Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Yes Ma'am. No Ma'am

Right now I feel like I am in the servant's quarters of the house although I am a few feet away from my cousin and his new wife. I'm not entirely sure how old they are (not older than 35) but the wife insists on calling me Honey like I'm 12. I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt because she's just met me and she doesn't know yet. She seems very fashionable, nice and educated so I don't want to dislike her, especially since she is family now, but I have a feeling that if I met her on different terms, I probably would not like her. That's only because I'm not very nice to people I should be nice to.

I'm glad that my cousin has found himself a place in this country. He has a job, a wife and a home. He has definitely made something of himself. I remember when I first met him in Haiti 10 years ago. He looks a lot like my father, quite handsome, and he seemed very happy to have me as part of his family. I'm always happy to meet members of my family that I've never met before, but I don't like being treated like a child or being reminded of my life when I was a child.

My mother, in the presence of other Haitians, has a tendency to put me down. She loves to make my sister look like the awesome daughter who has the PhD and lives on her own. When she talks about me, on the other hand, I'm the daughter who "poco, fe demwazel". Apparently I'm not a presentable young woman yet. I'm sorry I'm not the kind of person who walks up and down the apartment looking for things to clean, meals to cook and people to serve.

According to my mother (I would add my father into these rantings but he is hardly ever around or involved to be relevant) I don't know how to speak Creole or French. Apparently I spoke Sign Language to my grandmother and my aunts when I visited them a few weeks ago.

I don't know why I always let this get to me, but I just hate the way that my mother makes people think of me. I don't enjoy having people say "keep your head up and stay focused. You'll get there." like I'm some charity case. I'm 25 years old. I may not have that awesome job yet, but I will.

All day today I've been the help. This morning I was the nanny to my brother. I made sure he was bathed, dressed and fed before school. I drove my mother to get her hair done and I waited there, annoyed, for 2 hours while she and her hairdresser yapped about the immorality of gay couples adopting children. (Apparently Christians would rather have children be orphaned by their straight parents than be saves, loved and taken care of by gay parents) By the time we got back home, my father was here and he brought some seafood (most of which I cannot eat because I am allergic) for his nephew that was scheduled to come at 3pm. After a few Regine, can you do this? Regine can you do that? I made some food for these cousins of mine. The food was cooked at 2:00, they didn't get here till 6.

I haven't heard the word please spoken sincerely since I've been here. I have, on the other hand, learned that I have two names. Regine for when I'm being scolded and Regina (emphasis on gi) for when she needs me to do something for her. Either way, I'm bummed.

I don't like how I'm constantly here complaining about stuff. I probably look like a pathetic ninny attached to my keyboard. I just don't have anything positive on which to report. I have hope.

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