The Ambassador’s Blighted Betrothal

Yes, I know that title smacks of the cheesy bodice-rippers I’ve sometimes made fun of on this very blog. I did that on purpose. Read on.
One of the nicest things about email is that your friends can send you all sorts of interesting news stories that you might not otherwise get to see. Of course they sometimes send you uninteresting things too; I’m thinking here of the ones who send me ridiculous (and old!) urban legends about cockroach eggs in postage-stamp glue, or who forward “inspirational” stories or poems that begin with a long list of every single person who has ever received the piece and end with the admonition that if I don’t “send this to twenty other gullible souls,” I will be personally responsible for the death of a Third World child. These people are not true friends.
No, I’m talking about true friends who send me things like this little gem:

Arab ambassador discovers bride is bearded and cross-eyed behind veil

An Arab ambassador has called off his wedding after discovering his wife-to-be who wears a face-covering veil is bearded and cross-eyed.

The envoy had only met the woman a few times, during which she had hidden her face behind a niqab, the
Gulf News
reported.

After the marriage contract was signed, the ambassador attempted to kiss his bride-to-be. It was only then that he discovered her facial hair and eyes.

The ambassador told an Islamic Sharia court in the United Arab Emirates he was tricked into the marriage as the woman’s mother had shown his own mother
pictures of her sister instead of his bride-to-be.

He sued for the contract to be annulled and also demanded the woman pay him 500,000 dirhams (£85,000) for clothes, jewelry and other gifts he had bought
for her.

The court annulled the contract but rejected the ambassador’s demand for compensation.
The report did not identify the ambassador.

This story has everything: romance, riches, an exotic locale, a tragic secret, deception and heartbreak. I also think it has a decidedly comic aspect to it, though of course it’s easy for me to say. I’m not the Bearded Lady who got left at the altar.
Seriously, I am sorry for the jilted bride. It’s not bad enough that she’s cross-eyed and has enough facial hair to be classified as a beard, but to have a very good and profitable marriage arrangement be ended over the hair-and-eyes issue is a shame. Doubly so because if she had trouble finding a husband before, her chances are slim to nothing now. Way to go, Mom, trying to pass off a sister’s picture as the real deal.
I do have to wonder: why didn’t she get some Nair and take off the beard? Quite likely the gentleman could have handled the eyes, and could even have paid to have them corrected, but a beard? Honestly, that’s something you can take care of discreetly at home.
Anyway, now that that little engagement is off, surely there’s some non-cross-eyed, non-hirsute female who would make a good wife for the Ambassador. Evidently he’s very generous even before the wedding.
Hey, Mister from Araby, I’m single, of good character and family, and what’s more, I have no sisters with which to trick you. Look me up!

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