The ” Seven-Second Delay” is something that I wish I had the ability to use growing up with my Haitian parents. On radio and television, they use it to bleep and or/censor inappropriate material during live shows before it reaches the air.
Haitian parents have the uncanny ability to say exactly what is on their mind regardless as to how it is received by the intended party. 9 times out of 10, it’s information that you would have much rather they have kept to themselves.
Call it being blunt. Honest. Direct. For me, it’s inexplicable and apparently after discussing with some of of my other Haitian friends, I am not alone.
Both my parents are guilty, however, my mother has a chronic affliction. Below is just a sampling of some of her quotes throughout the years.
- ” You’re 28, you’re not married, you have no kids, I am going to die soon.”- ( I am 40, married with kids and she’s still here!)
- “Put on some earrings, you look like a boy.”
- “You’re getting fat.”-( I was 9 months pregnant)
- “You want me to babysit so you can have sex? eh-eh!”- ( *blank stare*)
- (Called every friend in her notebook to inform them I started my period:-/.)
- ” I don’t like your (male) friend. His shoes are dirty.”
- “You used to have such nice hair.”
- To my husband-to-be at the time: ” When will you give me grandkids?”
So what becomes of a child who grows up under such a “watchful” eye.
Well, first you think once, twice, and three times before you introduce them to your friends. You go thru a mock ” meeting my parents ” drill with your friends and inspect their clothing and hairstyles. You ask them to keep conversation to a minimum. Just answer with a simple yes or no and keep it moving. Hopefully, your parent(s) are too busy and they escape with a simple hello and or wave. On second thought, they better make a verbal acknowledgment or you will have to hear about how rude your friends are.
As an adult, I am used to it at this point. I laugh it off now and even have a few choice comebacks of my own. Back in the day, this would be considered being “fresh”. I’m a big girl now! Let me stop lying. It’s best to say I take it with a grain of salt.
My mom has no plans on changing. I guess I should be happy that she’s not quiet around me all the time. However, that seven second delay every now and then would be nice.
How was it like for you growing up? Did you have a parent(s) that didn’t bite their tongue? Feel free to leave a comment about an experience or memorable quote. As always, thanks for reading!