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The ever hilarious and appropriately navel-gazing Margaret Snook over at Cachando Chile has called out for a group blog post, which we, ever the trained seals, and wanting to please get more clickety than last week, are compelled to respond. So far we have:
Margaret’s post that got it started off
and then we’ve got very content-heavy but personally petite weigh-ins by Emily, Abby, Sara, Lucie, Annje, Maeskizzle, at least two of whom I owe an email to, and btw, I’m with my family and have all but fallen over the planet, so pardon that and yes, no and of course in that order, in response to what you asked. Or something.

I have not yet read these blogs, nor the comments associated with them, but at Margaret’s request and the twenty-minute breather I’m giving myself between virtual office and time with the family, I will explain to you the singularly most effective way to alienate, offend, horrify and otherwise bug the bewhosis out of a Chilean.

Ready? Please be seated and remove that wintogreen lifesaver from your mouth lest you choke or accidentally set off those freakish green sparks (and no, it is not a myth).

Anyway, here we go. The one stop no-fail hands down, multiply adjectived best way to alienate a Chilean:

Use the word “no” when you mean to say “no.”

Let’s do a quick recap. You go on a date with someone, and at the end of the night, he pre-asks you on another date. Something along the lines of “Were I to ask you out again, in the event that we were both free and available and both interested in eating the same food/seeing the same movie, etc, if those stars were to align, what would you say to the two of us going out again?”

Let’s say you did not enjoy the date. You felt stifled and strange and wondered on several occasions why they put the bathroom at the back of the restaurant, where it would be impossible to leave without your date noticing. You would, at this point, employ the “Maybe not,” or “I don’t think so,” or “Well, maybe in a couple of months,” or “You know what? I’m just not feeling it.”

No, no, no and no.

You may not refuse an offer of a social engagement. Whether it is a date, lunch plans, going away for the weekend, going to a birthday party or any other invitation, you MAY NOT REFUSE.

Now, do not fall prey to the worry that this means you must actually attend the date, the lunch plans, the weekend or the party. What you will do is a bit of a switcheroo. You will use the word yes, but you will send mental “nos” along with the yes, such that the party of the first part will understand that the party of the second part ain’t going nowhere nohow with your sorry poto (you do the math), without actually rejecting the social engagement.

I have run afoul of this evasive telepathic no while saying yes on a number of occasions, and on every occasion I have been seen as rude, uncultured, mean, American and bizarre. To which the answers are naaaah, maybe, probably not, definitely, and y que? (so what?).

If you want a Chilean to like and understand you, you should work on figuring out how to say yes in a way that lets everyone know that the answer is no.

And when you learn, please explain it to me, because this gringa still hasn’t figured it out. And you know what? She only cares some of the time. And you can believe that’s true or guess if it’s false or wonder if maybe I’m saying something as a pretext for something else or if I really meant to say something else but I didn’t want to stir up bad sentiments. And so I’ll tell you loud and clear, just like they told us in college. No means no. And yes? that means yes.

Have you alienated a Chilean today? (was that a no/no or a yes/no? It’s so hard to know, you know?