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CON-ARTIST OR PICKY BRIDE?

By Oksana Leslie

picky brideYears ago I had a classmate, a friend, let’s call her Olga.  One of the things we had in common was desire to find a husband overseas.  For me it worked out well.  My husband Keith Leslie and I were introduced through mutual friends in 1997, and were married in 1998 till his death in 2007 separated us.

My friend was searching for her soul mate longer…

She shared with me via emails how she met with one guy in Moscow, and with another American in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and that neither one seemed to be her Mister Right.

One day, in 2000, she gave our phone number to her new American pen pal.  She was hoping we will say nice things about her character, profession and intentions to meet with him in Turkey.  However, she never asked us if she could give him our phone number and what we could say and what not to say. 

When I had a chance to talk to the man, let’s call him Bill, I was trying to convince him that my friend whom I knew for years is a doctor, indeed, and a very smart woman. 

Olga asked Bill to send her 700 dollars for their trip to Turkey.  He was not sure if he should do it via Western Union.   Maybe he was concerned that she would get robbed, I do not know.   I flew to Russia for my father’s funeral.  Bill sent money to our Arizona address so I personally deliver his dollars to Olga.

While I was visiting my family, Bill kept calling to Keith and bugging him with his mistrust and concerns.  Keith found the guy annoying. He hated that Olga gave him our phone number.  One day Bill called Keith again and asked what he thinks about if Olga decides not to meet him and keeps the money?  Keith responded: “Why should she do that?  She met with two Americans already, is continuing to look for a better match.  You have nothing to worry about!”

Bill started calling Olga and blaming her in lying to him.  He was angry that she met other men, but told him that he was her only American friend.  He did not like that she was that choosy bride who had her options open.  Olga got mad and never went to Turkey to meet Bill.  Of course he tried to get his money back!  That never happened.  She told Keith and me that she deserves that money, because all the time she spent on writing to the guy. 

As a result our relationship was damaged seemingly by this event. Olga wrote us a big letter blaming us for the situation. She was mad at me for sharing her adventures with my husband.  She could not understand that in this strange new country with no relatives my husband was my friend and my family. I shared everything with him, even my Russian friend’s stories.  To Olga, we were rotten to the core, for selling her out to Bill.  Keith could not understand her reaction.  He was only honest. What he told Bill made sense to him. 

Ten years passed.  I forgot Olga, Bill, had two boys with Keith.  I re-married, had a third son with my Russian husband, Sergey.

One day my husband asked me to make him a page on Russian classmates’ website.  I did. That site shows if someone has visited your page.  Usually, if someone visits your page that you don’t know, you just ignore that person. I started looking for my classmates through his page. Yes, sneaky, like a spy.  Well, I found Olga.  She was still single, almost 40, still working as a doctor in our home town.

Days later we got a letter – Olga responded to my husband’s virtual visit.  She noticed him as Russian living in Florida.  She complimented his job, - she checked few his pictures.

I was shocked.  My husband is not that Brad Pitt kind of guy to get excited about from the first look at him.   But – he was an American man to her.  The irony of the situation is that Olga was fishing my Russian husband in 2010 after breaking up our friendship in 2000.

I was wondering – how many places Olga visited already to find her one true love? I confronted her and we are “friends”.  I never do any matchmaking or brokering since that experience with Olga.  My friend told me that she travelled abroad many times, seen over twenty countries, and still did not find Mister Right.  She feels like she succeeded in her career, but has no family life.

I met Americans who believe that any Russian would do anything just to get to America. This is not true.  There are strong willed women like Olga who won’t bend their pride and taste just to get a green card.   Some women maybe are ready to “suck it up” to stay in this country, but some would never appease a man or pretend she is in love if she is not.

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