It’s no secret that finding a man in these times isn’t easy. Popular culture tells us so and my friends agree. As young men lose their masculinity and spend more time shopping and hairstyling than women, as they turn up the collars of their pink shirts and embrace metrosexuality, as they are taught to be afraid of commitment, of losing their freedom to a nagging wife and crying child, as they pick up women and then never call again, women losing their self-esteem and spending an inordinate amount of time dieting and trying to look pretty. Or picking up men and never calling them again. Or convincing themselves that they are happy being alone. So many people seemingly confused about what they are supposed to be doing with their lives with so many choices at their disposal – to be married or not, to have children or not, to travel the world, or buy a house, or buy shares or a sports car, to spend every weekend in an oblivion of drugs and alcohol, to be free to do whatever they want to do with no ties. In Australia, more people live alone than any other time in history, with more money and more debt than any other time.
In Jakarta, many of my Indonesian friends are feeling the fear of growing old alone, even at the tender age of 25, but they don’t have the same confusion about what they will do with their lives. The direction they are heading in is clear – they are going to get married, have children, and grow old – hopefully buy a house, hopefully stay healthy, probably look after their aging parents, and probably make a trip or two to Jogyajakarta.
As time passes, perhaps people will be more accepting of relationships which cross cultures and will get out of their mail order bride thinking. Perhaps the Indonesian wages will increase to a fair level so that they don’t seek out old men or women to make their fortune, maybe women will stop being used for sex and men will control their need for satisfaction. Maybe there is a better chance of the return of Jesus Christ. Or a virgin birth.
Until that time, I will enjoy my relationship with my Indonesian man who talks about having kids and growing old together, who laughs a lot and takes me out to dinner, who is smart and caring, and tall and brown skinned. Yes, I will continue with my trite blog and plans to ban the use of loud speakers to project religion onto the masses while he continues to snore blissfully. And even when he is awake. I will continue to blame men for the horrors of the world. I may even set up an online dating service for Australian women and Indonesian men with promises of a little sweetness. And then I will just relax in the knowledge that in this house, everything is okay.