The Divide

     

    A couple nights ago, I was privy to the kind of conversation that can only come after the consumption of a litre of whiskey and half a bottle of vodka. There is the belief that a truly honest conversation comes about after copious amounts of Dutch courage have been ingested. Somehow, when one is drunk, the truth feels easier to state. In this case, it was the realization that the nagging feeling one always had in the back of the mind is actually true. Dang - should have listened to that feeling from the beginning.

                     

    This conversation stemmed from a little tiff amongst ‘couple’ friends. And it was an eye opening feeling to realize that while I had been happy in believing that I was actually considered a friend, there was just no way that could have happened unless someone was out of the way. Why, a few months ago, when all was well, and everyone was getting along with everyone, it was a matter of us (hubby and I) being the afterthought. The, “oh, yeah, we should probably call them too...do we have space for them?” friends. Quite frankly, I always thought that I was an equal friend, a friend considered just as equally as the other.

    But, if I am honest with myself, I probably have a variety of friends and each has their own designation. But, truly, the real point of the entire conversation was not about what level of friend I was. It was about a discussion where the conversation hit a very sticky topic - the divide. Yes, that infamous divide between islanders and ‘the others’. I had heard about this divide, years ago, when I was still a little girl. I had some friends who, when they were being especially cruel, would taunt and ensure that I never forgot that I was not like them; to them, I was not a real “San Pedrana”. For years, I knew this of myself, and was fine with it. Bruised childhood egos heal fast. Growing up mean that all that childish stuff would be a thing of the past.



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    As I write this, it is the Easter weekend. There are a number of people on the island from the mainland. They are here for one four day weekend of fun, crazy nights and debauchery. It was interesting to hear what a real “San Pedrano” had to say about that! Without going into details, it is suffice to say that the general consensus was, “what a relief to see them leave at the end of the weekend.” All of a sudden, all the wrongs, the ills and the bad driving and the general misbehaviour of the visitors was fodder for the true blue locals. Such behaviour! Scandal!

    But the real question is, what about those who have to stay around and work and carry on with life? Where exactly do we fit in? Since when has it been okay to carry on with real life like you were still in high school?

    While we play twenty questions, let’s ask this: Why does it bother me that I am not considered worthy of being called a San Pedrana? Perhaps I am most anxious because I genuinely love the island. It offers a life; its energy is infectious. The possibilities are endless in San Pedro. There is no limit to how you can live your life, and enjoy being a part of what makes this island unique. And perhaps, that’s just it - knowing that you are dedicating your life to making a place your home, carving out niches and making a name for yourself. I don’t need the condescending and patronizing approval of the locals, but it sure is nice when they appreciate what you are contributing to the society. I don’t need to be invited to their weddings and their parties. I don’t invite them to mine. What would be nice is that they be honest. You don’t need a bottle of whiskey to show your true colours. Just as much as I know that I am done playing second wheel in a friendship, it’d sure be nice to have some honesty. And I for one, am done being invisible. I am done simply accepting my fate as an outsider. Like I’ve always thought, they’ve had thirteen years to get used to me. If they won’t now, they never will. And I can live with that now.           



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