Monday, 08 August 2011
It's funny because before I ever went to Spain I used to hate hate HATE PDA. I always found it to be really awkward. I never really hated on people who did as much (just annoyed me a little), but I, myself, could never bring myself to do it, and I mean like even the simplest things like holding hands.
I'm not as O.D about it now to the point of holding hands, but I still don't feel that comfortable about it, and I think I know why.
Location, location, location. Sounds dumb, right? I was a lot more relaxed about PDA while I was studying abroad in Spain. No one really knew me so I didn't really care who was judging or who was not. I wasn't worried about running into someone.
Here, at home, I run into the world.
It may be in the neighborhood, in Manhattan, in the mall, or even at the beach! It never stops. I shouldn't care if I run into someone, but I hate when people know about my life. People talk, and gossip travels fast and that just bugs me when I know people draw conclusions.
The thing is that in American culture PDA is awkward because affection has usually been taught to be a private and intimate thing so when we publicize it, we are sharing our affection with everyone else. In Spain, this is viewed as beautiful.
It’s beautiful to be on top of your lover practically having sex with clothes on sitting on a park bench. It’s beautiful to be making out passionately on the corners of streets. It’s beautiful because these people are in love and they feel so free and happy about it.
Recently I practiced what was acceptable in Spain over here in NYC in a local park. All I did was sit side by side with my guy with my legs lying on his knees and kissed him at 8 pm.
What happened within 5 minutes of that? A man passed by and started yelling at us. "Excuse me! Excuse me! That is very inappropriate what you are doing! This is a children's park. If you want to go do that, go to a hotel! If I see you here still doing that when I come back, I'm going to call the police!"
That was a bit extreme. We were just kissing! Jesus Christ! This guy had a bitch fit over it. Yes, it’s a park, but we weren’t in the children’s area of it either. Meanwhile he's with his kid and I'm thinking, you know you had to do what we are doing to have the kid you're holding hands with who are the reason why you're even in this park right now, right? Ugh.
I personally still can't define where I stand exactly on the subject... whether I accept it or don't, whether I like it or not, but in the meantime I'll keep practicing it until I know what’s good enough for me.
Are Americans that uptight about it that we have invented an acronym for it? Are both cultures two different extremes? Is there a happy medium?