Step Into The Mold

An old acquaintance once told me “Te gusta vivir la vida loca, pero creo que ya es tiempo de tener tus hijos.” This served as the ever-needed reminder of why I have no interest in rekindling friendships with Islanders I haven’t spoken to in more than ten years.

Life on The Island is trite at best.  And if you grow breathless with anticipation as you long for a sliver of unpredictability, I’d say put your money on hurricanes (I endured two of them).

The reality is that Islanders are handed a script at birth that stipulates how to live life to the fullest, provided of course, they stay within the parameters of what constitutes appropriate behavior.  Choose to stray, and a firm reminder to stay the course will arise in the form of  “Y tú no eres la hija de los señores tal?” Or the more popular, “pero tu familia no son los Perensejos de (insert province here).”  Thus, it is no surprise that the timeline of an Islander begins with attending elementary schools with myriad supranational accreditations.  In college, the career choices are ingeniería, odontología, medicina, administración de empresa, arquitectura, derecho, and hotelería (forget about teaching, journalism, fine arts, as these fields are reserved for lesser mortals).   Studying en el exterior in efforts to do an especialidad while sustaining a faithful long distance relationship is in order. But you need not to worry about loyalty if you’re an Islander male, porque hay dos clases de mujeres, las que se cogen de relajo, y las que son para casarse. You come back from doing your posgrado, and off you  marry your high-school or college sweetheart (see April 2, 2010).  You partner-up in a business with your spouse.  Have a kid, then another. If they are both boys, a buscar la hembra se ha dicho. There you have it. The sweet life wrapped in lino bordado a mano where it rains almíbar every day. Of course, it isn’t until the philandering husband starts sleeping with his 20-year old secretary that the prickle of reality suddenly kicks in. (But this we’ll discuss at another juncture).

Enter me.  In Island terms: chulísima, aperísima, in my absence una maldita loca vieja (more on Island hypocrisy in the future).  I don’t take it personal though, because the fact is that Islanders live vicariously through Us.  So when they are in the presence of someone who is bold enough to make a fashion statement, speak openly about their sexuality, state a lack of interest in nuptials or breeding, enjoy a drink or two, talk about a curiosity in eastern philosophies, or articulate decisions in career switching; the best They can do to shroud the underlying envy that stems from the inability to step out of the mold is to dismiss any sign of individuality (or a speck of eccentricity) as being a drug addict, a whore, gay.  It’s paradoxical. They hate you, but they so want to be like you.  The never-ending references to la Carrie Bradshaw de Santiago, or el Seinfeld dominicano might have you convinced for a second that el país está cambiando, then uttered words like liberal and libertinaje (still very entrenched in Island lexicon), make you rethink your position.  To exemplify this, when Chanel launched its touchstone color of the nineties Vamp, I vowed never to sport any color lighter than such. Upon arriving to The Island, I was immediately greeted with…  “¿Y ese cutel de cuero?”

Need I say more?

The fact is I’d rather live la vida loca than live la vida de galleticas Hatuey-Guarina. Here in la vida loca, we are free to do what we want any old-time answering to no one but ourselves.  Most importantly, we do not fear Doña Persenseja in her two-piece traje de lino bordado a mano,  because before her words of scrutiny “Pero esa muchacha no parece hija de esa familia” loom, she knows quite well that this maldita loca vieja will toast to the freedom of being able to say: “mind your own fucking business.”

13 responses to “Step Into The Mold

  1. RD Architect

    In hopes of starting some heated debate I think that in the Island in some very remote pockets of society there is a growing culture of trying to break the mold. But this small pocket is so misguided and still have alot to learn. You still have some who feel it is their duty to follow the traditional roles and marry when they are supposed to and have kids when they are supposed to. The ones who haven’t done so by now (the 30 something crowd) are the exception and everyone is still the rule in the Island. Lucky for them they can live vicariously through us who have learned and live life the way we please.

    Unpredictability…

  2. Again… so true. Yo tengo dreadlocks, y para todos ellos, yo soy el tecatazo más grande.

    • Dreadlocks? They are great. My son traveled with a mohawk and it was like they were watching an alien!!!! Next time he travels, I am going to motivate him to dye it purple : )

    • What we have learned from the “product line” case is mkaert is mkaert. We cannot control the mkaert, but only follow the mkaert. Market is always changing, out of our thought. So what we should do is to prepare for the various mkaert situations.周身刀要張張利 而且要隨時利 Otherwise we will lose our competitive edge.

  3. Jajaja! Esas Doñas Perensejas son las que va a misa en la San Judas Tadeo en Naco, para despues acabar con la gente. So funny!

  4. Dolemite DragonFunk

    I like your blog its so deeply entrenched in the the counterpoints of being Dominican and American is the same breath. Its like that Sting song “englishman in NY”. He can speak the language and read the signs but there is so much different.
    Live vicariously you dreadlock girl!!!!!!

    • – *LOVE* the charcoal gray the very best!If you deicde to go with brown, match it up w/ the color of your shingles.I usually like teal, but for some reason this color just doesn’t do much :/If you really want welcoming yet fun, go for classic red it never fails on front doors!Have fun! :)MegOctober 22, 2011 3:15 am

  5. i think behr paint (behr.com) has something like that, but i blveiee there is a $5 fee i’ve not used it, but i have looked at colors on the website before. also you can pick up the paint booklets/chips at home depot (from behr) and the booklets has complimentary colors and shows the paint in different rooms.i personally like the behr paint (semi gloss) because its wonderful for being able to clean it especially with kids and crayons, markers, finger paints, etc. it is a little costlier than most paints, but it covers great and last great also if you use the behr paint and there is something wrong with the paint itself a behr representative will come out and paint your walls for you (there has to be something

    • Your kind words about our growing failmy and particularly Desiree are greatly appreciated, thank you! Desiree’s honesty and openness on this topic is inspiring and I cherish her strength daily. Sometimes I wonder if I would have that same strength, day-in and day-out to put myself out-there. She’s my rock and a wonderful roll-model for Sofia.The relationships she’s built through her writing, particularly yours and other active followers means a lot to both of us in times of need and celebration. What most of you don’t know is the unspoken role you all play in our daily lives. It’s my belief that we can’t be everything for everybody, particularly when they need it the most. We can be what someone needs to the greatest extent of our being ultimately limited by our individuality and style of communication, not because we don’t care or try. The role you and other readers play is one-part creative muse, two-parts support network and the rest is a growing friendship through shared experience. I’m immensely grateful that Desiree has you all in her life and the support community it’s created for our failmy.As for the DD and Sofia thing We can chat

  6. That’s what we’ve all been waiting for! Great pongtsi!

  7. You’ve really helped me understand the issues. Thanks.

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