A 107-year-old woman in southwest China who finally decided to look for her first husband hopes to hook up with another centenarian so they will have something to talk about.
A man of "a similar age is preferred," the Chongqing Business News quoted her family as saying.
As a youngster, Wang Guiying developed a fear of marriage after watching an uncle beat his wife regularly. The girl often found her aunt crying in the woodshed after an attack.
"All the married people around there lived like that. Getting married was too frightening," she said of an era when Chinese women had few rights and low social standing.
Many also had their feet bound in an excruciating process aimed at making them look more dainty and marriageable.
Wang, who was born to a salt merchant's family in Guizhou Province, also in China's southwest, moved to Chongqing when she was 21 years old, shortly after her father and sister died, according to the newspaper.
She lived with her mother when her brother got married five years later.
After her mother died, Wang moved to a suburb of Chongqing. She worked as a farmer until she was 74 years old and no longer strong enough to toil in the fields.
She was well known for her warm heart and kindness, the report said. At one point, Wang changed all her savings into 1 yuan (14.5 US cents) banknotes and handed them out to needy people.
Wang took care of herself until she was 102 but then had to rely on her nephews and nieces, the youngest of whom was over 60, when she broke a leg in an accident.
"My nephews and nieces are getting older, and their children are already tied up with their own families, and I am becoming more and more of a burden," she said.
Finding a suitable husband, Wang believes, would be best for everyone.
Local officials said they are happy to help the woman search for a centenarian groom and suggested her family get in touch with nursing homes to find candidates, the paper said.
"I'm already 107 and I still haven't got married," the newspaper quoted Wang as saying.
"What will happen if I don't hurry up and find a husband?"
(Shanghai Daily January 13, 2009)