It was over 9 months ago when I promised myself that I would get my green card by any means necessary. Doing a business marriage was the only option I saw to getting a green card. I had been busy gathering a list of potential business marriage candidates.
I never thought choosing a business marriage partner would be so difficult. Almost everything had to be the complete opposite of choosing a real marriage partner. There could be no sex as that would complicate the relationship. There would be no intimate conversations for fear of either us falling in love with the other. It was just cold business.
I had narrowed down the candidates to three ladies. It was now time to choose the one I was going to approach about a “business marriage”.
The first candidate was Ileana. With all her baggage I never thought about putting her on the list however, after some evaluation, she was a good candidate. She was desperate for money. She was a single mother with 2 children. There were rumors of her being pregnant. Then there were rumors that she aborted the child (her morality was not my concern) using money she borrowed from various friend and co workers. She needed money to pay them back. She also needed a place to live due to the disputes with her “sugar daddy”. She also lost her side boyfriend. He found out about the “sugar daddy”. She needed someone to fill the financial hole for the loan and a place to live to replace the apartment her “sugar daddy” had put her in.
What were the negatives to marrying Ileana? The first one was her children. I was not ready to raise children. The thought of being a father to her children scared me. There is no manual that tells you how to raise them. What if they started to call me Daddy (which may not be a bad thing for immigration interviews)? What if they become attached I me?
The biggest drawback was that I worked with Ileana. All her “business” was discussed among everyone at work. It was obvious that she was talking to co-workers and they were telling others. I could not afford that type of gossip especially being a manager. It could cost me the job that I need to pay for the business marriage.
The second candidate was Geanie, my new renter from New York. Mr. Brown had moved to Atlanta where he had family. At first she was uncomfortable moving in with a man however she had no choice. She was here from New York going to college. There were no more affordable housing left on campus as she made the decision to move to Miami right before the semester started.
We got along perfectly. I was happy to have a female renter. She was much cleaner than Mr. Brown. I wondered why she moved here for school. Well she was a talker. Her high school boyfriend had moved here 2 semesters ago from New York. He had family here. Eventually they were going to live together and he promised to help her with some of her expenses. Against her parents’ wishes she followed him to Florida. When she got here he hardly had time for her. He claimed it was school and work. She thought he was acting strange so she played detective. She trailed him for a week. He was cheating on her. What was worse in her opinion was the woman was not good looking, dressed like a prostitute (she used a harsher term) and she had an 8 year old boy. She confronted him about it but he told her she was mistaken. It was not him. She confronted him at the lady’s home and he finally admitted to the affair. She said something that I will never forget. “Men love trash”. When I thought deeply about her statement it was true. Most of the men I know that cheated usually it was a “trashy” woman.
She was hurt but she was determined to stay in South Florida. She did not want to go back to her parents for them to tell her “we told you so”. With no boyfriend to share expenses she needed to find a way to save more money. She had a partial scholarship but it was not enough. I could offer her a combination of money and free “rent” in exchange for a business marriage.
What were the drawbacks of marrying Geanie? She was young and a talker. I could see her wanting to use me as her “rebound” and even using me to show her boyfriend that he missed out. The biggest drawback would be the awkwardness if she said no. She was renting from me and I would see her every day. She would know what I was up to if I brought a wife to the house. I could see her trying to build a relationship with my “wife”. She could also give me notice to move out and I would love to keep the income I was getting for the rent.
My friend Juliet was probably the best candidate and likely the person I would ask. We knew each other through Broward Community College. She was tall, dark and beautiful. What I always remembered about her was her skin. She had skin the color of dark chocolate and it was very smooth. Not a blemish on her face. She was thin like a fashion model, which was the only thing that did not make her my type. I did not like skinny women.
When I first met her I thought she was Jamaican. She hung around Jamaicans and even sounded Jamaican. She was even a member of the Jamaican Students Association. I was shocked to find out that she was not Jamaican but from a small island in the Eastern Caribbean called Anguilla. She hated us Jamaicans calling Anguilla a “small island”. She would constantly say that Jamaica was a small island too.
We were in 2 project groups at separate times while in school. She was fun and had a bubbly personality. She also had a boyfriend who attended Florida International University (FIU). Julie and I were friends, but not that close back then. I wanted to keep in touch with her when she graduated however it would look “weird” if I asked her for her phone number when she had a boy friend.
We lost touch until one day she walked in the store and we reconnected from there. Occasionally, we would call each other to see how things were going. She tried to set me up with one of her Bahamian friends who was going to Barry University. She was gorgeous but as a match for me she was an absolute disaster. I should have known. Her friend Shellie was very “uppity”. She was more bourgeois than any upper St Andrew housewife. On our first and only date she asked probing questions that was clearly to find out my “pedigree”.
I called after the first date out of courtesy and perhaps to make a future “bed friend” but she never returned my call. I typically would call back twice but I felt no challenge to be the male “hunter”. She looked really good but had a bad personality.
Juliet had sworn off men after she found out that her boyfriend was a bi-sexual guy who was in denial even though he had a fetish for transvestite men. It was complicated as I think she also had some issues she had to work through before she could have a relationship.
There was a discussion we had about a horrific murder of a gay man in Seattle that gave me the impressions that she was not sure about her sexuality and this was why she was not dating. I should have picked up on this as she had started to dress like a man. No more dresses. No makeup. She had her hair close cropped like a man. There would be no temptations on my side and no expectations on her side. She was studying for her doctorate degree. She had a part-time position teaching but it was not enough to sustain her. She did not want to stop going to school to work full-time. She needed money. All these factors made her a good candidate.
With a list of good candidates I now had to figure out how to execute my plan. How to approach one of the candidates and ask for their hand in “business marriage”? I could not come across too desperate but had to make them sympathetic to my cause.
The million dollar question was how much money to offer. I did not want to offend them and offer too little. I also did not want to offer too much. There was also the risk of them turning down my “marriage” offer.
There was a recent story in the news where a German lady living in Los Angeles posted an advertisement on a popular website called tommyslist.com offering to marry a man for $18,000. She was really stupid. The advertisement was titled “Green Card Marriage” and she stated no sex. She was willing to pay $20,000. That figure in my opinion was very high
I knew 2 people who did business marriages but was too scared to ask. One was a Jamaican lady who was a friend of my mother. She was what we Jamaican would say is a “big woman” to my age. That meant someone my age would not ask her about her personal life. It was an interesting situation as she did a business marriage in the USA while she still had a husband in Jamaica. She did not tell the guy she married about having a husband in Jamaica. It would be uncomfortable to talk to her about this.
The other person was a guy I met at Broward Community College. His business marriage was free, because he married his second cousin. He was Jamaican but also had British citizenship. She wanted a British passport because she wanted to live in Europe and work there. It was an even exchange.
I pondered hard on what would be a good price to pay for a business marriage. Then suddenly it came to me. I would call Charlie who was my contact to get a social security card when I first arrived in the U.S. While going through some old papers I found his phone number.
“Lang time yout man, whey yuh a gwan wid”
Instantly I tried to go to my bad bwoy Jamaican patois.
“Bwoy my yout, mi deh ya inna di struggle”
“Yuh get nuh papers yet?” he asked. I sense a tinge of sarcasm while mixed with a sales pitch.
“No. But me a think bout wan business marriage. How much that a cost tideh,” I asked trying to act like a pro.
“Ah can set up one fe yuh fah thousand bills ($10,000 USD)”, he replied.
“Bredrin, ah hole heep ah money dat”
“Yeah, but yuh a get de real deal?”
“Mi nuh have dem money deh”
“Alright mi mighta able to do something fe $8000.”
“Mek mi see wha mi can do. Mi wi link yuh back.”
If he was willing to go down by $2000 that means he was still making money. I figure he was making at least $3000. Based on that information, I knew what I would offer Juliet.