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Mayin's Lack Of A Love Life Analysed
I wrote this to kelkyag's first prompt "Mayin. (So, we've heard a little bit of how courtship traditionally works in Jan-li's culture. What about Mayin's? Her family keeps trying to introduce her to people, or was ...)". 

“Well,” remarked Raquel to her sister-in-law, Ley, “Uncle Charlie thinks the ones who’ve been soldiers are scared of her.”

“What?”  Ley stared in surprise.  “Those big, tough men are scared of Mayin?”

“That’s what Uncle Charlie thinks from talking to them,” confirmed Raquel.  “Not that they said that, of course.”

“And our friends who haven’t done military service all said they felt like they had nothing in common with her.”  Ley sighed.  “Just because she wasn’t doing the same things they were doing for the last ten years…  I mean, so she hasn’t seen a few movies.  So what?”

“We introduce her to apparently suitable men,” Raquel stirred her hot drink disconsolately, “and she sees them once, never to meet again.  If she was living at home our parents would be doing most of this because, let’s face it, you can’t build a relationship with someone you don’t know exists.”

“Oh, I know,” agreed Ley.  “Are we sure she doesn’t have a cyber-correspondent or that there isn’t someone she met in the war she’s holding a torch for?”

“Don’t think so on the first,” mused Raquel.  “The second, it’s possible.”

“But if that’s the case, why isn’t she pursuing it?”  Ley spooned some of the milky froth from the top of her drink into her mouth before she continued, “And there’s this man from the aid delegation, he seems to like her just fine.  I can see why she wouldn’t want to pursue that relationship but at least he was interested enough to kiss her and he has nice taste in flowers.  Deep pockets too,” she added thinking of the pink blossoms on the bare brown stems.

“What man from the aid delegation?”  Raquel perked up.  “If she fell for one of the enemy, that could explain a lot.”

“It didn’t sound like that was the issue at all,” Ley clarified, “but he was definitely interested.  If you see them on the news, he’s the one with the cybernetic eye and hand.”

“I’ll keep an eye out for him,” Raquel was promised, “But maybe she’ll like this new man you’re taking her to dinner with tomorrow.”

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Hee. <3

Sounds like her family is trying to help, but they don't understand much, either, do they?

They're working with the pool of men they know. Consider them limited by their material.

Aah, that makes sense.

Lots of good ones went off to war, too, didn't they?

Yes. After all, they want one who'll like her and that she'll like back.

Makes sense. Good family.

This world has some awfully sexist implications for a world that encourages women to go off to war and blow up their enemies.

I think that if she were male they'd be introducing their female friends and work colleagues.

I wonder why the soldiers are scared of her. Thousand-yard stare?

Units that handle explosives routinely might be, at that. :)

If she was living at home our parents would be doing most of this because, let’s face it, you can’t build a relationship with someone you don’t know exists.

I think this is that Mayin can't build a relationship with a guy she doesn't know exists until her family introduces him to her. I'm finding the two halves of the sentence slightly out of sync such that I try to read it that she or her parents are failing to be aware of each other (whereas I think it's that if she were living at home, her parents would be inviting potentially appropriate single men to join the family for dinner?)

Her parents would be invitng over potentially suitable men because she can't form a relationship with someone whose existance she is unaware of.

On re-reading this, I can imagine them saying something like, "He's a man! He's unattached! Do you like this one? If not, he might have a friend you like more! Talk to him because if you two don't hit it off, you might each think of someone you'd like to introduce the other to!"

Only far more subtly, of course.

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