Glimpses of a Thai Woman – My Wife

Beautiful Red Traditional Thai Dress
I had been thinking about sharing more about my wife. She is an amazing person and an incredible woman. I was all set to commit myself to the keyboard, but decided to visit Facebook for a few minutes.

My wife’s oldest daughter, Eeoo, who is going to school in Chiang Mai, had just posted this quote.

“If you have reasons for loving someone, then you are using your mind, but if you love someone for no reason, then you are using your heart.”

I have linked that sentiment to the webpage it came from for those of you who would like to teach yourselves how to read Thai.

Well, that snippet set me back a couple of days. I feel better, now.

I was briefly discombobulated because I have a lot of reasons for why I love my wife. I am closer to accepting that my relationship to life is, in large part, filtered through my brain.

I was actually feeling a little guilty; like, as if, it is only OK to experience one’s life with their heart or that all heartness trumps ideas or whatever …. I’m pretty sure you can fill in a few either or’s.

So, I reflected on my dilemma. I imbibed in a bit of introspection. I even looked that word up – Contemplation of one’s own thoughts, feelings, and sensations; self-examination. Well, I looked up imbibe, too. It is another nice word. I feel good about choosing them both.

Anyway, if I were one of those people who loved their partner very very much and didn’t have a list of reasons or thoughts about it, this piece would be over or never started.

Perhaps, you have used the following process, also.

What I did was to detach from the unpleasant aspects of my reaction and watch. It wasn’t long before I realized (Some might says, rationalized.) that even though I can list qualities that I consider catalytic to the presents of love inside me – ah ha! – love itself is a mystery. That I love her so much boggles my mind; as does the fact that loving her exponentially expands as days roll into nights and dawns awaken us.

I’m thinking that if I throw a few labels down there, emotional responses will ensue; or reoccur as the case may be.

Here are the first ways “she” gets labeled.

I’m pretty sure her parents gave her the name Wireyapon, which probably has three or four spellings and many more pronunciations. I hear most people call her Joht, which she really prefers I not call her because of my accent. I use that nickname only when I am having trouble getting her attention. For the most part, I call her Wahn Jai “Sweet Heart”, and alternately use her ThaiLoveLinks name Ponra. Once in a while, I address her as pahnlahya – wife.

She is the youngest of eleven children.

She was her father’s favorite.

When she was eighteen, she attended him through the drawn out period of cancer eating his life. When I met her, she was attending to the care of her mother, who had ingested her fill of days and passed about eighteen months ago.
Emissary of The Land of Smiles
Ponra has a powerful personal presence. It is easy to loose sight of the fact that she is only 150cm and 46 kilos. She can be fierce and I have witnessed profound courage on several occasions. When challenged she remains composed and will not back down.

She is very good at telling people what to do and seems to be enlivened when someone asks for her opinion or advice.

I think her education was fairly limited, at least by Western standards. However, it seems easier for her to learn English than it is for me to learn Thai. She is very clever; and gives a great deal of thought to issues that concern her.

It is a fair guess that many of her characteristics, that I admire, are basic traits of the traditional Thai culture: a communal caring for family, as well as, friends; generous support for those groups; and frequent social involvement.

There certainly is enough mystery. I find that quite appealing.

I mean, we are from two extremely different worlds. However, behind the veil of our respective enigmas dwells and frolics our common ground of humanness.

OK! Yeah, there are some things that bug me.

She has fantastically skewed ideas about bacteria. Fortunately, I’ve long been a fan of Claude Bernard. Not just his theories about Milieu Interieur, but also, a core tenet of his, “It is what we think we know already that often prevents us from learning.”

AND – she does not like domestic animals nor is she in favor of much flora, but she does show at least a temporary willingness to compromise, which could just be a biding her time kind of tolerance. We’ll see how long the cat lasts. My pet squash vine got composted last week.

What do I think I know about my wife?

She is: strong; powerfully commanding; determined; persevering; brave and courageous; afraid of people only after they die; trusting; devout in her beliefs; committed to her goals; tenacious in her chores and choices; exemplary with her cooking; well balanced with patients and impatience; affectionate; composed; able to be vulnerable; cries well; her laugh is a rejuvenating elixir; her smile melts me and most importantly she puts up with me, which is an ongoing testimony to her open minded willingness to explore and cohabit this ever evolving adventure we call chee-wit.

There’s more, of course, but I am confident you get the gist.

I like rattling off a list of reasons, once in a while. I, also, like the way she says, “My rloo.” when I ask her why she loves me.

Sammi Law

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