Kirby: 40 years and counting with a foreign wife

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According to one local man, Utah women aren't worth the bother of dating. To find a really good woman for a loving wife, you have to go foreign. The farther away the better.

Nathan Adams, 45, says local women just aren't making the grade anymore. They're bitter, irresponsible, angry and unwilling to help out around the house. And they're only interested in money. So he went to Ukraine to find a wife.

I agree with … some of that. I married a foreigner. My friend Steve (whose last name I can't tell you because his wife will kill me) also married a foreigner.

Steve and I are both extremely happy with our non-Utah women even though they come from practically different hemispheres. Steve married Hispanic. I married Canuck-ic.

That's right, my wife is Canadian. Not only is she not from Utah, she's not even a U.S. citizen. We've been married for nearly 40 years.

I know what you're thinking. "Canada? That's not a foreign country. Canada is like some undeveloped U.S. territory. It's where we get Christmas trees."

Yeah? Say that to my wife. I did. Forty years later I still can't see all that well out of my left eye.

Look, I didn't claim that I went to Canada to get a wife. I just said she's Canadian. I actually had to go 6,000 miles in the opposite direction to find her. To South America. And I mean really South America.

I tracked my future wife down in a small, back­water pueblo on the border of Uruguay and Brazil. It was not love at first sight. Hitting her with a rock may have had something to do with that, but more likely she had already figured out that I was a jerk.

We didn't fall in love until we came back to North America where, rather than allow her to be deported, I agreed to marry her.

OK, I got down on my knees and begged. I'm glad I did. Like Adams says about his fiancée, my foreign wife has very traditional values. From day one of our relationship, here they are:

"You (meaning me) will keep a job. You keep your hands to yourself unless I agree otherwise. You will share in the household chores. You tell me where you're going. You may not keep a pet scorpion named 'Boris' in our apartment."

There's some (a lot) more, but those are her main values. I don't think you can get more traditional than those.

Because I was mindlessly in love at the time (and remain so), I agreed to go along with my wife's very un-Utah values.

Note: I've broken several of these values in our nearly four decades of marriage, all of which I paid for with surgery, court fines and "time outs" in the garage/backyard. I'd say I still came out ahead overall.

Truthfully, I married her for other reasons than values. For starters, she was/is beautiful. She also has a great sense of humor (about everything except fiscal irresponsibility, aggravated slobbery and trouble with the law) and she is a great cook.

We settled down and lived in Utah, where we raised three highly attractive daughters who managed to find and instill these same traditional values in their lucky and very Utah husbands.

I don't know how Adams' foreign marriage will turn out. We'll have to wait 40 years to see if he got it right.

Robert Kirby can be reached at or