The only constant………

A few things  happened in the last week, or so, that have caused me to pause, think, and then remain silent.   It has taken years for me to realize that a knee jerk response should not be vocalized.  And, unfortunately, although the lesson has been heard, it still isn’t always heeded.  Maybe that’s why I love the written word.    Overzealous reactions can be edited out later when the head is cooler and  I think I’m calm enough now.  But, before I get to the situation I’m, obviously,  still avoiding let me give you a few examples of how my vocal skills have created problems in the past.

To start with, I’m short.  The reason I mention this is that there was a very tall gentleman that had become interested in me some years back.  We had friends in common in our little academic environment and I often would run into him at functions on campus.  His rather intense stare across rooms would be coupled with a shy hesitancy and obvious nervousness when in close proximity and, frankly speaking, I should have been flattered.  However, and I apologize for my lack of metric abilities, my 5’3″  to his 6’6″ height was, to me, laughable.  I love to dance and all I could think of was that there would never be a step stool around when necessary.  But, I soon eliminated any possibility of this becoming an issue on the day he finally approached.   He walked across a conference room, loomed over me and said, “I wanted to tell you that I’ve been admiring you from a distance.”  To which I replied, “well, isn’t that the only way you could?”   Problem solved, his crush was over.

This lack of communication between my mouth and my brain has been with me a long time now.  I’m a survivor of an all girls boarding school.    So I speak from experience when I say that girls should never be cloistered in the hills of Pennsylvania, USA, with nothing but a farm and nuns; they’ll get bored.  And nothing is worse than a pack of bored, adolescent girls when rules are expected to be followed.   My personal favorite  was smoking.  This was the seventies and it didn’t make folks the pariah it does now.  In fact, it was still “cool” then.  Anyway, I’d promised the principal, Sr. Rose, that I’d not smoke on campus anymore.  Needless to say, I was caught not two weeks later.  When she asked me what had happened to my promise I replied, “I guess it went up in smoke.”  Yea, I know you could probably see that one coming, but, if it makes you feel any better,  I swear my left ear still hurts from her tugging on it the whole way to her office.

So, here I am, decades later, living on the island of Cozumel.  Retired, nesting, and generally enjoying life with my, now, two dogs, my hammock, a few new friends, and this laptop;  life is good.   In between my typically loner style bike rides, coffee stops, and beach time there is a small group of folks I have become acquainted with and I enjoy their company.  Although their numbers swell and dip, they’ve been on this island for years and have established a sort of quiet routine and have thrived as a result.  But, there’s trouble in paradise.

Now, I like to think that change can be good, but if it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it, yes?  Apparently not.  A few new folks on the island have decided that things will work more efficiently with a stricter set of “guidelines.”   This bothers me, a lot,  and I can’t quite determine why since what is being suggested might well be a good thing for all.  Still, I just can’t get the image out of my head of missionaries and their “good intentions.”  You know what I mean.  “It’s our duty to show these savages the right path.”  Not sure who I’m paraphrasing there, but my intent is clear, I hope.

Bottom line, for me, is that I’m a guest on the island of Cozumel.    I don’t feel that I have the right, or the knowledge, to try and “improve” the lives of others.  I’m not here to “show you the way.”  I will happily volunteer when necessary, will always be available to help when asked, and have no problem picking up any garbage accumulated on my block, but I will do it without my verbal input.    Who knows?  Down the road, after years  of living on the island, I might think differently, but it will take many years.  Until then I will happily abide by the island ways and just be grateful that I can live here at all.  Salud!

p.s. I took these pictures at Hacienda Chichen where the Maya still practice their rituals………seemed appropriate for the topic somehow

12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. mary poole
    May 01, 2012 @ 18:40:59

    It’s just ex-pats doing what some ex pats do and there’s not much anyone can do about it. There’s always a clash of personalities in situations like that. Some are just plain bossy- no?

    Reply

  2. mexcelia
    May 01, 2012 @ 18:50:37

    From what I’m hearing, apparently it was inevitable………………

    Reply

  3. Valli
    May 01, 2012 @ 23:06:08

    I just returned from a 3 month stay, and I understand exactly what you are experiencing. I think I met every one of those same people you mention in your blog! Well intended,(in most cases) but somewhat intrusive, pushy, and always knew “what was best.” My decision was rather than allow myself to become frustrated, I made a decision to keep my mouth shut and distance myself. Too much drama and having to take sides, and unfortunately, it was often about egos and recognition. Go with your instincts and you will find a great circle of supportive friends that do not have agendas. Sorry to sound so harsh, but I really found that it was really apparent this last trip and it sounds to me you have a great attitude and good head on your shoulders! Love following your adventures and reading about your experiences.

    Reply

    • mexcelia
      May 01, 2012 @ 23:59:51

      appreciate the kind words and suggestions………wish you hadn’t had to experience it as well though………but, going to keep my head down (facing the keyboard, I guess:)

      Reply

  4. richard westerlage
    May 02, 2012 @ 12:07:00

    Kinda funny . Enjoying your blog .I had no idea all the Democrats were moving to Cozumel. Easy enough to avoid them I am sure. We move there in November and I am sure I personally will have no problem telling people what to kiss a duck. Maybe we will see you in our travels as we will be there may 5th thru 19th and we live on 25th entre 19 and 21. Hillbilly

    Reply

    • mexcelia
      May 02, 2012 @ 13:51:53

      hey! Smile…….thanks for the kind words, and I’ll be the one on the purple bike with a camera in my hands, maybe I’ll see you folks, hope you have a safe trip!

      Reply

  5. Sarah
    May 02, 2012 @ 14:55:01

    This attitude and behavior truly astounds me. I know someone who wanted to go into a Mexican city/province as a missionary to “bring the light of Jesus to them and turn them away from their sinful religious practice. ” Um, that “practice” was Catholocism, which has been a constant in Mexico for how many generations/years? The gall. Really….unbelievable. I was embarrased for them.

    Reply

    • mexcelia
      May 02, 2012 @ 16:11:08

      Sarcasm duly noted…………….was thinking more along the lines of when my ancestors’ religion, language, and culture was desecrated by the well meaning and the well intended

      Reply

      • Sarah
        May 02, 2012 @ 16:18:28

        Exactly…great example. I’ll never understand the arrogance. Thanks for your lovely blog. I really enjoy it. 🙂

      • mexcelia
        May 02, 2012 @ 16:26:11

        Thanks for understanding, and the kind words……….seems I might have ruffled a few feathers in a few places though *sigh* Might just go back to “fluff stuff” for a while 🙂 Not as rewarding, but safer, lol

  6. Mary Brey (@mexicomary)
    May 02, 2012 @ 20:41:50

    It’s bound to happen in a place like Cozumel… I’m still new here, but the difference in the expat community here and where I was previously in Mexico is HUGE. There the expats came because they loved and thrived on mexican culture and they dove right in and lived in the nitty gritty of it all. Here, I guess it is more of a “live in paradise” mindset that gets people here, live the good life and stretch those american dollars. It is a very separate community (though of course there are some of us knee deep in local life)… and being so separate creates a lack of perspective and understanding. I like to believe that all intentions are good, but, yes, it gets to be arrogent and harmful when someone comes in and wants to make things “better”. So far, I have kept my blinders on, stayed in my little colonia and have a very rare day when English escapes from my mouth. It’s a hard adjustment for me here, but I am in paradise and gotta take the bad with the amazingly good.

    Reply

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