I Want To See You Soon!

Kupecheskaya Gavan. Estonia.

January 27, 1995
Story by Dennis Mironov

(Translation from Russian)
Click here to see the Russian original text.

Nothing depresses us as much as loneliness.Why does it visit us so frequently? Why doesn't it go away? Yes, loneliness has many faces, and most of them seem to belong to women.

But do these faces always belong to the weaker sex? Let's see. Statistically, Washington, D.C. has the second largest population of single men. Typical here is the 40 year old man with no children. And such men increasingly begin to turn their heads in the direction of foreign lands, trying to imagine our women when thinking about a lifetime partner. Why? Are they loking for a housemaid, or perhaps a more liberated housekeeper?

Not at all. They have something absolutely different on their minds. They think that American women, unlike ours, are too spoiled. Moreover, they know that our women, as opposed to the American female, cannot imagine a family without children. They know that our women think less about a business career, and are not ruled by the almighty dollar. Often in American families,a husband who loses his job loses his wife at the same time. She has no patience to wait for better times (especially when her opportunities for career advancement are greater now than men's by federal law), and she immediately begins to seek a more reliable economic partner. That is of course a new one who is working and hopefully (though more and more infrequently) making more money than she. Such high stakes, such calculating ruthlessness and competitiveness that now passes for an American family, is all beyond our understanding.

Perhaps American men as well find it all too difficult to put up with. For two years now, American marriage service Encounters International has been doing booming business in the Washington suburb of Bethesda, Maryland. It helps people in different countries find each other and make a family. The service has its counterpart office in Moscow and recently opened a satellite office in Tallinn, Estonia. The service is directed by Natasha Spivack,a Russian language professor, who survived the death of a Russian husband and all the pain of loneliness involved in putting together a new family, which she has accomplished. Now she helps others get rid of loneliness.

We've talked about what American men want. Now let's look at the obscure object of their desires: Estonian women. I should know something about that since I, Galina Tsibulenko, am the director of the new Tallinn office. If an Estonian women wants to change her life drastically, she now has such an opportunity through Encounters International. First, she will need to fill out our biographical profile, then attach a few recent photos. After that, she is interviewed for the video camera in English - a must in order to be accepted. Within a week, the profile package with video intervieware delivered to Washington. At the same time, the Tallinn office receives pictures of the American men participating in the project. After reviewing the photos, a women may chose a few men who interest her and write letters to them introducing herself. Men can be attracted just as much by the letter as by the glistening photos.

If it turns out a couple has common interests and views on life, they continue corresponding. And who have the best chances for success? No age group in particular. It has become clear that many women over 40 are not faced with a dead end in their personal life. Women of different ages - from 18 to55 - participate in the correspondence. The oldest American man in the program is 71. All the letters are sent by fax are often exchanged twice a week. Finally, it becomes time to meet, and the man journeys to Tallinn see his potential bride. He is prepared for engagement and brings the rings along. Dropping on one knee, he proposes ... to the great surprise of our women. Who here would have thought that American men could be such chevaliers?

The entire process can cost the man upwards of 2 thousand dollars. As for our women,they are simply required to become members of the club and pay a one-time processing fee. If both the men and woman decide they are a good match and marriage is possible, the woman prepares to move to America. A groom takes upon himself all the paperwork for the visa. In America the prospective husband and wife legally have 3 months to get married. By that time, a prenuptial agreement is composed and signed.

At the time of writing, our Tallinn office has been open for 2 months and 7 women have been corresponding with faraway America. Already in February, one American is getting ready to come to Tallinn. Two more women are waiting for a similar meeting in April. The communication between Estonia and America will become far more extensive in the future. Increasingly, Estonian women are appearing in the Encouters International office catalog in Bethesda. I urge Estonian women of all ages to come into our office and apply. How can it hurt to try? Just call our office, set an appointment, and take alook at our catalog where American men's photos and profiles are displayed. Within the past 2 years, 42 couples have found each between Moscow and Washington and gotten married. Maybe luck will strike one of our women too. Like the one who got a telephone message, "I want to see you soon!"

Encounters International
10419 Snow Point Dr.
Bethesda, MD 20814 USA
Phone: (301) 530-7759
Fax: (301) 530-5564
E-mail: natasha@encount.com