By Victoria Burnett, New York Times
La Viñuela, Málaga, Spain - Ramón Sánchez is not a great believer in the powers of Cupid. But when Mr. Sánchez, a wiry 54-year-old bachelor, heard that dozens of women would be coming to this quiet village for a blind date with the local men, he happily signed up.
Mr. Sánchez, who lives 13 miles out of town on a farm with no telephone and with only sheep and cattle for company, said he had come along in the hope of meeting somebody with whom he could spend his old age.
“It would be nice to have a woman to share things with,” he said, his dark skin polished by wind and sun. “Really, what I want is someone to take care of the house. Not so much me. I’ve been doing that all my life.”
At lunchtime on a recent Saturday, Mr. Sánchez stood with a throng of single men and other villagers awaiting a bus that would bring 62 women from Madrid for an evening of dinner, dancing and — all involved hoped — a little romance.
A migration of young people from rural areas to cities in the 1960s and 1970s led to a scarcity of potential spouses for the men — now middle aged — who stayed behind to farm in Spain’s rural areas, several villagers said. Women, drawn to the cities by the lure of nonagricultural jobs, left in larger numbers than the men...
Books about Spain on my shelf:
- Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Spain by Chris Stewart (1999)
- Spanish Lessons: Beginning a New Life in Spain by Derek Lambert (2000)