Tsatsa Battsengel
2 min readAug 10, 2018

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Will you marry a hardworking guy?

My little brother Borko, soon to be 8-year-old, and I were at the dentist’s waiting room, while our mom was seeing her dentist. I was doing my own thing and looking down at whatever paper I brought to the waiting room to “read”, but constantly getting distracted by the dreadful noise of the dentist’s drill. Out of the blue, my brother, who I thought was watching Pokemon on mom’s phone, kneeled in front of me and asked “Ania*, will you marry me?”. Then he continues, “What if a guy just comes in and asks you this? Would you say yes?”. I was shocked but managed to put a smile on my face, and answered: “Depends on who the guy is…”

Borko: “What kind of guy do you want to marry?” Instantly, I put a lot of effort into simulating a perfect answer to his question, because my answer will influence how he sees what his Ania thinks is a good person, and maybe who he wants to become.

Me thinking; “Should I say:

A handsome guy — no, then my brother might think that appearance is the most important feature of a person, which is not true for my judgment of a guy. It is important, but not the most important…

A smart guy — then he will think that smartness is some kind of an inherent character of a person, who can either be born smart or not.

I have to find an adjective that can describe a person who has a life goal and has a strong will and strength to reach his goal by overcoming any obstacles he may encounter. I wanted to say a gritty guy! But for sure, he does not know what grit is. I did not have any idea about grit when I was 7-year-old.

So, I decided to simply say, okay someone who works hard for whatever he wants to accomplish. I was so confident and said “A hardworking guy!”

He did not wait for even half a second to respond to my answer, which was processed through several filters in my mind for a good 3–5 minutes.

Borko: “Is this because the guy can work really hard in your house, and clean and cook for you, while you are doing nothing?”

Checkmate!

As much as I tried to defend myself for not being portrayed as Ania who wants to milk his future husband’s hard work, Borko lost his interest in this conversation and started jumping up and down when mom comes out of the dentist’s office…

*Ania — how siblings call their sisters in Mongolian, or how I see is “a title given to a beloved sister”

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