Back in February, my friend Kyle posted the most offensive blog I’ve read thus far this year! Actually, as you’ll see, it wasn’t really HER sentiments that offended but rather, the sentiments of random weirdos who contact her via her blog (unfortunately one of the pitfalls of blogging is that you’re “out there” in the cyber world and anyone, anywhere can contact you to say pretty much anything). In short, her blog post contains clips of emails she received from certain people stating how the only reason any Chilean man would consider dating an American girl would be for “purely sexual reasons.” And that mostly, Chileans want to “try Gringas” in the same way, he states, that one would want to test drive a new model car. Then there’s the mention that only women who have zero luck in the States run off to South America to try their hand at love, but that too will backfire since men here treat women pretty much the same way they did in the 1800s. Pretty much at ANY moment the “true colors” of Chilean men will come out and WHAM, SLAP, BAM! Abusive husbands!
Don’t believe me? Click on the link and read her blog for yourself then get back to me (or her) about how appalled you are. (If you aren’t appalled, step away from the computer and away from my blog.)
In 8 days I’m going to be married and as I’m writing my vows (or attempting to do so because I’m failing miserably) every so often I’ve remembered this particular blog entry and now I’m seriously thinking of each and every Chilean man I’ve met who has married a non-Chilean woman – my own Chilean man as well – and what motivates them to marry us or have a serious relationship with us. And as far as I can tell, neither the man nor the woman in each scenario is anything less than awesome in their own right.
I’ll speak of the women first since as a woman, I’ve got more material. To begin with, I don’t know a single non-Chilean woman who lives here that has come “running” from her home country in order to desperately find love here in Chile. Having made the move from the US to Chile less than a year ago, I can attest that there is no such thing as merely “running to” Chile. It’s not easy for us here, even if we have found love! Some American women I’ve met don’t even speak Spanish fluently yet they still manage to make their lives as best they can here. These type of women, in general, are not those who run away from something but in my opinion, run towards something!
In my own experience I believe that the women I’ve met here, myself included, are courageous women who have their head on straight and who know what they want and who go after it. We’re not the kind of women who sit around and cry “woe is me” about having a long distance love, but who pick up and go to see where destiny and fate take us. Further, many of these women initially came to Chile on study abroad programs when they were very, very young – even before love was ever an option in Chile! They left their comfy college surroundings, the light fare of everyday (or every other day) partying to trek to this land at the end of the world and to live with a random Chilean family (random at the time, mind you.) Hello – guts!!! Excuse me, but I know very few Chilean women – or women in general – who have done something like that.
In addition, these women all have jobs here and many are on the road to long-term careers. They’ve made friends, maneuvered their way through bureaucracy (and trust me, Chile has lots) and on top of that, we constantly prove ourselves to the fellow Chileans to counter any pre-conceived notion they may have about Gringas. Whatever that may be, we have to constantly fight to have them remove those stigmas from their minds and to look at US as individuals, not as part of a whole.
In short, the non-Chilean woman who finds herself in this narrow country next to a Chilean man is NOT weak-willed or running away or insecure or shy. We’re not full of issues that can “explain” why we’re here in the first place and we’re not the kind of women who will conform to what any society or culture says of us and how things “should” be. At least, this is my view of the women – myself included – I see. I see go-getters; I see strong-willed; I see adapting; I see adventurous; I see respectful; I see women who literally go to the ends of the Earth for love… And I’m sorry, but Chilean women do NOT hold the official, exclusive license on these attributes (don’t mind me and my unabashed use of work-speak!)
So then I ask you (particularly those dumb asses who posted on Kyle’s blog), what kind of Chilean man marries such a woman?
A ROCK STAR Chilean man, that’s who.
The man who prefers a strong, unique, adventurous, determined, committed and hard-working woman is not the kind of man who would even be interested in dominating such a woman! The man next to us is just as strong, just as determined and takes pride in having a partner he can be on par with.
What if I were so bold, so controversial so as to say that the man who chooses to be with a Gringa isn’t interested in Chilean women in the first place? I say this because I take G as an example who was once married to the quintessential Chilean woman back when he himself was SO NOT who he is today. And today, as a bad ass in his career, a guy who has his act together, confident and engaging he tells me that in general (GENERAL, people) Chilean women as partners bore him. Hello!!! BORE HIM. Then again, my Chilean guy is SO NOT typical, it only makes sense that he and I are together. In fact, we’re so made for each other, we first determine what is standard or “envasado” and we request the exact opposite – almost always.
In the end, there are all kinds of women out there, Chilean and not, as is the case with men.
But being 8 days away from getting married, I’m happy to conclude that the kind of man who marries this Gringa is – simply put – amazing. What makes him unique is that he loves me for the bizarre mix of customs I myself am. Being “American” but with “Chilean” ancestry and family, I’m a smorgasbord of characteristics and ideologies (some good, some annoying) and regardless of being Gringa or Chilean or what have you, he makes me always want to be a better version of me.
Here’s hoping I do the same for him!