I never thought it would end this way. Like most people, I tend to think I’m special, so I thought I couldn’t possibly get divorced. How wrong I was.
Our whirlwind love affair started a week ago when a friend mentioned to me that the TV studio in Hangzhou was looking for couples to be on a game show. They wanted a foreign guy married to a Chinese woman. I was a perfect candidate minus the whole wife part. But that’s easy enough to fix in China . I would do anything for my one true love, game shows.
So word around the office spread that I was looking to get married. Lots of women pretended to throw themselves at me. I felt on top of the world. All I had to do was snap my fingers and I knew I’d have a made-for-TV Chinese wife. Even married women couldn’t resist my charm. That, or they wanted a free trip to the south. We’ll never know which one it was.
I’ve read a lot of marriage advice and one thing has stuck: if you’re going to marry someone for TV, make sure you know the person. With that in mind, I proposed to my friend Alysha since she’s the person I know best at work. I explained the whole “go on TV as a married couple” thing as best I could. I’m not sure she got it. She asked me why I wanted her to go. I told her it would be fun. She said that you can’t just get married for fun. I told her that you can if you’re on TV.
She thought about it for a minute, or at least she looked like she was thinking, then she said no. She actually rejected my fake proposal. I was devastated. I consoled myself with the thought that maybe going on TV and pretending to be married to someone she had a crush on was just too real for her.
On the rebound, I scanned the office with a bit more desperation than before. After half an hour of careful consideration, I struck again. This time I asked one of the Chinese teachers, Hannah. She told me that she would marry me if she could get the days off. Our boss said that nothing should stand in the way of love, smiled, and used her boss powers to bring us together.
The best way to show your love is to take pictures of it, so that was our next logical step. We went to the park near our school and snapped what felt like a hundred engagement photos. My flat mate got a little carried away in his role as photographer. He had us changing locations, trying different poses, and, most importantly, gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes. The pictures turned out surprisingly well.
The next day we sent all the official paperwork into the TV station and the waiting game began. I guess that included our names and a few pictures, since we didn’t actually have any paperwork to send. Would they love us enough to film us doing stupid things on television? In the meantime, the wife and I settled into a routine. Sure, we didn’t talk very much and I never told her I loved her, but I’m sure she knew. Our media dream kept us together.
A few days later, we got what my friend called good and bad news. I knew that meant it was just bad news. “They loved you guys, but they’re changing the show around,” she said. No Chinese game show for me. My one true love had rejected me.
It was inevitable, then, that Hannah and I split up. She’s a nice enough girl and all, but we didn’t have ‘it’ anymore. Unlike most couples, we know exactly when we lost ‘it.’ When we couldn’t be on TV anymore. Our shared dream sank like the Titanic and our marriage was drowned by the wake created when something so massive goes under.
What did I learn from my first marriage? As per usual, I didn’t learn anything and I refuse to take any blame.