Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Psalm 56:1--Britney's Version

Today I was reminded of the first verse in Psalm 56.  

"Be merciful to me, O God, for men hotly pursue me...". 

Back in September when I first arrived in Haiti, Willem gave me a speech about Haitian men. He said I might have been okay in the States--meaning maybe some guys liked me, but here in Haiti there would be men lining up to get the opportunity to love me. He went on and on about Haitian men and how they would really, truly love me. He said he didn't care how much I loved a man, he would have to step in if he felt the guy was using me to get a connection to the States. He made it very clear he would only bless a relationship if he knew the guy really loved me. I just chuckled to myself, thanked him for looking out for me, and hoped he would stop lecturing me soon.

However, this week I've realized there is something about this white skin that drives Haitian men crazy. This week has been Exhibit A in men throwing themselves at me.
  • First, one of my 8th grade students, age 18, asked me if I was married. I told him I was not, and I asked if he was married. He replied that no he isn't married, but he's ready to get married. I asked him who he was going to marry, pointing at some of the girls standing near by. He paused for a little bit and then said he wanted to marry me. Oh, how the other students had a good time with this piece of information! 

  • Then there are the random greetings I've heard lately. It's customary to say "Bonjour" to almost everyone you see on the street. I've received the following greetings lately: 
Bonjour bee-u-ti-ful!
Hello sexy.
I love you. I still love you.
  • Last night I sat and talked with some of the neighbors. There's a man here visiting his mother. He's Haitian, but he lives in the States most of the year. I had met him before, but wasn't overly impressed. He is close to my father's age and was a little too quick to kiss me on the cheek. Last night he asked me how old I was, inquired about how I liked living in Haiti, wondered aloud if I would be interested in staying more than a year, and then proceeded to tell me that if I did decide to stay I should let him know--with that "you know what I mean?" attitude that says he's not just being hospitable. Tonight during our English "class" that was really just the three of us talking, Taina quizzed me on having a boyfriend. Then she said that her cousin told her he liked me and asked her to do all the work for him! YUCK!! I think I might have to talk to Willem about this guy.

  • There is also the ongoing saga of the 19 year old student who admitted that he likes me. He is part of the group that walks with me after school each day. I don't think I would mind walking with him so much if he didn't always "conveniently" end up walking right next to me. (I'd like to remind you that Haitians don't understand the concept of personal space.) If I slow down and try to put some space between us, he slows down too. If I trade someone places in our line of people, he shifts over too. I've gotten to the point where I just tell him where to walk, or I make sure one of the little kids is holding my hand on the side closest to him. All of that is bad enough, but today it got worse. I didn't stop at the guest house before going home. I decided to go straight up to the top of 48 and on to my house. He decided that he would take the long way home so he could walk me even more than he already had! Add to that the fact that he is constantly saying, "Be careful!" and "Watch out!" and it's enough to make me lose it.
I suppose the moral of the story is this: If you need a self-esteem boost, move to Haiti where all the men love you.

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