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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ye Ole Grab Bag

As a kid I would shop for the best buys at the penny candy stores. Something you should know is - - that not all penny candy has been created equal.

I had many favorites, but there was one that was always included in my nickel purchase, and that was the “Guess What.” There wasn't much mystery, because it always included two taffy kisses, and then some kind of small toy.

In British law there was a warning called, “Caveat Emptor.” - - Latin for 'Let the buyer beware' in America it was called, “Don’t buy a pig in a poke.” The advice being given is, 'Don't buy a pig until you have seen it'. The fact is, it might not be a pig at all.

The grab bag has a sense of mystery about it, and likewise the mystery box. You pay your money and hope for the best. Sometime you win and sometimes you don’t. Sort of reminds me of the Lottery!
These things are usually a trivial matter where you can't lose much, but there is another practice that been going on for thousands of years; and that is the mail order bride.

The custom of ordering brides from far away began in antiquity, as evidenced in early Biblical accounts. For example, while dwelling in Canaan, Abraham sent his servant to travel to his home country, and select a wife for his son Isaac. The servant brought back Rebekah, who agreed to marry Isaac, without even seeing him beforehand.

As the Western United States became more settled there were many men who wanted a wife, but women were scarce in the West. Once they had made communication with a woman in the East, she would provide him with the vital information: age, single, widow, children and most important a photo which often was of someone else or a very old photo. In most cases the men took what they got and made the best of it.

Where I lived in 1945 it was unheard of that someone would send off for a wife. There was a man and his son living together; the older man’s wife had long since left. They saw an ad advertising mail order brides and decided they needed someone to do the cooking, housekeeping and such. The dad thought that the son should marry the woman so it would be acceptable in the community, and the son agreed to do that

They sent for a bride and she arrived right away. The lady stayed with them for awhile, and the son decided he wasn't satisfied with her, and wanted her to leave. Well the dad liked her, and wished to keep her around, so he told the lady that he would marry her if it was all right with her. She decided that would be okay, so she married the old dad.

I guess all’s well that ends well!

Proverbs 18:22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing.

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