Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Is It Possible To Turn The Sexy Down? Just A Little?
After two plus weeks in Bogota one thing is for certain: I will be extremely surprised if I start singing this 90s classic to myself at any point this year:
I wasn't singing this song last year either, but for completely different reasons. The ladies at my local salon turned my hair orange and I looked a lot more like some sort Carrot Top/Ronald McDonald hybrid than I did a youngish Julianne Moore. I also was surrounded by little men with inexplicably long fingernails who always wore Batik shirts which always reminded me of Tattoo from Fantasy Island even after a Google search proved this to be erroneous (Tattoo always wore a white suit). They did, however, look a lot like Hawaiian shirt and, let's face it, very, very few men look like Magnum PI in a Hawaiian shirt.
Usually guys in Hawaiian shirts look a lot more like the same type of guys who might want to wear a hat like this:
In addition to this, the country was also filled with women who favored man pants, orthopedic shoes, and toe socks who liked to remind me that I was really, really big. It never really felt like an atmosphere where anyone was about to up the sexy. Especially, not when I stopped wearing make up and usually found myself covered in a mixture of perspiration and bug spray. At times I would catch sight of myself in a mirror while out to dinner and think "Dear God".
Now of course I was prepared for Colombia to be a little different. I've seen that video with Shakira where she manages to make being covered in oil and dirt look really erotic and does those things with her tummy that don't really look like they should be possible. I also knew it was a place where even your average joes and geeks can do all these dances that I am pretty sure my body could never learn how to do. I don't mean to sound pessimistic, but I do hail from a people who are, in general, much better at guzzling beers and eating potatoes than dancing. I believe there is a pretty good reason why the Irish invented these to wear while doing dances where no part of your body above the knee moves AT ALL:
And not these (and to be honest I have no idea what a person would do in one of these):
I've only been out a couple of times at night and I have to admit that I've been having some staring problems. On my behalf, it did look like every women at the restaurant I was at had been allowed to choose the most perfect bum and had then thrown on a very tiny, very bright, lycra skirt for a night of sexy dancing. Make no mistake, I was not having any sort of sexual identity crisis (I'm not that hip), nor was I on the verge of turning into some sort of old time-y masher. I was just very, very impressed. The thought of wearing a hot pink mini skirt has never even crossed my mine, however, I saw clearly why this is not the case for everyone. Maybe it had something to do with their lack of muffin tops and saddlebags.
There is something a little overwhelming about being surrounded by so many hotties with perfect bums who also have their hair and nails did, and killer moves on the dance floor. It sorta makes me want to just throw on some yoga pants and put my hair up in a ponytail (like I did my first Friday here when I went to the mall in a sweatsuit in search of a McFlurry because nothing says glamorous, international traveler like a trip to a food court in order to do some solo TGIF-ing). I mean, how could you even begin to compete with ladies who can probably actually do the lambada? It almost makes me miss the Hawaiian shirts and man pants of Indo just a little bit.
I knew I was in for a little bit of trouble even before I left when I picked up a copy of Culture Shock Colombia during a bathroom stop at Barnes and Nobles when I was still in NYC. I opened the book to the dating section. It spent several pages explaining how gorgeous, aggressive, and flirtatious Colombian women are and how this leads to foreign dudes instantly finding bodacious girlfriends who fill their social calendars up and give them lots of kisses and good times. The following paragraph was pretty short. It said this:
Colombian men do not feel this way about foreign women.
But then I got in the taxi to head to work this morning. The driver kept telling me how pretty I was (which is not exactly what you want to hear when you are stuck in traffic in a foreign city with a stranger who looks looks like he may or may not be winking at you in the rearview mirror). It seemed like a good time to admit that, yes, I did live with my imaginary husband who also teaches English. Unfortunately, I'm afraid that I must be a terrible liar in 8th grade Spanish just like I am in my native tongue because I'm pretty sure the driver threw me a side eye. He asked if Colombian men bothered me all the time. I said no, because I'm old. I thought it was a good time to be honest so I told him my age. He looked shocked. At first I was a little flattered and then I realized he was probably shocked because I had just told him I was 56.
He asked why my husband didn't go to work with me to which I smoothly replied "Ummm.... He school no same of him". Apparently, this did not fool my sly cabbie because he then asked me how to say "hacer amor" (make love) in English and he did a little something with his tongue. I figured it was best to just shrug and say "no entiendo". I guess I'm a real Johnny No Fun, but I didn't really feel like discussing love making with my 50 something year old driver at 9 am. I hadn't even had any coffee yet. But, at least this could mean I have a niche, right?