Friday, April 16, 2010

surely I could always use more

My school is huge, about 1800 students, and 80 or 90 teachers. I've been meeting and getting to know some of them. Betty doesn't speak English, is in her 40s, has cat-eye glasses and the self-possessed air of a troublemaker. We met on Tuesday.

"Do you have a girlfriend?"

This is The Chilean Question. I haven't found out what happens if you say "no," since, well, I have a girlfriend. Apparently, if you're not dating someone, there's something wrong with you, especially if you're a woman.

"Yes, I do, she's in North America."

"Oh! Bah! You need a Chilean girlfriend."

There are a few different ways to respond to this.

"Well, I'll ask the North American girlfriend, and if she says it's okay, I can have a Chilean girlfriend too."

She was taken aback, which was gratifying. Maybe because Chilean men are typically not forthcoming about these things--before you date one, you really need to ask multiple times about existing wives/children/girlfriends, because they may not volunteer the information.

Sometimes the truth is just more fun.

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