Day 11 – Something people to seem to compliment you the most on
Compliments. Gotta love ’em! I have to say that I do get a lot of compliments, and it’s hard to say what most of them are for. Actually, now that I think about it, I think most of them relate to my physical appearance. They’re not about a specific feature, but people generally tell me that I’m pretty/beautiful. Don’t stop reading now. I’m not saying I’m a TKO. I’ll explain this further.
I live in The Bahamas. Men on the street holla (literally and figuratively) at women passing by a LOT. It’s almost instinctive. I always say, “Bahamian men make it impossible for Bahamian women to have a low self-esteem.” They will holla at ANY and EVERY woman they come across in the street, in the grocery store, at the mall, in the club… ANYwhere, really. What they say varies slightly.
OY! OY! LUV.LAY!
Hey, solid! You wan’ my wallet?
SEXY! Wan’ a Pepsi?
Hey, Miss! Miss! You know you look good right?
Come here, girl, lemme hol’ you!
I often wonder if they find this method effective. Do they ever bother to approach a woman one-on-one, without yelling, and using phrases like, “Hello, you look very nice today. May I help you with your bags?” Now, this is The Bahamas… Not many women will allow a strange man to carry their bags. I’m just saying, it’s another way to go about things. I’d be more responsive to a man who speaks to me as though we are the only people in the moment at the moment, even if I refuse his offers. Instead, they yell at women in groups.
Picture this: You arrive at the grocery store. You park your car, and get out. You take about 4 steps before you notice 3 men leaning against a wall together. You only notice them because of the noise they’re making in attempting to engage you (if we can call it that). One man says, “OY! SEXY!” You ignore him and continue walking as you hear the second man say, “Dammmn, girl, you look good, eh?!” The third man says, “Mmmp, mmmp, mmmp! She fiiiiine, eh?” The first man says, “I can’t take you out, eh?” By this time, you’ve open the door and are entering the grocery store, but they continue and you head combinations of, “Hey, Miss?! I can’t take you out?!” and “You look good, hear?”
Now imagine that every time you’re in public, you experience something like that. Men on walls, in passing cars, in parked cars, in buildings you enter… Everywhere. All the time. When you go to lunch, when you cross the street to get to your car, when you go to the gas station… Got it? Congratulations. You are now, in your imagination, a woman in The Bahamas. Whether you are short, tall, light-skinned, dark-skinned, long-haired, short-haired, very thin, grossly overweight, healthy-looking… It doesn’t matter. You. Are. Getting. Attention. You. Are. Getting. Compliments. Sometimes they are weird. E.g. “You’n have no breast, but look at that assssssss! Mmmp! You look GOOD!”
Short hair, don't care!
More personally, among people I know, and people who actually have the decency to speak directly to me, face-to-face (not yelling at my back), I’m getting a lot of compliments on my new haircut. People seem to like it. A lot. Some people even go as far as saying that my beauty shows more with short hair, or note (aloud) that everyone can’t rock a short cut like mine/I do. It’s nice to hear. Especially since I don’t plan to let it get long again. At all. Ever.
Other things I’m complimented on fairly often include my smile, my teeth, and my eyes. I’m rarely complimented on anything other than those physical features. Oh! Since I’ve been riding my bicycle to work, random people on the street have “given me props.” People have stopped (in their cars) to say things like, “Good for you!” and “You’re smarter than the rest of us! Keep it up!” Now THAT. Is pretty cool. (To really get how cool it is, you’d have to understand how caught up most Bahamians are on status and how-would-it-look-ifs.) I think that has to be my favourite compliment, if it could be considered a compliment. For people in passing cars to feel strongly enough to stop and let me know that they think what I’m doing is awesome, and they wish they could do it (which they really can) is a great thing. Maybe the country can start changing. Maybe focus can be shifted, and energy put in the right place. Saving money and gas, putting egos aside, and putting more emphasis on physical health, the environment, and financial security. Maybe.