A couple of nights ago, a group of different-aged women and I were chatting in the kitchen. We had just met, really, introduced by my landlady and we hit it off really well. There were four of us, one single (me), one a widow (my mother), the other divorced (my landlady), and the last one also divorced and dating (my landlady’s sister).
Over coffee and cigarettes, we began to discuss men (what else can four single women do?) and I quickly realized that we Latinas follow a pattern. Whenever I get into the “men” discussion with friends and acquaintances I see that Latinas usually like older men.
The reasons range from the physical to the emotional and end up in the intellectual realm. You see, Latin American men in general (please note that I say “in general”) are different from their counterparts whose personality was shaped in the Northern Hemisphere.
There are positive traits of course, like a Latin man’s warmth of character and their very physical nature, which involves public demonstrations of affection (and private ones as well). Nothing makes a woman feel better than to know she is wanted and that her mate is not afraid to show it. Latin men are usually tender, romantic, and very sweet.
But sadly, these traits don’t seem that amazing when we begin to think about all the other things that turn us off.
First of all, the “kangaroo syndrome” thrives in Latin America (men and women who live with their parents well into their early thirties). This is mainly due to the fact that in Latin America, colleges and universities are located inside the cities, so very few people have to move out when they’re 18. So much for maturing away from home.
Secondly, it is very difficult to work and study at the same time. Salaries in Latin America are low and the working hours long. So actually holding an 8-to-7 job and on top of that studying nights becomes quite a feat. And the possibility of a part-time job is scarce.