The sky was very clear and sunny in Miami, despite the weather being somewhat hot. Lucy and her thirty contestants, with Kyle included, arrived to the golf course and resort.
I’m surprised Kyle was able to show up for golf today, Lucy thought. He likes golfing like most of the other guys do. Anyway, we had a great one-on-one date but there’s a lot of guys that I need to get to know.
“Have you ever been golfing here in Miami before?” Andy asked Lucy.
“I have ever since I moved here,” Lucy answered. “The golf courses are very scenic, surrounded by palm trees. I’ve never experienced this in Atlanta and besides, there’s only a few of them.”
Andy nodded. “I can imagine. I hear most of the golf courses are way further from Atlanta, like in Augusta or Savannah, for example, where a lot of the famous tournaments take place.”
“I know.” Lucy nodded.
Suddenly, a slightly elderly, graying Hispanic man in his later sixties arrived with red and white vests for Lucy’s contestants.
“Hola señorita y señores,” the man greeted. “My name is Roy Martinez and I’m the owner of this golf course and resort.” Roy then asked Lucy, “¿Cómo te llamas señorita?”
“Me llamo Lucy, señor,” Lucy answered.
“I see there is a handsome bunch of gentlemen with you today to choose from.”
“Yup but I can choose one.”
So the golf course’s owner, Roy gives the guys some pep talk, Lucy thought. And it’s about winning me over even though they are divided into two teams, the reds and the whites. I’m glad the owner is on my side or so.
Speaking of the golfing teams, the red team consisted of Trent, Oscar, Kyle, João, Nathan, Andy, Peter, Adrian, Dion, Felipe, Matt, Giovanni, Calvin, Marcus, and Ivan while the white team consisted of Miguel, Steve, Jared, Derek, Filippo, Edgar, Dylan, Nick, Ernesto, Ron, Johnny, Terry, Isaac, Walt, and Paul. The producers, along with Roy, wanted the contestants Lucy’s parents liked to be together with the ones Lucy’s parents didn’t like and it seemed pretty awkward to Lucy’s contestants.
Aside from that, while Lucy was having small one-on-one time with Andy as they entered the golf course with the rest of the contestants, she noticed that he looked quite like the guy from the Cleveland Indians MLB baseball team who happened to be half African-American and Caucasian, except that his eyes were gray, despite his hair being brown like the mulatto guy from the Cleveland Indians. In addition, Andy was six-foot-four, fit, and athletically built.
Anyway, back to golf. Whoever scored the most points would have one-on-one time with Lucy. So far, the red team did really well with Trent and Adrian having tied with the most points while the white team did poorly. It was Miguel who was scoring the most points for the team but not as much as Trent and Adrian.
Darn, Miguel thought. Looks like Trent and Adrian have one-on-one time with Lucy and if one of them gets a group date dark red carnation, her mom and dad are not going to be pleased when they find out about this.
Since Trent and Adrian were tied with the highest points for the red team, it was going be quite difficult for Lucy to pick who to have one-on-one time with. Both had a lot to offer about themselves so Lucy decided to have one-on-one time with Trent.
Although I scored as much points as Trent did, Adrian thought. I’m glad that he got one-on-one time with Lucy. There are lots of things he wants to talk to her about and so do I but I’ll let him go first.
While sitting under a palm tree, Trent asked, “Have you ever played golf before?”
Lucy shook her head. “Not much but I have done it a lot ever since I moved here. What about you?”
“I have,” Trent nodded. “Both while living in New York and Florida and while visiting relatives in Turkey, Greece, and Germany.”
“So you’ve traveled abroad?”
“Pretty much. I’ve even studied abroad as well in France and China.”
“Can you speak, French, German or even Chinese?” Lucy couldn’t help but laugh.
Trent smiled. “I can speak some French and German but I can’t speak Chinese nor read it. It’s very difficult.”
“Do you know any words in French and German?”
“Some. Like tu es très amusante et interessante and du bist sehr spaße und interessante.”
Lucy smiled. “Meaning you are very fun and interesting. Yup, I know some French and German.”
Trent was amazed. “Wow! And you also speak Spanish since I heard you talking to some guys in Spanish.”
“That is correct. I also speak Italian and I’m learning Russian. Chinese, and Japanese, I can speak some but I can’t read them very well.”
“Wow! You must be quite a multilingual person.”
“Especially with the Spanish, French, German, Italian, Chinese, and Japanese part.”
“It sounds like there is mundo in you and that you’re into many cultures as well as fun and interesting like I’ve mentioned before.”
“I am into many cultures even though I’ve only traveled to a few countries in North America, Canada and Mexico as well as the Bahamas on a Disney cruise ship for a family reunion. I’d like to travel mainly to Europe and even Russia.”
“Sounds interesting. I forgot to say that I’ve also visited Canada and Mexico. In fact, I even have relatives in Canada, mostly in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa.”
“That’s where I also have relatives, except Ottawa and Montreal.”
“What a coincidence, eh?” Trent smiled.
“Of course.” Lucy smiled and nodded.
“Anyway, how has your love life been like if you don’t mind me asking?” Trent wanted to know.
“My parents always set me up with whatever Asian or Hispanic guy they could find because they are similar to their Filipino culture,” Lucy explained. “But I never liked them. They were always whiny and insecure, especially the Asian ones like my own ex-husband who was Filipino. He hated the idea of me being multilingual. He was very possessive so I ended up leaving him. I hope that doesn’t bother you.”
“It doesn’t. I wouldn’t mind dating anyone who is divorced, even if they screwed up.”
“But have you dated anyone who was divorced or widowed before?”
“Nope. I’ve never done that and I haven’t had any luck when it comes to girls nor had a girlfriend or wife for that matter, both in New York and Miami. They think I’m too handsome, intimidating, and unique for them because I’m biracial that they would rather flock to monoracial guys, especially of the same race, because they are easier to tell. Girls think I’m too confusing for them which is why I’ve been a single guy for a long time, not dating anyone. It’s tougher for mixed race guys to get dates compared to mixed race girls.”
“I know a lot of mixed race guys that can’t get a decent girlfriend to be their wife, including my own younger brother who is an entertainment and sports journalist.”
“Yup. It’s typical. Even my own parents who are half Asian and White wouldn’t let me date and marry mixed race guys because they thought they were too attractive. It’s just because they are from the Philippines rather than America.”
“I see. Immigrant parents do seem to be like this.”
“True. But anyway, people want someone they can trust.”
I don’t care if my parents see me having one-on-one time with Trent and if the guys they like are disgusted by it, Lucy thought. But Trent finds the idea of me being multilingual interesting.
“Oh and by the way,” Trent continued. “It was wrong of your ex-husband to not trust you just because you’re multilingual.”
“He always thought I was going to leave him like any guy my parents have set me up with before,” Lucy explained. “It just showed he was insecure, jealous, and paranoid like most of the guys my parents set me up with. They were restrictive like my parents and ex-husband which made me isolated from others, including ones they disapproved of.”
“Was this when you were living in Atlanta?” Trent asked.
Lucy nodded. “It was. Asians and Hispanics, even though there are a few of them, are very possessive over their wives and girlfriends. They are always paranoid about non-Asians and non-Hispanics stealing them away, usually Whites and Blacks since they are the majority.”
“I guess that can be typical in a not-so-diverse community.”
“My ex-husband was like my parents, very strict and overprotective.”
“I can see that in your parents.”
“They think their decisions are better than mine even though I’m living on my own but they keep bothering me. I tell them to stop but they won’t.”
“Your parents won’t always be right, you know.”
Later on, Lucy and her thirty contestants were having a healthy picnic lunch with lean sandwiches, fresh veggies, and water. There was one dark red carnation on the picnic blanket and only one could get the group date dark red carnation.
I’ve never had any quality time with Lucy but I’m looking forward to it, Adrian thought. Same with other guys. We all want to get to know her more.
“I know we haven’t talked much,” Lucy began while sitting with Adrian underneath a palm tree. “But how long have you lived in Miami?”
“Seven months,” Adrian answered. “The weather is very nice and warm all year round. I love the beaches and tropical scenery, starting with the palm trees of course.”
“Same here. I moved here eight months ago from Atlanta, Georgia here in the United States. The scenery there is terrible and the weather there is very cold during the winter which I don’t like a lot.”
“I don’t really like cold weather either. I experienced that a lot in Copenhagen, Denmark, even though the scenery is okay, especially with the Little Mermaid statue.”
“I used to watch Disney’s The Little Mermaid when I was a kid but now I like Disney’s Frozen as well as Pixar movies.”
“I like Disney movies too. But anyway, you know that Hans Christen Andersen wrote The Little Mermaid.”
“He did and he wrote The Snow Queen where Frozen was based on.”
“I saw Frozen. It’s a pretty cute and adventurous movie.”
“I’ve seen it and I like it a lot. It’s not too much of a stereotypical Disney princess movie, even though the main characters, Elsa and Anna are princesses. In other words, it’s not a lovey-dovey-type Disney princess movie. It’s more of a sisterhood Disney princess movie.”
“I know, especially when Elsa and Anna are little girls in the beginning. It’s cute that little girls can relate to them as children.”
“True and for teens and grownups, it teaches them to never fall for and marry a person they just met.”
“I’d never do that but my parents set me up with guys anyway because they are afraid that I will do that.”
“It’s not right for your parents to set you up with guys.”
“They don’t trust me to choose people on my own. They choose for me instead and I end up not liking it.”
“It can happen and I know it’s common for American parents to set up their daughters with some guy they think is good for them but it turns out sour.”
“Every guy my parents set me up with has been crazy and unstable even though my parents convinced me they were good.”
“It’s not always the case.”
“No, of course not.”
“I know in Denmark, parents never set their daughters up with guys nowadays. That was in historical times, especially among the higher classes like royalty, nobility, and aristocracy but those arranged marriages were always unhappy like in an Oscar-nominated Danish movie I saw called a Royal Affair which is a real story in the 18th century. The queen is unhappily married to the king because he is crazy and that their marriage was arranged so she ends up going for the king’s doctor, who happens to be way older, instead. Have you seen that movie?”
“Nope and I’m not thinking of seeing it because I don’t understand Danish. I only understand Spanish, French, German, Italian, some Chinese and Japanese and I’m learning to speak Russian.”
“Amazing. At least you wouldn’t have difficulty traveling nor interacting with foreigners but anyway, where did you learn to speak these languages?”
“I took Spanish in high school and I studied French, German, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, and Russian on my own.”
“Have you traveled or studied abroad?”
“I’ve traveled abroad but mainly in North America and the Caribbean to countries like Canada, Mexico, and the Bahamas. I wish I could go to Europe and Russia.”
“Europe and Russia are very scenic and so are other countries that I’ve been to such as the Dominican Republic even though it’s quite a third world country.”
“I’ve never been to the Dominican Republic but they’ve got interesting resorts and beaches these days.”
“Of course but anyway, have you been set up for an arranged marriage before?”
“I have five years ago and the guy my parents set me up with was very strict and overprotective like them as well as clingy.”
“That’s bad. Was he Filipino like your parents are?”
“Yes but I was never into him as much as he was into me even though my parents liked him.”
“Your parents shouldn’t make you choose who they want because they like that person. They should stay out of your business and let you choose yourself.”
“They’re afraid I’ll make a bad decision even though I’m living on my own.”
“I see. I can tell how they were when they first saw me. They were mean. Of course, they asked if I’m dating and I said no. I’m still a single guy. I’ve only dated one girl before but she cheated on me with some strange guy who happened to be some Eastern European gigolo like what her mother did to her father. This was back in Denmark and I haven’t been dating anyone since then. Anyway, I’m not here to be famous nor anything. I’m here because of you which your parents don’t realize.”
“I try to tell my parents about some guys here but they don’t listen. They think wrongly of them all the time.”
“They’re not looking for fame and money. They are here for you and are fighting over you.”
Lucy smiled. “Of course they are.”
I couldn’t help but smile while having one-on-one time with Adrian, Lucy thought. And at the same time, we were able to share things about our dating lives with each other and some other fun things.
“Another thing,” Lucy wanted to ask. “Do you have any family living here?”
“I do,” Adrian nodded. “They’re living in West Palm Beach. They moved here three months ago after I moved here. I like being close to them.”
“They like it here a lot.”
Later on, Lucy was with her parents while they were playing golf.
“Were you talking to Trent and Adrian?” Lucy’s mother asked.
“It’s none of your business who I have one-on-one time with,” Lucy explained. “Whoever wins the most points gets quality time with me. So far Trent and Adrian had the most. So now you want me to have quality time with Miguel and other guys you approve of?”
“Yes, please,” Lucy’s father said. “For our sake. Don’t forget to give any one of them group date dark red flowers.”
“I’ll only give the group date red carnations to those I can talk to,” Lucy explained.
Suddenly, Keith asked Lucy’s parents to leave because they were trying to destroy her golfing group date and they left.
“Just go on with everything,” Keith suggested.
“Thanks,” Lucy said.
My parents suddenly show up at the golf course and they saw that I was having one-on-one time with Trent and Adrian, Lucy thought. And they are trying to ruin everything I’m enjoying with the guys and the guys they like for me are okay with them being around throughout the whole competition while the ones I sort of like are a bit embarrassed.
“Was that your mom and dad?” Miguel asked Lucy as they were sitting on the grass, holding her hand.
“Yes,” Lucy answered. “They were playing golf. How did you know they were here?”
“I just saw them.”
“But they left anyway.”
Miguel was a bit disappointed. “Darn! They could have watched this golf thing. Aside from that, have you been golfing with your parents before?”
Lucy nodded. “Yup, ever since I moved here. Sometimes we bring relatives who visit.”
“Hey, it’s typical of Filipino families. Same with Cuban and other Latino families. My parents sometimes bring close family friends as well. So what else do you like to do aside from golf? Play tennis, go cycling, hiking, to the beach, fishing, boating, and a lot of other things ever since I moved here to Miami. What about you?”
“I like to go hiking, boating, cycling, fishing, go to the beach, camping, etc.”
“My dad likes to go fishing.”
“I saw that and I heard he likes to go hunting like my dad does.”
I know Miguel and I haven’t been having quality time like my parents want because I’ve been having quality time with other guys, Lucy thought. But Miguel and I are starting to connect again. We’ve talked about our dating and love lives and now it’s the things we like. He even wanted my parents to join this golfing group date even though I didn’t want to.
If I get the group date dark red carnation, Miguel thought. Lucy’s parents would be also be happy and I’m here for her only because I love her.
“I’ve never been married,” Ivan began saying. “But I’ve been engaged once. We ended up splitting due to our busy schedules and traveling separately despite that we had a good relationship so I haven’t been dating nor seeing anyone since. I’ve been single for a pretty long time. I was a with a pro Russian hockey team for four years and had to retire because of a terrible knee joint injury and my ex was a basketball player.”
“So in other words, you lived in Russia?” Lucy asked.
“Yes,” Ivan answered. “In St. Petersburg.”
“You mean da.”
“That means yes in Russian.”
“Are your parents from Russia?”
“Yeah but I was born here in America.”
“Do they live here in Miami?”
“Nyet but they will be moving here soon. They’re living in DC where I came from and they don’t like it there because it’s too cold.”
“Do you want them to live close to you?”
“Of course even though it’s typical of Russians. They’re very family oriented. I know it’s typical of Filipinos as well.”
So far, the guys I’ve talked to that have just moved here, like Adrian for example, have families that came along with them, Lucy thought. Just recently, Ivan said his family would be moving here soon.
“Do you have relatives here in Miami?” Lucy asked.
“Da, I do.”
“I know there’s a lot of Russians in Miami.”
“Da, of course. Especially with gangsters in the northern part of the city.”
“It reminds me of an episode of Burn Notice which I used to watch even though it’s a bit crazy and nutty.”
“You mean that spy show?”
“I used to watch it. I agree that some of the episodes are quite weird and crazy.”
“It was a pretty good show.”
“It was. But anyway, most of the Russians here are professionals. Engineers, doctors, nurses, dentists, scientists, etc.—typical Russian jobs like Asian people and some Russians are also Asian as well.”
“There’s not many Asian Russians here. Most of them are in the western US, like in San Francisco, LA, Seattle, or Portland.”
“That’s true. I’ve never seen an Asian Russian much here before. It’s rare since the eastern part of Russia is close to the western United States.”
“Of course. Most of the Russian I’ve seen here are White ones.”
“Some are immigrants who speak in heavy accents and some are American-born.”
“It’s common for Russian-born people to speak English in heavy accents. In my case, I don’t from what you hear me saying but my parents do even though we speak Russian.”
“Like I’ve said, all I know are a few words and sometimes it’s easy to forget. I even have to read the Cyrillic alphabet slowly and repeat the letters.”
“Russian is a bit daunting for non-speakers who are learning because it’s a Slavic language.”
“Da but anyway, how do you say golf in Russian?”
“Okay. Other than that, have you been playing gol’f since you moved here?”
“When did you move here?”
“Three, or tri, months ago.”
“How do you like it?”
“The weather here is warm all-year round unlike in DC where it snows during the winter. So I figured I might as well live in a place that isn’t cold during the winter.”
“Same thing here. In fact, I prefer warm weather over cold weather.”
“Less chance of flu and other illnesses.”
All of a sudden, a creature that appeared to be an alligator showed up in the lake where Lucy and Ivan were sitting nearby. It was large, rough, scaly, and greenish as usual with claws.
“Oh my goodness!” Ivan shrieked. “Isn’t that an alligator?”
Lucy was startled. “It is!”
As the alligator swam near the grass, Lucy and Ivan ran.
While having a good one-on-one conversation with Lucy, Ivan thought. There’s this huge creature that happens to be an alligator swimming in the lake where we’re sitting by. Yup, these things are common here in Florida and I’ve encountered them as well. Somebody ought to put an alligator warning sign in this golf course. I had no idea this lake was going to be infested with alligators. Or did someone let their pet alligator loose?
“You guys look freaked out,” Steve said as he saw Lucy and Ivan breathing constantly.
“There was an alligator in the lake,” Lucy sighed.
“A really big one,” Ivan sighed.
“How did that thing get there?” Matt asked.
“I don’t know.” Lucy shrugged.
The animal patrol soon came and took the alligator away while Lucy and her thirty contestants continued to enjoy their date.
“I know there are a lot of guys here and they somewhat have what I’m looking for,” Lucy said to Roy.
“I’m very impressed with them,” Roy said. “I do take a look at their and see what they are like by looking at them. You need to go by instincts and you need to go by vision. By going by vision, it’s not what you see now but in the future when you get married.”
“Makes me not want to go for what my parents want but rather that I go for what I think works best.”
“What your parents want may not work best for you. What’s most important is that you follow your instincts.”
I was surprised Roy knew about relationships, Lucy thought. He seemed to understand that I was under pressure to choose what my parents want versus what I want but I will just have to go with whatever works best.
While the other contestants were swinging at golf balls, Lucy sat with Trent on the picnic blanket, holding the dark red carnation.
“I couldn’t help but smile when we were talking to each other. From what I see, you’re a genuine, open person,” Lucy began.
“Thanks for saying that,” Trent said.
“You’re welcome,” Lucy replied. “Anyway, would you like to accept this carnation?”
“Absolutely,” Trent smiled.
Lucy pinned the carnation to Trent’s shirt and they embraced each other. She never thought about what her parents said. The Caucasian, including Adrian and Ivan, were pleased but most of the Asian and Hispanic contestants were not, except for Paul and Nathan. They were rather jealous instead.
As the sky became dark and starry, Lucy said to her contestants, “I have a surprise for you.”
Colorful fireworks burst in the sky and all were watching in amazement. “Wow!”
It was a good way to celebrate a wonderful group date.