The Filipinos have a word…Maarte. It’s pronounced ma-artay.
If you look online you’ll find a bunch of interpretations for this word. Some say exclusively applies to women…some claim it’s in reference to women who are overly flirtatious (and yes, there IS such a thing). Personally, the way it’s always been used when I was growing up was to describe someone who was overly dramatic. Maybe overacting. In otherwords…an attention whore.
Why am I bringing this up? Good question. My answer may get me labeled as judgmental or overly critical…but I’m going to say it anyway. First, there’s something ya’ll should know about me. There are very few subjects I won’t discuss and I don’t really have that many pet peeves… But I do have them.
My first? I HATE tardiness. This stems from my mom and my childhood. As you guys know, I absolutely adore my mom…but she has one MAJOR flaw. She runs on Filipino time. (I know that people from Jamaica and the Bahamas have referred to this sort of phenomena as “island time”.) This basically means that if she tells you dinner will be served at 6, plan on eating at 7 or 8. We, as her children, have learned to tell her that events start an hour or so earlier than they actually do in order to guarantee timeliness. (I could tell you a bunch of stories about this…including how this habit of hers helped me to develop an eye twitch, but that’s for another time.)
My second pet peeve are people who do inappropriate things or things at inappropriate times in order to get attention. Yep, you’ve got it…I have an issue with people who are Maarte. I like to save my drama for the books I read or maybe watching a musical or play…rarely in the real world…and rarely for people over the age of 16.
It actually happened this year at our Christmas service. The lady who leads our singing is a very nice person. Yeah, she has her hyper moments, but so do I. Anyway, Sunday was the first time I’d ever heard her do a solo…and she sang “Mary Did You Know?” She has a lovely voice…in fact, it kind of reminds me of my mom. I also love this song…and I mean LOVE! Now in church, when you’re singing, it’s all for the glory of God. That’s how I was taught. So imagine my surprise when arms started flying outward and flailing the way you’ve seen performers at concerts do…except MORE…
I blinked. I wasn’t expecting that… I figured maybe I was overreacting and being a tad critical. Then came our Christmas eve service. On that night she sang 2 solos. The first one fell during a rare break in the group performance that let me sit next to hubby. As we were sitting there she stepped forward to sing “O Holy Night!”. She was accompanied by beautiful acoustic guitar. When the time for her to start singing began…the arm flailing began…
Still, I tried to shrug it off, fearful I was the one being critical…until hubby leaned over and whispered one of the very few Tagalog words he’s learned over the years…”She’s very maarte, isn’t she?”
I glanced his way and said…”Oh, good. It’s not just me.”
With a little smile he watched as she walked up the aisle, looking at some of our parishioners, hands dramatically pointing down as the words, “FALL ON YOUR KNEES” rang out of her mouth.
“No, Love, it’s not just you.”
At the end of her second solo…where she turned and started singing to the cross…she ended the song by saying, “Amen, Jesus!”
I guess that was her way of paying tribute to HIM.
I’d never seen anything like it….and I’ve got to admit…having hubby say what I was thinking in Tagalog gave me a big kick.
For those of you who don’t sing…or who’ve never sung…I’m going to dispel a myth. Hand waving and dramatic gestures of that general sort have absolutely nothing to do with the ability and quality of the sounds you create when singing. Now there are times where you may want to bring on a stronger punch to your tone…or a more powerful gesture in your voice…and because of that you will find your body responding in kind…maybe a fist to remind you to give it oomph. But it’s not really necessary…because the power for your voice…and sustaining notes…comes from your diaphragm and the way you open your mouth.
The second dramatic instance actually happened here. I don’t know the truth. I don’t have all the facts, nor do I care to…but someone who seemed to need a friend came on here and created an elaborate fictional life. Hey, what you want to do with your blog is YOUR business. If you want to write under a pen name…go for it! If you’re writing a story…go ahead! I enjoy reading well written stories. I love creative people! But don’t go reaching out to people with your made up sob story…and then drag a bunch of other people into your world of fiction. Real life is complicated enough. (In other words, it’s not cool to tell people you have cancer when you don’t…or any other life threatening issues… It’s disrespectful to the people who are truly dealing with these issues…and karma’s a B.)
So now you know my two biggest pet peeves….and maybe you learned a new word! What are your big hot buttons? I’d love to know so I can avoid hitting them… 🙂 Hope you all had a Very Merry Christmas… If Santa was good to you, I’d love to hear about that, too!