Don’t Mess With the Janet

In my last mini-blog posting I asked whether anyone was interested in being a guest blogger here at Married A Filipina. Janet had encouraged me to look for alternate views to my own, though she wasn’t quite willing to write anything herself. There was a rousing response to my request. Actually I am being sarcastic – there was no response.

But a couple days later I got pinged on Facebook by a Filipina who said she might be interested. Our first conversation was brief, chopped off by my having to run to work. She asked if she was qualified and I asked if she was in a relationship with a foreigner. I explained what I was trying to do with my blog; document in humorous fashion a relatively new Fil-Am marriage, but that I thought alternative viewpoints, especially a Filipina’s would add spice to the gumbo.

There was a bit of confusion about how she would “profit” from being a guest blogger and I told her she probably wouldn’t profit at all. She encouraged me to join a FB group she was part of which might give me an idea of her point of view. I did and promptly forgot all about it until the next day when she contacted me again.

Somehow we got on the subject of places to retire in the Philippines. She lived outside Metro Manila and believed that area was the best. Cebu she didn’t like, Mindanao was dangerous. “Read the crime statistics” I was told. My life is boring enough without having to read crime stats. “Cebu is not good,” was her conclusion. ”Lots of hookers.” Typhoons also. And too damn hot.

“I have no interest in hookers,” I replied. I thought that living through a typhoon in my post-retirement dotage might be fun. Hot I figured came with the territory throughout the Philippines. I mentioned that I had been to Valencia outside Dumaguete and that was a bit cooler and very nice.

“It’s too damn hot there also,” I was told.

In short the conversation was negative and boring but I did learn that where she lived there were no bars with hookers. I mentioned once again I had no interest or need in hookers, as I had a sexy wife to go home to. That was where I made my big mistake.

“Picture?” I was asked. “Let me see if she is really sexy.”

By now I was annoyed. “You can see her on my blog – there are some pics there. But of course she is sexy to me.”

“Hope you’re not like many expats calling their ugly wife a beautiful wife lol,” she replied.

“Well, if an expat thinks his wife, ugly or not, is beautiful – I think that’s great.”

“You can use the word great but not beautiful,” I was told.

Now I was in the middle of a classic Filipino argument, one that I have had with several Filipinos, as well as several kanos, namely that some foreigners choose unattractive Filipinas for girlfriends and wives. I have touched on this subject before and it is ultimately in my view a silly debate. Tastes are, after all, different. The sort of foreigner who may view the dark skinned, exotic Filipina beauty as his ideal has a different taste than many Filipinos, who value light skin, long noses, a bit of height; in short who value a different set of beauty standards, possibly a whiter set of standards. It’s debatable whether this is a racial issue, a class issue, or just the old fashion “opposites attract.” Bottom line is that I am perfectly happy with Janet’s color and shorter nose, and you can keep all those Caucasian looking Filipina actresses and models they go gaga over in Metro Manila.

But that explanation was not enough for my new found chatmate who insisted that there was an objective notion of beauty and the foreigners didn’t know what it was and that at least instead of declaring his wife beautiful, the foreigner married to the ugly, horse- faced Pinay should merely say “in my eyes she is beautiful.”

Sexy, it was explained was the same. It required a perfect body size. I tried to claim that “Sexy is also an attitude,” but was clearly wrong.

Eventually, I ended the conversation by falsely claiming I had to go back to work. I thought that was the end of that, but boy was I wrong.

That night, over dinner, I told Janet about my weird conversation with the woman from Metro Manila. I was a bit disappointed that she was the only person who expressed any blogging interest.

The next morning I was at work when Janet messaged me on Facebook. She had read the conversation between us and went ballistic. She messaged the woman with an f-bomb laced tirade using adjectives I didn’t even know she knew how to use. Janet is normally such a sweet person, but get her mad and she can go off. Thank goodness I was on the other side of town.

“You’re mad at me too,” I said. “Why?”

“You should have defended me. She was attacking me and you tried to be nice to her.”

“She really wasn’t directly attacking you.” But I understood what Janet meant. In her view the subtle remarks about expats claiming their wives to be beautiful and sexy were, at least to a certain degree, about Janet.

“I don’t yell and curse at women,” I replied. And I realized that there is a vast difference between how I would react to a man and woman. I suspect that if a man insulted Janet I would be pissed and at least unleash my very skilled tongue at him. I might do more, but at my age and with the shape I am in – it’s probably a bad idea. But with a woman – we’re trained to be polite and respectful, so the most I could say to her was “if the man thinks his wife is beautiful, who am I to say she is not.”

None of this satisfied Janet. She had been disrespected and “wanted war.” I think she was ready to hop on the next flight to Manila and meet this woman head on. I was appalled and reminded myself that when we are in the Philippines not to ever allow Janet to get a bolo. That could prove costly to me.

BTW, I couldn’t find any pictures of Janet looking mean or tough, so I had to fall back on Janet’s standard look – cute! And yes, yes, I know that’s my opinion and not based on objective reality. But it’s true and anyone who says otherwise is gonna hear about it – from Janet 🙂

14 thoughts on “Don’t Mess With the Janet”

  1. I just browsed/stumbled across your post. I DO like what you’re doing, and find it both interesting and amusing. To be honest, the above piece got me on the “Filipino argument”, as I’ve found myself, also, embroiled in those (shall we say) disjointed conversations.

    I’ve been married to my current Filipina wife for 9 months. I also have a Filipina ex-wife in America. I now reside in Leyte, Philippines.

    For some years, I made my living as a ghost writer, and I miss it. So, if you’re still seeking “guest” bloggers, please contact me with the necessary information, guidelines, parameters, etc.


    1. Good to hear from you Bob and congrats on your marriage. Janet worked and went to school in Leyte for 5 years, although I never got to visit the island. Someday I am sure. And yes I will contact you!

  2. Dave, there is so much deja vu in your story it is funny. Consider buying your self a black and white stripped shirt and a whistle for when you return to live in the Philippines. I’ve learned over the years how “not to” stir the pot with certain comments as there are just some things included in a language barrier that are never fully understood. An old wise man once said “choose your words wisely” but when married to a filipina, this advice is mandatory and should exercised with even more regularity!

  3. This is the 3rd time i read your blog its always good and funny! Btw janet is beautiful and sexy and all filipina too in our different ways.

  4. Ha Dave
    As I was reading through this post I was saying to myself; ‘what are you doing’, ‘are you crazy to continue conversation with this girl’.
    For every wife of foreigner, there are a hundred waiting to replace her.

    As for Filipinos, yes colour of skin is more important than anything else. Dark skin is associated with farm workers and poverty. That is why the business of whitening cream and additives is worth billions of dollars in Asia

    Most foreigners like myself a bit of colour, but see well beyond that.
    Your dear wife Janet (like my Eden) is indeed very beautiful, as I know her for many years.

    Lesson for you. When you get into a conversation with a girl like this you do not know; there is only two motives; either money or you. All the warning signs were there at the start of your third paragraph

    Hello to Janet, and best Regards

      1. Thank you Janet. Yes, back to beautiful Sunny Southern Leyte. As for Dave; I think we have punished him enough. Probation for 25 years is ample punishment at this stage.

  5. Live to Love & to Laugh …Don’t give a s.. 2 d ppl who r not part of being you …

    I never had an arguments or even fights with somebody because of my / their beauty & vital statistics issues. I am confident enough of who I am & won’t change any of it just to become a somebody who I am not.
    I am always beautiful & sexy on my own ways with or without a Westerners or White people saying so. I love myself as of who I am physically, emotionally , mentally, & to all that beauty matters.

    And to the miserable girl who made a general judgement , all I can say is that, kindly double check why you were left behind??? I knew that your assumptions were totally messed up. You just eaten your own words. I felt sorry for you. I understand that.

    Let’s just be happy for everybody alright? You enjoy yours & I’ll enjoy mine. 😀 😀 😀

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