Pride and Prejudice, or the Single Girl’s Life in a Small Caucasus Town

My host mom heard I liked a Turkish guy.

She pulled me aside with a kind and sweet smile.  “Ruth,” she said, “you will have cultural differences with this boy.”  I sigh heavily, thinking I know where this is going, because somehow ’tis my pattern to like boys of different cultures and to be warned away.  I stare into the sinking fire, squaring my shoulders against the usual.

She nods wisely and continues.  “You need to find a good Georgian boy.”  I look up in surprise.  I bite the inside of my mouth to stop a traitorous smile.  How will a small-town Georgian Orthodox macho boy be any better a match than an Istanbuli secular Muslim?  Curious.

My host mom’s on a roll, thinking my choked silence and crooked mouth means a possibility of American capitulation to wily Georgian sex appeal.  She leans forward and raises her eyebrows conspiratorially.  “He’s single.  Thirty-seven.”  Already the huge red flag is raising and waving madly–in this part of the world this is a very suspicious sign in a man–but I let her continue. “His name is Soso, and he’s not in prison anymore, and he’s unemployed.”  She smiles winningly at me, like she’s just let me in on the jackpot.

I blink for a second.  What is the diplomatic response to this?  I return her smile and choke down another laugh.  “See, the thing is,” I say eventually, “I don’t like the name Soso.”

And I carefully return my gaze to the fire, glad a season-long power-outage will help my scraggly hair hide my face.  “But thank you for thinking of me, anyway.”

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About sputnitsa

Born in the US, I grew up in Africa and the West Indies, and returned stateside in my teens. I've worked in international development, social justice and democracy work, and inclusivity training both domestically and overseas. I have served in Peace Corps, where I experienced my first Russian invasion, after which I volunteered with refugees and mentored youth. I vacation climbing minarets and mountains, as well as exploring theaters, museums and parks. Here in New York, I produce short films, direct short plays, and write.
This entry was posted in Caucasus, interfaith dating, Marneuli, Peace Corps, Republic of Georgia, travel and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Pride and Prejudice, or the Single Girl’s Life in a Small Caucasus Town

  1. Maggie says:

    I only wish I could have seen her face as she told you all that. Thanks for the morning laugh!

  2. sputnitsa says:

    She has the most mischievous, adorable face, too. But of course she was dead earnest about this promising catch. 🙂

    Thanks for coming by 🙂

  3. messera1 says:

    Very cute post! This is the norm in Armenia as well – I’ve even had the Obudsman of Human Rights promise to find me a husband; another girl was promised yesterday by the Minister of Defense that he would find her a husband… all in a day’s work, right?

  4. sputnitsa says:

    Hilarious 🙂

    The Ministry of Justice came to speak with volunteers about their rights in Georgia, and hilariously, the first right we were informed of was — the right to marry a Georgian.

    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

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