Dear Mexican: I’m an old fart with lily-white genes. I lived in the OC, in L.A. and in the Bay Area for twenty years, yet I had scarcely any interaction with the Latino population. It wasn’t because I was anti-Mexican; I was just apprehensive. I felt like I was the stranger, the one who wouldn’t fit. It didn’t help that I’d hear crap like, “Don’t go to the barrio, man! You might end up dead!”
Strangely, it took some business trips to Monterrey and Oaxaca to change my perspective: Oh, it’s people doing their best to get by, just like everyone else. Same concerns and desires. The differences between us were mostly language, worldview and style. Once I got over that, I was rather comfortable there. In some ways, I fit better there than in my native culture.
Now I’m in the South and missing that large Mexican culture. I was glad when the housing boom lured Latinos here. If nothing else, I’ve been able to get much better Mexican food (though still a bit Americanized). It’s a joy to be handed Spanish-only menus. As I approach retirement, I’ve developed a yearning to relocate to Mexico, but not to the resort areas or expat enclaves. I want to go as native as my limited Spanish will let me. At least I think I do. I’ll give it a few months’ test run, trying a few areas, before making the big jump. Do you have any advice on the matter?
Looking for a Peso Parachute
Dear Gabacho: So you’re telling me that you didn’t care for Mexicans until you actually hung out with them? And now you’d rather hang out with us than with your own kind? Can you please tell that to the GOP presidential field?
To answer your question, since you’re already in the South, I’d stay there; the region has experienced the largest increase in the Mexican population, percentage-wise, of any region in the U.S. Specifically, go to Louisville, and tell the U of L’s pendejo president that the only gabacho who ever wore a sombrero well was Homer Simpson — and that’s because it was made of NACHOS.
Dear Mexican: I am a fairly attractive middle-aged black woman. Like many women who share my demographics, it is challenging for me to find interesting, attractive men. However, I find myself approached by some of the least appealing males on earth: sombrero-wearing, pot-bellied, hygienically challenged, straggly-mustached, snaggletoothed, intoxicated, red-eyed, middle-aged Mexicans. In the past few weeks, I’ve been approached by not one, not two, but three stanky-drunk cholos while waiting at the bus stop or taking a walk. They approach me, speaking rapid, drunken Spanish. I can’t catch everything they’re saying, but I get the general idea! I answer in English, which they pretend not to understand. My friends laugh at me and say I must be putting out some vibe that I am unaware of, a vibe that attracts drunk Mexicans with missing or — even worse — gold teeth. (They look like the caricature for this column, only older and much dirtier.) Why are these guys coming on to me? Why are they drunk in the middle of the day? There are frequently young and attractive chicas in the vicinity. Why do they come up to ME, and how can I make them stop?
Times Are Hard, but Not That Hard
Dear Negrita: What’s that saying — pendeja is as pendeja does? That’s all you, chula. Besides, you forget that a Mexican male will go after any woman, no matter how disgusting — so congrats!
MARK YOUR CALENDARS!
Meet Ask a Mexican columnist Gustavo Arellano on Thursday, November 19, at Su Teatro, 721 Santa Fe Drive, where he’ll offer a sneak peek at <em>Bordertown</em>, his collaboration with producer Seth McFarland, an animated series that will debut on Fox in January. Come at 6:30 p.m. to grab a beer, enjoy a Mexican Hamburger Extravaganza and ask the Mexican all of your burning preguntas; the show will screen at 7:30 p.m. Admission is a $3 donation for the Grupo VolArte after-school arts program.