How Much Are You Willing To Spend In Gifts (and shipping) for the person you love?

April 11, 2020

A note: This was a thread of tweets that I decided to write out instead because of how long that thread was becoming.

Because of the trending tweets on Filipino Twitter about 90 Day Fiance: Before The 90 Days, I decided to give it a shot and got the episodes online. Though most of us are in lockdown right now and have lots of extra time, I must say I didn't want to waste much energy on it so I skipped the other stories in the series and only watched the arc that's been getting lots of buzz: the love story of Ed, a photographer and interior design artist in San Diego CA, and Rose, a single mom from Caloocan City, Philippines.

I came in with prejudice and secondhand dislike towards Ed, purely due to the clips that's been going around.

On Episode 2, Ed opened up to his half-Filipina co-worker Kara, and she didn't hesitate to drop some truth bombs on him. For being old enough, Ed sure didn't know much about what he was about to get himself into. He didn't do his research and didn't even know where Rose lives.

Then here comes a major point, one that was already foreshadowed by a scene on Episode 1. Kara warned Ed about his issues with food, and Ed proudly responded with a smug "I'm so smart, I shipped a grill for Rose's dad in advance." The quote is me paraphrasing him. This is not the actual quote!

And here is when wide-eyed Kara grilled (heh) Ed about what else he sent Rose. This is when we found out that Ed has in fact spent his bonus into sending $5k worth of gifts to Rose (and shipping!) As if that's not enough, Rose's sister also asked Ed for money in private.

Kara: How much money have you spent on gifts?
Ed: Uhm... Gifts and shipping, I've probably spent 5... 5 grand?
Kara: Five thousand dollars? In gifts?
Ed: And shipping. Shipping is more than the gifts.
Kara: How long have you known her?
Ed: Three months.
Kara: Three months. And you've spent five thousand dollars in gifts.
Ed: (nods) My bonus.
Kara: (blinks twice) Does that sound normal to you?
Ed: Well, not the way you say it.

Watch the full exchange below!

In the tweets about this Ed-Rose relationship, Ed's character and appearance are always getting attacked. That because he looks and acts vile, Rose deserves better.

This may be an unpopular opinion but Rose is not completely innocent here.

Both parties were not upfront about something in their respective lives. As much as Ed didn't deserve Rose because of how he looks and how he is as a person, Ed didn't deserve to be scammed either, whether directly or indirectly and no matter how gullible he was.

I'm not 100% sympathetic about Ed's situation because he is an adult who can hold two jobs. To me that sounds like he has some level of smarts and skills to him--both he should have used to better his judgment. But to me it feels absolutely wrong to be bullying him online for how he reacts to what he has seen in the Philippines, and even more wrong to say it's okay for Rose to do what she's doing because Ed doesn't look as good as her.

And just from this one example, it's reflective of a much bigger issue. There are far too many love scams attributed to, usually, women from third-world countries, so much that even a half-Filipina is telling Ed to be cautious. This is a real thing that's happening and in the thick of things, it can be easy to fall in love with someone who makes you feel seen and consequently do everything you can do for them.

Outside the show's premise, I'm not really sure how this can be fixed in such relationships. Maybe have an upfront arrangement with both intentions clearly laid out so it's symbiotic? What do you think?

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