Sunday, January 13, 2013

We're Just Mexcians and That's It Cabron (Or an Ode to Rosie's Legs)

I recall having a brief conversation with a primo about our history as Mexicans over a couple of beers. What was most interesting was what he told me about trying to have this same conversation with his mother. He tried to explain to her how Mexicans tend to be a mix of Spanish and indigenous. However his mother wasn't having any of it, because as she told him "Callate cabron. Nosotros nomas somos Mexicanos y ya es todo!" His mother's (my tia's) reaction, I found wasn't uncommon. I remember encountering a few relatives and other people, they believed that we were just Mexican and that was it. I'm not sure if they paid attention to the varying pigmentations in our skin tones, going from Mexicans that looked white, as in American or Euro or Valley Girl white to dark, as in indigenous or indio or African. Nope, it didn't matter, Mexicans were just Mexican and that was it. It's not to say that the people who believe that are unintellgent, or that they don't have a sense of cultural past. I come from an immigrant family that was dirt poor, and from what I've been told they didn't even really attend grade school. They were too busy trying to etch out a living, so trying to figure out the genetic make-up or history of the Mexicano/a was not a priority. Being Mexican meant you worked hard to make a living to buy masa for tortillas and to at least have a pot of beans to go along with those tortillas. My dad told me there were times, all they had to eat were tortillas with salsa; beans would be nice when they could get them, and having meat whether beef or poultry was a luxury unafforded to them often. This of course was for the poor families living in the ranchos, because not all Mexican families were poor, but I've found that growing up in my family we were just Mexican and that was it, similar to what my cousin encountered with his mother. Trying to explain our history to them can be futile at times, well in my cousin's case it's futile to discuss such things with his mother becuase she's dead set on not listening to anything that doesn't mesh with her idea of Mexican, even though there isn't any historical grounding in her explanation besides we're Mexican and that's it cabron.

However it's not just my aunt's generation. During my final years in California, I was with some friends at a barbecue, and sitting next to me was Rosie, one of the cutest Mexican American girls that was attending classes at the time. I gauged her cuteness by her shapely legs, that had gained nice musculature and curvatures from being a soccer player during high school. Rosie would show off those legs from toe to inner thigh by wearing flip flops and booty shorts. She was a natural of shade of brown as well, which just helped those legs capture your attention. Anyhow, as I was saying before being distracted by Rosie's legs, we were catching up and she asked me what I was writing about for my thesis. I told her that I was focusing on something revolving around Xicano/a literature. She mentioned that she'd taken a class in Chicano studies and that she found it interesting. However she said something that caught me off guard, something that made me remember that behind those legs, Rosie was still a ditzy undergrad student, easy on the eyes, but could give you migraines by what came out of her mouth. She said the following, "It's crazy how the Aztecs didn't worship God or practice catholicism." My migraine kicked in, I almost went into fucking spasms, trying not to spit up my beer. I calmed myself, tried to look at her legs, then tried to get lost in her cute face. I collected myself, and explained to her colonization and how Catholicism amongst other things was imposed on the Aztecs and other indigenous groups that had been colonized. "Oh," said Rose. "That makes sense" in an equally cute voice, that made all the more cuter, because it carried a minor lisp.

I was hoping that my explanation made her privy to my smarts, which in turn would make her wet, and result with us in my friend's bedroom (much to my friends dismay, I'm sure), her legs wrapped around my waist while she yelled "tell me more about colonization!" and "fuck me harder!", her legs tightening their grip on my waist as I complied. Instead her boyfriend showed up to pick her up. She said her goodbyes, and I watched as she walked down the steps to her boyfriend's car, her left buttock rising, followed by her right one with each step she took.

I reflected, because, even though at the time Rosie's insight about Aztecs and Catholicism threw me for a loop, at some point I was Rosie and even my aunt for that matter. I was ignorant about my history as a Mexican, let alone my history as a Mexican-American, or now as a Xicano. You see Rosie was thinking about Mexicans as we are in the present. Understanding that Aztecs come from Mexico, she related them to us in the present, because she seemed to believe that they were practicing the wrong religion or worshiping the wrong deity. Her sense of Catholicism/religion was overriding her sense of history, and so she wasn't making the connection between the past and the present; she seemed to assume, that everyone from Mexico always practiced Catholicism. It was interesting to think about that interaction with her. But again, I was just like that, I always presumed that as a Mexican we were all Catholics I never wondered about our history. I was by no means a critical thinker, or at least I didn't consider myself one. And like my tia, I assumed I was just Mexican and that was it, but I wasn't adamant about not knowing our history like her. But imagine how blown away I was when I learned about the Spaniards that came over, and about how we as present day Mexicans came to be, then eventually I learned about the Chicano Movement. It took a while for me to learn our history from colonization to our present situations, and it wasn't until arriving at college and taking Chicano/a Studies courses that I gained some historical consciousness. Nonetheless I think I just find it interesting that generation-ally we can be without knowledge about our history, sometimes by choice, and other times innocently through complacency, because we accept that we are just Mexican and that's it. I'm not sure how I managed to make this about Chicano/a Studies again.

Having written this, I sigh, because I miss Rosie's legs.


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