Ladies, here's how you can really marry a millionaire

08:24, July 01, 2010      

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With all the media attention being paid to matchmaking businesses and television shows designed to introduce ordinary, if extraordinarily beautiful, young women to millionaires, I can tell you how to really marry a man worth a million dollars, for 5.9 yuan.

That's the price of a DVD of an old American movie, How to Marry a Millionaire, at the local Wu-Mart here in Beijing. It's in English, with Chinese subtitles. There's also a dubbed option. Three glamorous 1950s actresses star in this 1953 movie: Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable and Lauren Bacall.

The characters they play in the movie decide to temporarily live in an expensive apartment to impress millionaires - their shortcut to a life of happiness and security, they tell themselves. They decide that because they're all beautiful, it will be easier to work together to find their millionaires.

That's how Shanghai-based Golden Bachelor Matchmakers works in cities such as Beijing. They hire a beautiful woman as a "love hunter," because the company is convinced she will be surrounded by young, beautiful friends. Golden Bachelor Matchmakers is essentially a middleman. In the movie, the young women work without a middleman to find their millionaires.

But in the movie each young woman falls for a man who is worth more than a million dollars to her, because she truly loves him. It's not an original story.

There are probably a dozen newer movies available on DVDs right now, not to mention hundreds of books, which tell the same story. In movies, literature and real life, true love tends to trump money.

In How to Marry a Millionaire, the character played by Marilyn Monroe hides her thick glasses because "men don't make passes at girls who wear glasses". She'd rather bump into things and guess at what's on the restaurant menu while on dates. She ends up falling in love with a plain but good-hearted man who also wears thick glasses, because she can stop pretending and just be herself - and put back on her glasses.

The character played by Betty Grable meets a man and first believes he owns a mountainside.

But he is only a forest ranger who loves living and working on the mountainside. She happily falls in love with him and "his" beautiful mountain.

The character played by Lauren Bacall refuses the attention of a man who dresses in old clothes and who eats plain food at cheap restaurants. She tries to ignore him, dating every older rich man she meets, instead. But eventually she falls in love with the man in old clothes. It is only after she falls in love with him that she discovers he is actually rich. He just doesn't like to show off his wealth.

The moral is, money can buy attention, but it can't buy real love. There will always be women who marry men for their money, but "love hunters" know it's not about love. It's about matching a millionaire to a woman with the newness of youth, the "right" looks and size - the same attributes these men look for when shopping for a shiny, new car.

You can't blame a young woman for wanting a few dates that involve fancy meals, maybe a few gifts and a ride in a gleaming car. But no smart young woman wants to be the new "car."

The love I see in my neighborhood - not on the DVD I bought at Wu-Mart, not on TV shows and not in newspaper stories about "love hunters" - is the real stuff. It's about two students walking hand in hand at the college campus across the street, staring into each other's eyes as they listen to each other's dreams.

It's about two old people laughing as they walk down a side street on a warm evening, calling out to other old couples on the sidewalk, some with smiling grandchildren in tow.

That's what the "love hunters" can't promise, for any price.

Source: China Dailiy(By Renee Haines)


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