After an interesting yet enjoyable day down the islands (DDI) yesterday, we were ready to head back to the marina so I swam back to the shore to untie the stern line from where it was attached. On the beach a few young men and teenagers who were having themselves an enjoyable time fishing and such stood right near to where I had to untie my rope.
In an unprejudiced sense they really was no potential harm or reason for a heightened sense of awareness in this situation but, we all have our biases and all thinking is subjective, so as is typical anytime I have to walk past a group as such I became really observant and assessed what would be the best way to interact with them. Interacting would be imperative as they stood along the water’s edge just where my rope was tied and I have no interest in perpetuating the ‘red girl’ stereotype or in widening the gap between ‘us’ and ‘them’. What message would I be sending if I jumped off of my 58 foot yacht, came within a foot and a half of people who were facing my direction and had caused no prior negative vibes, then acted as if they did not exist. It would be rude to not share some generic pleasantries.
So I did, they returned them and the majority continued paying attention to the turtle on their fishing line while some of the others took to me. Yeah, I’m that captivating- I compete with turtles for attention hahaha. Of course they asked my name which I didn’t respond to and where I was from, to which I responded with a broad answer. This particular one pestered me with questions about who I was. I said, “Laters!” and swam away (actually mom mostly pulled me) with my rope. Only, he wasn’t done because he then proclaimed, “I was breed* you!” Then made sure that his friends knew his intentions by repeating at least six time, “I wah breed she.”
* (Hey foreign readers who may not be familiar with our English dialect, the term ‘breed’, typically refers to, as it does anywhere else, procreation. In our language however, it has been adopted to become acceptable to not only refer to other animals but to humans as well. I hope you can get what that man said clearly now.)
Cheers to a typical experience in the Caribbean and many other places in the world. Oh London how I miss you! Instead of boiling over with anger as I returned to the boat, I somehow was able to really quickly able reach to the standpoint that not all men are like that. There are some mangoes with soft spots but all mangoes aren’t bad. My blood, on its way to boiling, pleasantly returned to a simmer.
As if to further prove my point today I had two experiences where I saw guys step up and act accordingly. ‘Accordingly’ subjective yes but say what.
Instance 1: Sitting under the trees with some international students who are learning English as a second language having lunch. One of the guys walks over to a girl on the bench next to me who is in class with him and he proceeds to let her know how sexy she is in the most awkward, out of the blue, not at all sexy way possible. Everyone just sort of looked on waiting for a response but she didn’t provide one besides a really confused look. So he said what he had to say again, only this time one of the other guys liming there, also his classmate, showed him up and demanded that he had some respect for the girl. Similar to what many animals do when you shine a light on them, he scurried off.
Instance 2: Seemingly insignificant but a guy went out of his way to open his door for me today. Can I open a door for myself? Yes. Do I need people to open doors for me? No. Would it be fine if he continued walking and did not turn back to open the door? Yes. However, whether it was a guy or a girl, it happens to be a guy, who did that kind deed today it was appreciated and thoughtful. Cheers man!
That’s about the size of it!
Maybe I wrote this more for myself than for anyone else but it is a reminder that not all men are the same and that there are more good mangoes than bad mangoes. After being shouted at like that down the islands and watching this guy make a very uncomfortable situation at lunch, I saw men act as they should and shine in a positive light. That was worth sharing.