Montserrat May 1973

When I complained to first wife, that half of my AA meetings were filled with sharing of relationship troubles, she replied, “that’s because you don’t know what a relationship is.” I asked second wife do you think I know anything about relationships? Her response, “yes, you taught me about relationships.” Confidently, I told prospective third wife that I was 90% well-adjusted when it comes to this relationship stuff. After a year of tearful daily emotional evisceration, I was only confident about one thing, Eckhart Tolle was right. “Relationships aren’t meant to make you happy, they’re to help you grow up.”

Longing for the nurturing wing of second wife, the encouraging visits with the psycho-therapist, the first time experience of wearing one pant leg in the family business and most importantly the money, put a gigantic rock in my path of least resistance. Forget growing up in a relationship raz-ma-taz. Forget psycho-therapy I couldn’t even come up with a buck for an AA meeting. The last time I was in a fix this bad was between first and second wives’ relationships but then a $5/hr. job as a beverage counselor – “you look like a Miller Lite kinda-guy” – at a Shell service station sustained me. Then 48 now, 63 the old geezer minimum wage jobs were impossible to find. Worser still I was once again at the bottom #22 on Esther and Jerry Hick’s Emotional Guidance System:

Physically diminished from 235 to 165 lbs, Emotionally eviscerated to #22. Fear/Grief/Depression/Despair/Powerlessness

22. Fear/Grief/Depression/Despair/Powerlessness.

I got down on my knees and prayed. I meditated by walking 3 hours a day– old geezers walk, not jog – but my two home brewed affirmations did the trick. I’m not sure which one was most effective a) “If money were no object, I’d be on a jet plane to Kathmandu,” or b) “All the vaginas in China aren’t worth this shit.” Maybe they overlapped, anyway, a month later I was on a jet plane to China, not Kathmandu.

‘Shark Oil’ salesman Mainland China 2008-2014

China is not a country for old men, you are too old for the women you want to marry and the ones that do want to marry you don’t speak English. I spent five years wishing it weren’t so but only proved to myself that, “not being in a relationship makes you unhappy and only helps you grow older.”

I tried bridging the cross-cultural divide by reading John Gray’s manual: Mars and Venus in Touch. But the most sage advice came

Women Need to Receive

Men Need to Receive













from a New Yorker at an AA meeting in Hong Kong. After listening to my woe-is-me dissertation on relationships he gave me the straight scoop. “men want a mommy with sex privileges.” This explained everything, maybe my first wife didn’t want to be my mommy and the China oldies that offered to be my mommy, I rejected linguistically speaking.

My best bachelor bud in China

My best ESL teacher ‘bud’ had one of those Chinese mommy arrangements and even though she could speak good English, he complained about the lack of in depth conversation, her single parent status and the extended family to infinity and beyond.

I contemplated for awhile on this mommy with sex privileges idea, but each month looking for the privilege without the tangling alliances became more challenging. Prostitution, cheap and readily available in China was tempting but that left out the mommy part. I got down on my knees again, horizontal meditation this time around, walking in China requires constant vigilance, to watch your step and the state of mindfulness  is continuously disrupted by “Hello’s.” In desperation I began revising my affirmations weekly.

Rodos Ferry Boat Kiss Oct 2015

My final revision in February 2011 “I want a XXX and XXXX XXXX,” quickly led to a putative marriage with my third wife. She didn’t want to be my mommy, said I needed a daddy, to ’spine-me-up’ from this “I want my mommy” crap and get a life. She’d cook, I’d wash the dishes and together we could have a privileged relationship. Well, I’m here to tell you in 2018 that I’m still at #1 on Esther Hicks’s Emotional Guidance System: