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On Be the Change, Jerks

Ok, so I am one of those people who's sometimes a little late (5-10 minutes, later if it's a non-dinner party) and sometimes on time. I am also from a Latin country. However, I currently live in North America, where attitudes are a bit different (well, sometimes! It's hard to gauge.) I'm not using this as an excuse for my occasional lateness, but rather to explain how a lot of people in the world see time. It's an entire mindset, and very different from American/Canadian ideas of time.

Basically, to me and people from my home country, timeliness and punctuality are relative, and depend entirely on the event, the person, and the setting. That is to say, we know that you have to be early to say, cultural events with set times (the movies, the opera, the theatre.) So, when we go to the opera, we try to get there a bit early, to ensure that our tickets work and that we get in and that there are no problems. Similarly, we know that transit often doesn't work in our Home Country, so if you're taking the subway to catch an international train, you have to be early. (This is one way in which we are better with time than North Americans, I find, who typically expect things to work, or at least, kind of work, and thus are more easily floored when things break down or whatnot.) For social engagements: always turn up slightly (5-15 minutes) late if it's coffee, a group get-together at a bar. etc. When we set up appointments for casual meet-ups, we use time as a sort of approximative goal, not an absolute limit. If it's a house party, show up an hour late, minimum. Anything earlier is rude as fuck. It's assumed that multiple things will have gone wrong in the party set-up, and that the host is probably not wearing pants, even at the start time of the event. If it's a dinner party, between 5-10 minutes late (because again, we assume that things will have taken a bit longer than ideal) unless the menu states that you're having the following: duck, souffle, or roasted chicken. In any of those cases, you must arrive exactly on time. For the doctor, be 30 minutes late. There's no way s/he see you before then. In my home country usually if you turn up early to an office, an appointment, etc., you'll find that the person isn't even there. Don't do that. Also, showing up early to work etc. isn't really a thing--we're not like North Americans, in that we tend to prefer a work-life balance in which someone with a 10-6 job is actually only there from 10-6 (this has recently started to change.) That's not to say that we're lazy, but rather, we don't find it a virtue to always be in the office, or working, or whatever. We value balance. Hence our surprise when North American colleagues do projects early, or show up to the office an hour before opening (typically you can't even get into the building) or whatever. We respect their dedication but find it puzzling.

I am not trying to excuse perpetually, inconsiderately late people, but rather explain what our version of "Latin time" is. I find that people (especially Americans) often assume that we're always hours late, and that we're just too stupid to get anywhere on time, and thus, that we require extra hours to do anything, since we're so slow/lazy. I just want to clear up that misconception now.

Posted on January 5, 2013 at 1:15 pm 1

On Friday Open Thread

Might getting back with my ex? (Or maybe he's playing with my feelings. Who knows.) At least I have a date with another guy scheduled for next week, and I got my hair did. I'm going to be doing an intensive week of weight-loss yoga, too (because my hot dresses hurt me.)

I am trying to meditate and stay philosophical, but it's hard. I hope things are starting to improve (fingers crossed! Inshallah! Touch wood. Etc.)

Posted on January 5, 2013 at 1:05 am 0

On Friday Open Thread

@Bloodrocuted

Aha! Now that you mention the long sentences, I'm realizing that it's definitely a thing!

What IS the different between "Really, I don't mind" and "I really don't mind"? ("I really don't care," I can see how that's rude.)

Posted on September 29, 2012 at 7:13 pm 0

On Friday Open Thread

@boxlady
I should also note that when I try to say more ordinary, chit-chatty things, it also seems to make them shut down. So much reserve! So much introversion! So many codes I don't understand!

Posted on September 29, 2012 at 1:15 pm 0

On Friday Open Thread

@PatatasBravas

Yes! Exactly! You hit the nail on the head with the 'subtle intonations and insinuationts' comment!! I guess I feel like WASP is its own language, which is fine with me (I am good with languages and I speak a few, so I can learn.) I just feel like I need a guide to do that, and all will be peachy.

@PistolPackinMama: it's hard to remember, but I'll say something outrageous (totes my MO, and I think that the WASPs legit enjoy it, since I'm not being rude/mean, and they seem to laugh sincerely) but then they seem to shut down, and are unable to respond. And then conversation dies.

Posted on September 29, 2012 at 12:49 pm 1

On Friday Open Thread

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher

Thank you! and if you are...sexing one? I am still confused by this. Halp.

Posted on September 28, 2012 at 9:44 pm 0

On Friday Open Thread

Pinners, I need you! I'm having a communications issue. To summarize: I'm a pretty blunt foreigner trying to deal with WASPy New Englanders, and although my English is great I feel like I don't know the language. If that makes sense. Please tell me how to talk WASP. It's uber-confusing for me. Like, how do you make WASP small talk? What's the sense of humor like?

Posted on September 28, 2012 at 8:10 pm 1

On Friday Open Thread

@boxlady Also, thank you to @thedragon! I hope that there are many such menz in this world. I am trying to get away from the "no hot men ever like me" line of thought, but it's hard. I will keep this in mind.

@PistolPackinMama Your advice seems really wise! It's kind of what I've been trying to do (emphasis on trying). Focusing on the little pleasures, and not feeling like I don't deserve them/deserve nothing. Also, I love watching dogs' ears flop, altho I don't have a dog.

@PornPeddler! It sounds like you did a great thing for yourself and your happiness, and you knew how to get out of a bad patch. I hope to be filled with the kind of joy you seem to find in your new friends.

As always, the hairpin never fails to cheer me, impress me, and amaze me. Thank you all! Let me know if you ever need similar support. Or information on box issues (which is why I signed up for this account in the first place. So many previous issues! Ughhh!)

Posted on September 1, 2012 at 7:52 pm 0

On Friday Open Thread

@boxlady

I'm sorry to respond so late! Thank you all so much! I'm not usually a fall person but you guys are winning me over with the lurid descriptions of apples and duvets and windows and Halloween candy!!!

Also, thank you @ladida--you're right, it IS just a blip, if I choose to interpret it that way (instead of pretending that this period has to determine the rest of my life!

Posted on September 1, 2012 at 7:45 pm 0

On Friday Open Thread

Hi Pinners! I know I'm not around a lot, and that it's late in the thread, but I was kind of hoping to get some encouragement from some nice internet peeps. I'm coming out of a very difficult period in my life (to be brief: poorness, a major breakup, medical issues, lack of family support, the death of my favourite person, a sad breakup, and living with the fallout of earlier abuse), and I am starting to feel better (thanx medications and yoga) but I am not super excited about my life. I've had glimmers of excitement--I'm young! I'm in decent health! I can do lots of stuff! I can go anywheres! I'm not bad looking!

But after the past couple of years, it's hard for me to be hopeful about the future. So, pinners, please, could you help me hope again? I know it sounds cheesy but I would really appreciate anything that would make me feel like I'm going to have a fun year or so, that I am going to meet nice hot menz (I don't want a serious relationship now, mind), that I'm going to have some enjoyable times. I just want to feel like I can put aside some of the worry, and the sad. Please tell me happy things. I am growing pollyanna-ish in my old age. (Note: I know that I am lucky and my life hasn't been horrible, just a bit challenging, and that others are way worse off. But a little hope always helps.)

Posted on August 31, 2012 at 9:18 pm 0