s has a fascinating first-hand account from a journalist who toured through the Ukraine with a tour company called ‘A Foreign Affair’ that tries to hook-up American tourists with foreign brides.
As you’d expect, it’s a seedy, desperate affair in which women utterly desperate to escape a hell hole of a country demean themselves for lonely or misanthropic men with no other romantic prospects. It’s a sad but engrossing look on an industry that preys upon two-sided desperation.
A Foreign Affair [Harper's]