Friday, February 7, 2014

Sanky Panky

Michelle and I experienced Sanky Panky recently. It was nice to experience the local culture in a new way.

It all started when I was sitting on the beach with a white girl. The electricity was out at our site and the battery in my computer was dead, so we decided to take a walk down to the beach. I had just found myself staring into the sun when a Dominican Police officer came over to remind me of my beauty.

Actually, he came to inform Michelle of her beauty, but these Dominican guys like to impress the friend as well, so I too was given plenty of compliments.

It always starts the same. They have no idea that we are foreigners. They are impressed with our Spanish. They want to know if we have boyfriends.

We girls gave each other some quick eye communication, passing on the information that because it was the middle of the day we were okay with playing along for a little while. We could “flirt”. And by flirt I mean have a normal conversation and practice Spanish while simultaneously giving this guy some hope.

Also, by flirt I mean he flirted with us and I proceeded to tell him that I think all men in this country like to lie and that he probably has a girlfriend in his hometown of “the capital.” I said if not a girlfriend, then a wife, because that happened to me. Hashtag: WorstFakeDateEver

I misunderstood though. Turns out he wants to be Michelle’s boyfriend. Right there, right then. It was love at first “I noticed you have white skin and speak English.”

The police man had a friend who made an appearance a little later. I guess he was for me.  You know, a wing man has to play along right? We decided we could use the Spanish practice and made some small talk. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t want to play with these guys emotions… they understood that I didn’t believe a word they were spitting. I told them so in multiple different dialects of Spanglish.

We later decided to meet back up with them at the beach. I had some pressing business to attend to and Michelle had told me she would come. We made for home and met the guys later.

I was with “my guy” while Michelle was over taken by the original instigator. I later found out he was in love. This doesn’t surprise me because the guy I had met a mere 5 hours before told me he was also interested in me being his girlfriend. He said he could tell I was beautiful, smart, and nice. Mind you, he didn’t know my name.

We did have a pleasant conversation. It mostly consisted of me telling him how in America, if a guy wants you to be him “girl” on the first night it usually means something very different from a typical girlfriend-boyfriend relationship. We talked about how he still hadn’t even asked me my name and how I didn’t think it was time for me to meet his family. I told him that this all felt very “Sanky Panky” and that I wasn’t interested in being his “American girlfriend” or even tourist girlfriend. That it would be traditional for us to be friends first, or at least know the other’s name for more than 3 minutes.

You know what the worst part is? I have no idea what normal guys are like now. I am slowly, or maybe rapidly, losing faith in the male gender.

I think I will be fine as long as I remind myself that a lot of things that take place here are cultural. Not all guys in the world want to tell me how “bootiful” I am from across a room having just met me. Not all guys are going to hit on me for 3 hours before they realize they don’t even know my name. Not all guys think they can make the sacrifice of dating any random foreigner if it will get them something later.

It was a fun experience, and I see why a lot of girls date while they are here (hello Spanish practice. Hello doting fella. Hello free moto rides. Hello, some really do fall in love.), but I just would not be able to take anyone seriously.

Don’t worry, I know I’m the sad one. I would probably be a lot happier if I could just give in to the game and go ahead with my future as a Dominican sister-wife. 

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