¡Ask A Mexican!
By Gustavo Arellano
Dear Mexican: I understand NYC isn’t your jurisdiction, but maybe you have some insight, or maybe this is also a problem for other smart and successful Latinos. My question is: why is it so hard to find an educated Mexican—or hell—even a Latino man who isn’t a pretentious hijo de papi, or thinks he is a god for being educated and successful? Some background: I’m Mexican; my parents immigrated to the United States when I was 5, so that through hard work, my brothers and I could have the American dream. I went to a top university, live in Manhattan and work in finance. I know I’m not the only one of my kind—there must be Mexican-man versions of me who are also smart, successful, attractive and down-to-earth. I really don’t get it. In case you were wondering if I am ugly or fat, I’m not—I’m very pretty, thin, dress well and have a great personality; just very independent and can’t stand pretentious people.
Am I too Americanized? I’d hate to stereotype and say that successful Latino men are either sons who grew up with a silver spoon and speak with a potato in their mouth, or are full of themselves, especially since my brothers aren’t like that. Or say that Latinos are intimidated by successful women? Maybe it’s a NYC thing? Am I too picky? What’s your take? I honestly I think it may just be a NYC thing, and I’ll be stuck having to marry a white dude who pronounces tortillas “tor-til-has” and calls guacamole “guac.” Lovely.
—No Good Mangos in NYC
Dear Wabette: NYC not my jurisdiction? Chula, the Mexican covers the waterfront, from Puebla York to the Frisco Bay—that is, when the city’s respective, better alt-weeklies sell enough ads to publish my columna in the dead-tree edition and not deport me to the Internet. Como I was saying, questions about love have far too many variables to warrant a perfect answer, but I can empirically say one reason you’re having a hard tiempo finding Mexi men is because there are simply not enough people like you or your brothers. The 2008 report “Advancing in Higher Education: A Portrait of Latino College Freshmen at Four-Year Institutions, 1975-2006,” published by the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles’ Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, discovered a widening education gap between Latinas and Latinos: according to the study, chicas constituted 60.8 percent of first-time, full-time Latino freshman in universities in 2006 (the last full year researchers could cite for their stats); chicos, on the other hand, made up just 39.2 percent of the total. Academic surveys over the years have show that educational attainment levels heavily influence marriage choices (i.e., you’re more likely to marry someone with the same degree as you the higher you scaled the ivory tower), so I suggest you brush up on learning how to make guac for the gabacho in-laws—kidding! Your príncipe will come, girl: gotta keep the faith! And drop the creída attitude—muy turn-off.
Once a month at my church, we have members of the congregation get up and “bear testimony,” about spiritual feelings or experiences. I’ve noticed that the Mexicans are always talking about vivid dreams that they’ve had, a phenomenon not often mentioned by chinos or gabachos. My folks tell me that the Mexicans in their congregation, in the far northwest suburbs of Chicago, do much the same. Do dreams have some sort of special religious significance for Mexicans? If so, does this predate Christianization?
Dear Fat Gabacho: You didn’t give me enough information about your church. I know that bearing testimony is a tenet of Mormons, but I don’t want to give an LDS answer if it’s a Methodist question—don’t want to confuse the holy-rolling, you know? I can say that Mexicans love dreams, especially if they involve amnesty, hot chicks or a Stetson. But dreams as revelations? The last such sueño was when the Aztecs thought Hernan Cortés was their long-gone god Quetzalcoatl—and we all know how that turned out.
TO ALL THE DREAM ACT STUDENTS OUT THERE: Keep the faith—know your cause is just, know you will win, and know that Know Nothings can rule for only so long.
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