I received my first marriage-proposal much sooner than one for my first date (accepting neither). It was during my summer break near Sochi, Russia when I was eight.
I was playing in my grandparents’ garden – always perfumed with fresh-growing fruit, lush with Isabella grapes, and garish with flowers. Picking strawberries, I heard someone ask, “Can I have some?” It was a boy peeking through the fence. I recognized him as my Georgian neighbour. I gave him some strawberries. Seeing ten or so bushes of the vibrant berry in my grandparents’ garden, he must have deemed them as a fitting dowry.
“Marry me,” he said out of the blue.
I tried to remember the polite negative response.
While I pondered, the 10-year-old boy was revealing the dynamics he planned for our marriage: “We will live in the barn-house. You will be my wife. And Dasha (whoever that was) will be my mistress.”
I quickly found the answer to that, “You and Dasha can go live in your barn-house. I’m too good for both of you!”
I turned on my heel, ignoring my rejected fiancé as he called to me to return.
Running to the house, I collided with my mother who reminded me, “Your Delphina (some soap opera I watched with my grandmother) is starting in a few minutes.”
I gave my mother a haughty look, and exclaimed, “I’m too old for that rubbish. I now have experience!”
I went to watch cartoons instead.
Morale: Don’t take love lessons from soap-operas and share your strawberries wisely.