Ask a Mexican

Read My Lip Liner

Dear readers: It's not just questions and racist rants that invade the Mexican's mailbox. Your feedback sneaks under my digital fence, también. Let's start with Lean Like a K Street Chola, a former gangbanger turned lobbyist who wrote in a couple of weeks back wondering how she could explain to quizzical pals why Mexican women use lip liner. The Mexican responded that such coloring "attracts men"; here's her response:

Dear Mexican: I LOVE my new moniker! I must get new business cards made. Just one thing, muchacho: Not all women are interested in attracting hombres. I've been pura lesbiana since before I was even a chola. I will grant that using lip liner is probably to attract the mujeres machas. But a friend said she read somewhere that Latinas apply lipstick even more than non-Latinas, so perhaps it's just genetic!

Lean Like a K Street Chola

Dear K Street Chola: Muchas apologies, but what did you expect from a macho Mexican man? I don't know about your amiga's assertion, but a study this year published by the NDP Group found that "Hispanic" women were more likely to use mascara, blush, eyeliner and lipstick than any other ethnic group. Maybe the genetic part is right — or maybe Mexican women (of all sexual persuasions!) just like to look better for their homeboys and heinas than gabachas.

Dear Mexican: During the opening night of The Simpsons Movie, my friend and I were surprised to find that the young group of Mexicans sitting behind us had dropped a loaded .45 ACP clip under our seat. Shocked and vowing to never frequent that theater again, I left with a further disappointment in Mexicans. On the flip side, I ran out of gas on the freeway a week later. While I was walking alongside the freeway, a Mexican gentleman by the name of Lionel stopped and picked me up. Lionel drove me thirty miles round trip to get gas and would only accept my name and deepest gratitude as payment. If it wasn't for Lionel's generosity, I would've been royally screwed. I'm writing this as a plea for people not to judge a group of people just because of a few bad tamales.

Grateful Gringo

Dear GG: Gracias for your story, gabacho. I concur: love the good Mexicans, nuke the cholos — except K Street Chola, of course.

Dear Mexican: Can you give me a good response when people ask me (often rudely), "What ARE you, anyway?" My mother is Mexican, my father is white. I look sort of vaguely ethnic — hence the question. I like "White-xican" but is there some better answer out there?

Brown-Skinned Girl

Dear Half-Wab: How about "¿A quién chingada le importa?" ("Who the fuck cares?")? Seriously, few things peeve the Mexican more than when someone questions a person's ethnic identity. I don't care if it's gabachos calling American citizens "anchor babies" or Mexican nationalists insisting someone must be born in Mexico to call themselves a Mexican; as I've written before, national character is never static, and anyone who claims otherwise is as deluded as a Minuteman.