Define Me

      I started off my weekly rants based on relationships, stating that women need to give their men space, love, attention and freedoms. I still take that stance, knowing that we are all equal in the relationship game, and by treating each other the way we expect to be treated, we should thrive. But I also mention the pitfalls of falling for someone who is just a bit too good to be true, and the existence of machismo in our Belizean society hampers the progress of good relationships as well, regardless of how wonderful their women are. In those instances cutting ones losses is the best bet.


    After that initial column, I got an email from a recently enamored woman who was looking forward to making her new Belizean boyfriend happy. My guess is that she was eager to learn a bit more as to what makes the Belizean man tick. I am pretty sure I disappointed in that department when I revealed a bit about the land sharks and their wily ways via my column. Oops.

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    Unfortunately, we’re all alike, we women in this big world, in that we want our lives to hum along happily, with nary a speed bump along the way to jolt us. No, we want it all, and we do whatever it takes to have it all.

    Well, I got a jolt from an outside observer just recently. It made me question myself for a few minutes, my sense of peace and balance teetered dangerously, my self-esteem shot for several scary moments.

    I was in my favorite greengrocer’s store, enjoying a leisurely shopping afternoon, with the rain pouring outside, me dry and happy inside. But then at checkout time, my friend the cashier and I got into an argument. Alongside the packets of cashews and enveloped in the smells of fresh greens and tropical pineapples and papayas, our argument started innocently enough. My phone had stopped working - freezing up and behaving erratically. My annoyance escalated when the Beloved sends a text message, after he was notified I could not access it. I said as much out loud, chanting over and over, “call me instead, you silly man!”

    The cashier then says, jokingly enough, “your phone stopped working after you threw it at him didn’t it?” I bristled somewhat, and responded that only lowlifes and streetwalkers do such things and I most certainly wasn’t that type. I guess I hit a sore spot because then we started arguing for real, with him calling me out and essentially stating that based on his observance of our relationship, all half an hour a week of it, I was a bitch! (Oh stop pretending shock people!! I am sure you all assumed the same!)

    Hmmm. I could be – there was a switch turning on right then and there somewhere in my mind. But did he stop? Nah, he continued, saying that he noticed that Beloved was more of a 6’ 3”, 280lb, meek, subservient type who didn’t speak much, so of course I was the grating, loudmouth, bitchy one. Heh. Apparently no-one had ever told this guy that when in a hole, to stop digging. Short of turning into the proverbial bitch, or much besmirched streetwalker, pitching melons and rotten bananas at him, I calmed down and said, “Well sweetheart, thanks for the observation, but quite frankly, I don’t care what you think of us. What the world sees and perceives is completely different from what we are. I don’t need to explain my personality to you, or what happens behind closed doors. If you want to keep thinking like that, be my guest.” Okay, so that is a glossed over version of what I actually said, but you get the gist. Over the course of our argument Cashier boy managed to establish that he loved to be the dominant one in his relationship, and that sometimes, he felt like lashing out at his girlfriend, but he restrained himself. Whoopee! Score one for the incredibly restrained psycho. And I am the bitch? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

    A while back, a so-called friend told me that she and ‘other people’ were very much skeptical about my relationship with Beloved, and that we were obviously putting on a show, as no-one could possibly be that much in love, especially after six years. I believe she went on and on about how she and the ‘other people’ just were wondering when we would call it quits. She also admitted to not believing in love - so there’s a possibility her narcissism prevented her from imagining anyone else in the world being happy.

    Between her and Cashier boy, I am not sure whose ass I’d like to kick first. If one is a gold-digger who doesn’t know the meaning of love for another, I hate to say it: you might get your gold but at a serious price. And if you’re a controlling, demanding man who can barely contain your rage, then it explains so much about that string of failed relationships. If being a bitch means knowing to pick up on bullshit, and being smart enough to hold on to someone who accepts me as an equal, then baby, I am a bitch, the biggest one you’ll never have!

    I just have to ask, why is it that when one works hard for what one wants, holding on to what is near and dear, one is labeled a bitch? It’s the classic scenario, where we’re subjected to labels. We’re supposed to have come a long way in creating equality, but it is the men and women who keep backpedaling that drag us down with their stupid assumptions and labels.

    After this little rant, I’ll just try not to bother about what other people have to say. Despite everything that goes on in the world, I have the idealist’s view that one’s relationship is based on what two people bring into the picture. We are wrapped up in our own little bubble of love and happiness – it’s the basics of humanity to be selfish and self-centered, but it takes a lot of hard work and selflessness to overcome it and allow ourselves and our relationships to blossom. Those who can’t, try to bring others down. But, as I am learning from Beloved, we are not out to prove anything to anyone but ourselves. At the end of the day, amongst gold-diggers, streetwalkers, machistas, in the streets or in the produce aisle, it’s best to hold on to what makes you happy. Forget the labels and suspicions, just do your thing!           

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