So the other day there was a guy.
Isn't there always a guy?
Anyway, the other day there was a guy, and I may or may not have been kissing said guy. Said guy is so attractive, that I'm almost nervous to be kissing him, because, as we all know, when you're kissing really attractive people, you're thinking to yourself:
Too much tongue?
How can I spice this up?
If I spice it up, he'll think I'm a freak.
But if I don't, he'll think I'm boring.
…Why do men have so much god damn facial hair?!
So here I am, with said attractive man, and then it happens.
I see that his neck is bleeding. And I mean red, oozy, fresh bleedy vampire blood.
He looks at me, like, “What?!?!”
Then, I look upward, and see that his forehead is bleeding, too.
I gasp again.
And then I see blood spilling all over his shirt.
And I realize what has happened.
He's not bleeding. I am.
Haven't had a bloody nose in nearly a decade, yet here I am, with only THE MOST GORGEOUS MAN WHO HAS EVER BEEN IN MY PRESENCE and suddenly–I GET A BLOODY NOSE.
That said, I wish that were the weirdest part of the date.
Because dating here in Chile? Is inherently weird overall.
Allow me to make a big, giant blanket statement that may or may not be fair and say that…Chileans suck at it.
For those of you who don't know, I live part-time in Chile. And yes, gorgeous is a Chilean.
I'm constantly frustrated here, because “dating” seems to consist of, “Hey, what are you up to tonight? How 'bout I come over and we'll drink some pisco?”
And to me, THAT IS NOT A DATE, BRO.
Dates involve me. And you. And my sexiest outfit. Some place public. Partly for safety. Partly because it's just WHAT YOU DO. Preferably with a drink that costs more than $3 for the entire bottle. Because if you want me to take you seriously as a man? You should probably take me seriously as a woman.
It isn't about having a man spend money on me–I could care less about that. It's about the experience. The setting. The formality. The respect. And the acknowledgment that this is actually a date and not some lame attempt at “friends with benefits,” which I will never, ever do, cross my heart and hope to die.
Because if you're really into me, you won't want to just be friends. And anything less than “really into me” isn't worthy of my time.
So as a result, I've been left with the impression that Chileans suck at dating. Mostly because they don't date. They hang out. And then I get bitter about it, because it leaves me feeling like they're just trying to have their cake and eat it, too. And that doesn't fly.
And then the other day I realized that–you know what?–for once in my life, I'm probably being a bit too hard on someone.
I'm viewing the situation as a North American would, and not, perhaps, like a Chilean would.
I thought back to a Chilean friend of mine, who used to frustrate me, because we only ever would go and hang out with his friends in their apartments–we'd never meet anyone out for a drink, or do anything that was, to me, remotely interesting. And I remember him telling me that the reason is because, to them, it's more intimate that way. There's more opportunity for conversation. And it's an honor to be invited into someone's home. Chileans LOVE going to one another's homes and spending time together that way.
And then, of course, there are the financials. At an average salary of $600/month, it's no wonder no one's hitting the town.
So I'm left wondering if, perhaps, this could be why hanging out at someone's apartment as a “date” might be more acceptable here. It's a cultural thing. Either that, or I'm really striking the hell out.
But at the end of the day, regardless of the reason, what it comes down to is expectations.
We've all got 'em.
In this case, there are certain cultural expectations at play, for both parties involved. And when an expectation on either end is broken, it hinders things. Maybe it just puts a kink in them, or maybe it's a deal breaker altogether, but regardless, when there's a misalignment of expectations, there's gonna be trouble. Glass could fly. Not saying that I've thrown any glass objects, or anything. Wink.
So I was pondering this while packing for the U.S., and I began to think about just how much expectations affect how we do business. Especially for freelancers and independent business owners.
You got thisclose to scoring that contract, but you didn't. Why not? What expectations did your prospective client have, that you might not have met?
You got thisclose to accepting a contract, but you didn't. Why not? What expectations did you have, that your prospective client might not have met?
Your client is angry because you aren't available to take her calls 24/7–whose fault is that, really? (The answer: Yours, for not setting those expectations from the beginning.)
You're disappointed in someone you've hired, because you didn't expect there to be that much of a learning curve.
You aren't happy with the way your eBook design turned out, because you expected them to know what you'd like.
Your client isn't satisfied with the final product–what expectations did they have for the end result?–
And so on, and so on.
Expectations are important. They set the tone for everything. And most importantly, they influence how you and your work are perceived. And if that's the case, then it's a really good idea to be as up front as possible from the beginning–especially with new clients–and try to get all of the expectations out on the table–both theirs and yours.
I promise your business will improve because of it.
And, of course, hopping back to me and my North American dating expectations, I suppose this means is that I'll need to start ruthlessly interrogating Chilean men on the street.
Did I say interrogating? I meant interviewing.
Because while I might not be happy about the “hang out date,” at least I'll have a better shot at understanding it. And if I understand it, I'll be far less likely to feel like a whore. And if I feel less like a whore, then I will be in a better mood. And if I'm in a better mood, I will probably start giving to charity or some shit. And if I start giving to charity, then obviously I will fall in love with some little Ethiopian girl that I will adopt and name Olivia. Except I won't really name her Olivia, because it reminds me of that show, Fringe. And I don't want to be thinking of supernatural oddities every time I yell out to my daughter, who doesn't even exist. So no Olivia. But maybe Nadia. Pronounced like “Nau” as in “naughty,” and “dee” and “uh.” Nau – dee – uh.
See? Things are coming together already.
And to top it off, if all that stuff happens, I will also probably get another shot with Sir Hottie, who will most like arrive wearing a raincoat, as to avoid getting soaked with my blood.
But he really shouldn't worry.
Next time, I'll be armed with peroxide.
Apparently, you never know when you might get a blood stain.
Especially when all you wanted to do was come over, drink a $3 bottle of pisco, and chill with only the most amazing American chick you've ever met.
If only the bitch would learn how to kiss.