Opinion: Jackpot marriage

Jake Crissman

Jake Crissman

Jake Crissman is a sophomore English major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].

They say that marriages start to get rocky after the first two years, when the thrill of newlywed bliss wears off and the realities of “until death do us part” start to sink in. While half of the marriages in this country are ending in divorce, it’s pretty clear that a good number of people are unhappy with their relationships.

But whether or not they decide to stick it out or call it quits, every couple has been asked to retell the cute, little story of how they met. And what if you could say, “Oh, yeah, her old man offered me $65 million to do it, so I totally did”?

Hong Kong property tycoon Cecil Chao Sze-tsung has offered a sum of nearly $65 million to any man that will marry his daughter, 33-year-old Gigi Chao. Cecil said he doesn’t mind whether the man is rich or poor, as long as he is generous and kindhearted. However, Cecil does want the suitor to have the potential and talent for starting his own business — that’s where this huge reward comes in handy. Sounds like a sweet deal, right?

There is one kicker: Gigi is already married. In April she tied the knot with her longtime girlfriend of seven years, Sean Eav. The two reportedly exchanged vows in Paris, where gay rights aren’t as restricted as in Hong Kong.

Now, to you and me, this reward might seem like a slap in the face, but actually Gigi has taken it as a display of her father’s love for her. In Hong Kong, marriage is a form of social status, and being gay is taboo. Homosexuality was only officially decriminalized in Hong Kong in 1991, yet same-sex marriages still aren’t recognized in the territory.

It is for this reason that, out of respect for her parents, Gigi refuses to confirm whether she is married or gay. She said she is very close with her father and that they talk every day on a personal level. Her 76-year-old father — who has never been married and has a reputation of being a ladies’ man and having had some 10,000 girlfriends — denies all reports of his daughter’s marriage and sexuality, dismissing them as rumors.

Gigi has received many offers for her hand from men all over the world. It is highly doubtful she will entertain any of these offers, but that won’t stop people from dreaming.

Then I wondered what it’d be like if I threw my hat in the ring. We could be great friends, Gigi and I. I’d happily let her be with her wife while I lived out my life halfway around the world. I’d have “Daddy” Warbucks fly me out to China for all the bigwig high-society parties to show face — I would be a trophy husband.

And with that $65 million, life would be too easy. All of my dreams would come true. I could travel all around and immerse myself in the many cultures this planet has to offer. I could buy a boat. I could ultimately move to Colorado and write in peace and not have to worry about financial sustainability.

But then I think about how the focus is on the money and not on the girl and her love. That’s what the whole point of this stunt is; the money is there to entice you to want to be with her. That’s not right. That’s not how it should be. If you can’t come to terms with your daughter’s choices, then keep it to yourself; don’t go putting her on blast in front of the whole world.

So I guess I’d better stop entertaining my big-money dreams for now. Oh well; what’s life without conflict, anyway?