As I told you in last week’s installment of “A Life of Love” – in preparation for our wedding, Feyma and I had to attend a couple of pre-marriage seminars. There were two required seminars.
First was a seminar that was required by the Philippine Government, it was focused on birth control. Apparently, this kind of thing was not taught in schools in the Philippines at that time (there is sex education in the schools now, at least to some extent), but at that time, a lot of people really had no information or education about birth control.
The second seminar we had to attend as required by the Catholic Church. Since we were to be married in the Church, we were also required to attend this seminar before we could have a wedding.
This article will focus on the Government seminar about birth control.
City Health Office
For this seminar, we had to go to the General Santos City Health Department, as I recall the seminar started at 1 PM and went through the afternoon, maybe 4 hours or so. When we arrived for the seminar, it seemed that there were probably about a dozen couples in attendance, so 24 people or so. Actually, there were like 25 people, because, in addition to Feyma and I, we also brought Feyma’s sister, Sally. Sally said she would come along so she could interpret for me in case the seminar was not conducted in English. I am not sure why Feyma could not have interpreted, but that is another point and not the focus of this article.
The Seminar Starts
After waiting for about 20 minutes for all of the participants to arrive (Filipino time means that everybody is late most of the time). So after the seminar got started, the instructor told us that the topic was, more or less, birth control and how to stop having too many babies. Population control was a real problem in the Philippines at that time, probably still is. After explaining the topic for the seminar, the instructor turned to me and said: “Mr. Martin, I think you already know the information that will be covered in this seminar, so if you don’t mind, I will conduct the seminar in our local language.” I agreed that it was no problem, and she proceeded to get going. She started drawing some pretty “graphic” pictures on the chalkboard and just based on the pictures alone, I could tell what the seminar was all about. 🙂
All of the lectures were in a combination of Tagalog and Bisaya, but I was able to follow along through the pictures, a few words of English mixed in, and interpretation from Feyma’s sister. I am sure that Feyma’s sister was embarrassed to be telling me what was being said, but she did her best!
Suddenly, everybody turned to me
All of the sudden, the language completely switched to English, and the instructor turned to me. She said to me:
Mr. Martin, we would like to ask you a question.
OK, I said, what would you like to ask?
Would you prefer to have a wife who is good in the kitchen or good in the bedroom?
Oh. My. God. No matter how I answered the question, I was in trouble! I felt that I was really set up for disaster, no matter how I answered. I thought about it for maybe 30 seconds, carefully considering what I should say. All of the eyes in the room were fixed on me, anticipating what I might say. You could have heard a pin drop.
I figured out what I would say
After my words came to me, I answered:
Well, I said, I think I would prefer a wife who is good in the bedroom.
The whole room broke out in laughter. I looked at Feyma and she was totally embarrassed, her face was a bright shade of red!
The instructor replied to me in a very matter of fact way:
Why do you prefer good in the bedroom?
I answered in a very calm and matter of fact fashion:
Well, the way I see it, If I marry a lady who is good in the bedroom, I can always hire somebody to cook. However, if I marry a lady who is only good in the kitchen, she probably would not like it if I hire a lady to take care of the “good in the bedroom” part of it.
Again, the room went silent. The instructor finally spoke. She said:
That is a very good answer!
I took a question that was a real loser no matter how I answered and found probably the only response that would make me look good! The instructor just moved on, and she never asked me another question for the rest of the seminar!
I have had a lot of fun with this story over the years, but I can assure you that it is 100% true, and honestly did happen! Even Feyma liked my answer, despite the fact that she was very embarrassed by the whole situation!