i've gotten pretty good at ignoring those random, nagging, old ladies in the supermarket who assure me samil is going to die a slow and torturous death any day now because, well, it's only 60 degrees out and, oh no!, he's wearing shorts. and sandals.
in the carribean. in 60 degree heat in january. but i digress.
i've also gotten pretty good at sorting through the ridiculousness - choosing what i really should know... like walking barefoot on cold ceramic. it hasn't yet killed me or my son, nor worsened or changed the frequency of nasty coldbugs like the naggy ladies say, but it has given me some nasty varicose veins. something about the ceramic having no give, no forgiveness for my poor legs. and though i still don't frequent a salon to get my hair washed and blown out the one time a week you're supposed to wash your hair, i have noticed a significant change in the amount of hair i lose daily (um, let's just say i had a receding hairline for awhile) since i stopped washing my hair every day.
see, there's some sense to some of the weird, bitchy comments.
but really, i can't handle the cultural egocentrism that has abounded ever since samil was born. you see, all americans are greedy, selfish, fat pigs who only have kids because they have to. and don't forget, we only eat hamburgers, pizza and french fries.
recently the onslaught has gotten worse. i don't know what it is - that i break every single cultural stereotype that they have? we only eat hamburgers when i'm feeling really lazy or we're having a bbq, pizza is a rare treat to share with american friends and french fries? samil sees them occassionally, but they're definitely not a staple. beyond that. i cook for my husband every day. and most often dominican food. i stay at home, sacrificing what could be a very large (dominican) salary to make sure that my family has what it needs. we discipline our kid, and the same rules go for other people's kids that are in our house. samil is in bed at 9. naps and has his "classes" that go right along with my students. i don't have a maid. or a nanny. and i'm not looking to pawn my kid off on anyone so i can get my nails done.
i've had to cancel a few students - a hard decision because they were high-payers - because i don't want my kids growing up with that in their faces. especially when it comes to the idea that we live comfortably because my american family must send us money. afterall, they do spoil samil. and how could they possibly be living the good life in that land of milk and honey where money magically falls from the sky and nobody really has to work and not send money to their poor, desperate daughter in the wasteland of the western hemisphere?
i think that's what really bothers me about it all. is the contradiction in the idea. and the idea of entitlement that underlies it all. in one breath, it's that i'm the "anti-american" because i'm not greedy, selfish work 20 hours a day to have more and more money and then tell me that it's nothing for my parents to send us a paycheck (yes, that has been suggested... and not in jest by numerous people) because making money in the states is so easy! it's the good life - sit back, relax and earn!
who should be getting the money that i earn? my family, and sure if i have some left over to help someone who is having a hard time, okay. but the idea that someone is entitled to money just because they are in the states and one is not... that's a little ridiculous. and the idea that i should work my butt off to pay for the luxuries i want to have while you receive money for sitting on your butt? well.
that's where i am today.
i've got a lot more brewing around in my head, but mostly it's this. don't judge a culture by what you see in the movies. and don't expect life to be better or easier just because you're earning in another currency. i don't want my kids growing up with those ideas. i want them to respect and embrace others instead of throwing their misconstrued ideas at others.
have a nice day.