Last month, my husband Mike and I started debating the pros and cons of getting ourselves a foreign bride. We’re tired of housework, and while I love to cook, doing it every evening can get a little tedious. Once we found that Ann B. Davis (Alice from the Brady Bunch) was apparently living in a Texas religious community and Shirley Booth (Hazel) had actually been dead since 1992, we worried we were out of luck when it came to affordable help with the housework. While those two domestic angels clearly worked purely for the love of the family, all the possible housekeepers in our area stubbornly insisted on some sort of monetary compensation. The nerve. If they had gotten to know us they would have no doubt worked for love as well, but those self-centered women were unwilling to give us a fair chance, often physically running from the house when we suggested such an arrangement. A foreign bride seemed like our last and best choice.
Excitedly, we made our plans. If we chose carefully, we imagined getting a bride with some sort of extra special talent. For instance, neither one of us can draw. Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone around who can sketch up a nice doodle here and there? Maybe play an instrument of some sort? Whittle toys for the dog? A lovely singing voice would be a bonus. Our foray into the world of foreign brides would be a little like shopping for the best deal at an orphanage, only we would be under no social pressure to put our bride through college or drive her to and from school events every week. Of course, there was also less chance we could find one who would support us in our old age as a sports prodigy of some sort, but you can’t have everything.
After a little research we discovered a one time payment of $2000-$4000 should cover the cost. Since we weren’t necessarily trying to find the smartest or prettiest bride, we figured we’d be at the lower end of the spectrum.
Next, we had to decide on a country from which to import our bride. Mike immediately suggested Asia, as we’re both bad at math and he thought maybe she could help us with our Quickbooks. Admittedly, it would be nice to have someone around who was good at math, but I was pretty sure a bride from any country would be better at math than we were, so it didn’t necessarily pin us down to Asia.
I was perusing Amazon when I spotted a Russian bride for sale. This, I thought, was the better option. I wanted the grout in the shower not only cleaned, but cursed and humiliated by a blond in an angry, guttural language. German foreign brides, while guttural, were considerably more expensive and might eventually try to take over the household. In addition, if we bought an old-school Olympics-style Russian bride, maybe she could help tote out the heavier trash or hold the car up while Mike changed the oil.
Svetlana arrived with a few meager belongings and a spare backpack full of Russian nesting dolls which I had specifically requested as part of the deal. Russian nesting dolls had delighted me as a child, and I couldn’t pass up the chance to get some from the motherland. The owner of the company sponsoring Svetlana had been more than willing to throw them in, as Svetlana was getting older and she wasn’t exactly the average bride shopper’s first choice, what with her meaty arms and strong, broad back. Personally, I think the other bride shoppers had their priorities out of whack.
Mike and I explained to Svetlana that she would be off the hook for sex – we just wanted her to keep the house neat and cook most evenings. She seemed very relieved, and admitted that this would save her the endless hours spent plotting our deaths for her eventual escape once she realized her American husband was a sexual deviant and virtually undatable in his own country. It was a win-win for both of us. Svetlana then fished from between her mountainous breasts a homemade shiv that she had fashioned from the shards of a broken nesting doll and tossed it in the trash. We all had a good laugh.
Things went very well after that. Svetlana delighted us with childhood stories of bread lines and the color gray. I had to let her into my family’s cache of recipes after she attempted to serve us vodka and beet soup for three straight days, but after that we enjoyed a dazzling array of vodka and hamburgers, vodka and chicken, and even vodka and steak — some of our favorites.
Then, a few months in, we realized the flaw in our plan. Svetlana’s visa would run out unless my husband and I got divorced and one of us married her, which didn’t really sit well with either of us. She may have overheard our exchanges over this impending problem. Before we could even formulate a new plan or arrange for another bride to take her place, Svetlana ran away with our single neighbor, Bob. They are living happily at The Villages in Florida.
We will always miss our Russian bride, particularly since we hear she is currently the reigning golf champion at The Villages. She might have been able to support us in our old age after all.