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Posts Tagged ‘friends’

Growing up, if I ever wanted to go to an after school function, house party, or quite frankly anywhere without my haitian parents, I had to give them at least two weeks notice.

Haitian parents do not like to be ambushed with requests at the last minute. Never, I repeat never, call from a friend’s house asking for permission to do something that same day or you will be in some serious trouble when you get home. You already knew better not to even ask to sleepover. Although, the phone conversation may have ended politely, as soon as you walked through the door, you were facing a consequence. (See “Mete ou ajenou (Get on your knees)!”https://cornbreadandcremasse.wordpress.com/2012/04/29/mete-ou-ajenou-get-on-your-knees/ for the aftermath.)

So just like leaving a job, you need to give haitian parents ample time for notification and to process your request. You may also have to spend time explaining to them terms like ” pep rally”, ” calabash”, or “tailgating”. Not quite sure there is a word in kreyol for any of the aforementioned, but in any event just avoid discussing the attendance of members of the opposite sex. Keep in mind, after you’ve made the request, you had to make it your duty to constantly remind them up until the actual date of the event. If not, you had better be prepared to have them tell you, that they don’t recall you ever asking them, and that either the answer was no or they would back to you after discussing it over with each other. This usually was the kiss of death.

Personally, I had a strategy in presenting my two weeks notice. First, I asked the more lenient parent, which in my household was my dad. My dad didn’t care too much about the details, but I knew that when I needed a backup for when, not even if, my mom acted like I was telling her something she had never heard before, he had my back.

Next thing I had to do was discuss it with my mom, but in doing so I had to invoke the “ONE FRIEND” into the conversation.

You see, Haitian parents have your one friend that they like. They don’t like your friends in groups; just one. The one friend even knows your parents love them because they will even say to you ” Just tell them you are coming with me”. The qualifications of the “one friend” vary from parent to parent. For my parents, mostly my mom, she had to have never been seen hanging around boys. This clearly meant that she was ” loose”. Her appearance and overall presentation had to be always on point. This meant her hair had to be done and her clothes neatly pressed. If she were Haitian, she would receive bonus points, and quite frankly win by default. Just make sure that you are actually going with that friend because the fallout from lying on and about the friend is devastating. Take my word for it.

I really envied my friends who could just go places on short notice or better yet tell their parents after the fact. That was unheard of when I was growing up. How about you? Did you parents let you go to different things on short notice? Did you have to give notice way ahead of time like I did? Did they have the one friend they loved? Are you still friends? Were you the coveted friend? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you.

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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!

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Growing up, if I ever wanted to go to an after school function, house party, or quite frankly anywhere without my haitian parents, I had to give them at least two weeks notice.

Haitian parents do not like to be ambushed with requests at the last minute. Never, I repeat never, call from a friend’s house asking for permission to do something that same day or you will be in some serious trouble when you get home. You already knew better not to even ask to sleepover. Although, the phone conversation may have ended politely, as soon as you walked through the door, you were facing a consequence. (See “Mete ou ajenou (Get on your knees)!”https://cornbreadandcremasse.wordpress.com/2012/04/29/mete-ou-ajenou-get-on-your-knees/ for the aftermath.)

So just like leaving a job, you need to give haitian parents ample time for notification and to process your request. You may also have to spend time explaining to them terms like ” pep rally”, ” calabash”, or “tailgating”. Not quite sure there is a word in kreyol for any of the aforementioned, but in any event just avoid discussing the attendance of members of the opposite sex. Keep in mind, after you’ve made the request, you had to make it your duty to constantly remind them up until the actual date of the event. If not, you had better be prepared to have them tell you, that they don’t recall you ever asking them, and that either the answer was no or they would back to you after discussing it over with each other. This usually was the kiss of death.

Personally, I had a strategy in presenting my two weeks notice. First, I asked the more lenient parent, which in my household was my dad. My dad didn’t care too much about the details, but I knew that when I needed a backup for when, not even if, my mom acted like I was telling her something she had never heard before, he had my back.

Next thing I had to do was discuss it with my mom, but in doing so I had to invoke the “ONE FRIEND” into the conversation.

You see, Haitian parents have your one friend that they like. They don’t like your friends in groups; just one. The one friend even knows your parents love them because they will even say to you ” Just tell them you are coming with me”. The qualifications of the “one friend” vary from parent to parent. For my parents, mostly my mom, she had to have never been seen hanging around boys. This clearly meant that she was ” loose”. Her appearance and overall presentation had to be always on point. This meant her hair had to be done and her clothes neatly pressed. If she were Haitian, she would receive bonus points, and quite frankly win by default. Just make sure that you are actually going with that friend because the fallout from lying on and about the friend is devastating. Take my word for it.

I really envied my friends who could just go places on short notice or better yet tell their parents after the fact. That was unheard of when I was growing up. How about you? Did you parents let you go to different things on short notice? Did you have to give notice way ahead of time like I did? Did they have the one friend they loved? Are you still friends? Were you the coveted friend? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you.

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