The story dates back to a time when girls sought husbands, instead of partners, and there were only landline phones and emails. We met on a dating website. She was 24 and I was 39.
She was a Russian girl from Kishnev, 172 cm, 54 kg, blonde/ blue; very polite, sweet and easy to please; and wore turtle neck tops and pants, never skirts. She was looking for a husband 10 to 20 years older than her, and because "it was the next things to do in life" as she was going to graduate from her medical university that summer.
I went to see her in the snows of January, We met outside for the first 3 days. On 4th day, she took me home to meet her dad who was PhD and her brother who was EE (like myself). Her mother had died when she was 15. The vintage vacuum-tube radio in their old Soviet apartment on the outskirts of the city was 3' x 1.5' x 1', something I hadn't seen since my pre-school days in Kuwait. They made their own jam and pickles. Her dad said to me, he cared not if I was a Russian, a Polish or an Arab, and took me to garage behind the apartment block to proudly show his Russian car Lada. Before this I had seen Lada only in Gorky Park movie. Those cars made in the 70's and 80's still run in the ex-Soviet small towns.
I came back to the US, and applied for her a fiancée visa. Phone cards of $10 allowed a talk time of 1h 40m. If I talked any less, she would complain. That summer she graduated with 95% marks, and that Sept. came her visa interview at the American Embassy, which didn't see her as my girl, but instead, she was their girl, and I was the intruder, a nobody who was trying to lure their girl into a marriage they didn't personally approve of. It's great to be in a position of power because then all it takes is a pen to destroy lives. So they falsified "No proof of relationship" on the papers and refused her a visa.
To make matters worse, this happened at the age of 40, which is a magic number for men, after which their demand declines exponentially.