I love being from Mexico, a strange, folkloric, and melodramatic country — until I don’t. My peoples neurosis can often border on psychosis, and that makes me thankful I also grew up in America, where I acquired a second perspective about #life.
When it comes to romantic relationships, the concept of dating doesn’t even exist in Mexico — or most places, really. If you’re having dinner with a Mexican, and tell them you’ve been trying to hook up with other people as well (“dating”), get ready to peel off some greasy chorizo tacos from your face.
In contrast, telling an American that you’ve been testing the waters might actually spark a better connection: “You went on other dates? How’d they go? Yeah, I’ve had some shitty people too. This dude named Anziz took me to dinner, and he didn’t even let me choose the wine. He’s got no class.”
Americans are quite liberal about other aspects in relationships. Straight American women, for example, are fairly permissive when it comes to allowing their partners to have friendships with other women. In Latin America, most straight men will never attempt to sell their their girlfriends on lady friends because they’ll get some greasy chorizo tacos thrown on their face, plus some wine.
Non-self-hating LGBTQ+ groups from all countries have already broken through old relationship taboos just by being themselves, so they’re usually playing on another field. However, an acquaintance of mine, a therapist who specializes in gay couples, told me that many of his Mexican male patients are alarmingly violent with their partners.
Apparently being sexually progressive is not always enough to shake off Mexican machismo.
All of this
super scientific evidence, which I’m not even remotely qualified to write about, points towards one super scientific conclusion: If you live in America, dating Americans should be, at least theoretically, easier than dating jealous, regressive, possibly violent Latinos.
This is incredibly reductionist, I know, because dating outside of your culture — and class, perhaps more importantly — can be incredibly complicated. Conversely, sticking to what you know order to remain in your comfort zone is hardly challenging. You’ll never grow as a person and it can fuck with your life until it’s too late (see #3).
I’m a curious dude, so I’ve “gone out” with plenty of people inside and outside of my own culture. But for over two years I’ve been dating a lovely Boricua, and she gives me the right amount of separation from certain aspects of Mexican culture I don’t love.
Cultural compatibility does not make or break a relationship for me. Humor, disposition, attitude, and perspective are on the top of my want list. But not having to fully explain the complexities of my peoples to a partner — or at least the weird shit I partake in — does make a relationship more fluid.
I say “fully” because Ibero-American countries have more than enough differences within them to distinctly set them, and their inhabitants apart. But the fact that my girlfriend and I are from Spanish-speaking countries means explaining the ocasional cultural enigma is easy, or entirely unnecessary.
Case in point, a few weeks ago I booked a flight to Puerto Rico. I was scheduled to spend the holidays with my girlfriend’s family, but she warned me: “My family has this… tradition. We go to my grandpa’s tomb on Christmas to sing a few songs before going to a relative’s house to party. My mom said I should tell you, so you don’t freak out if you come along.”
“Yeah, cool” was all she got out of me, because Mexicans invented singing to dead people and making a party out of it.
During the following days I hung out with her family, had a great time, and I flew black to NYC with a red, greasy appearance — not because chorizo was flung at my face, but because Puerto Rico is hot as balls all year round, and it almost gave me skin cancer.
María Rubio was so good as Catalina Creel, an iconic telenovela villain, the role ruined her career
According to sources on Twitter, and also TvNotas, the holy bible of Mexican gossip, María Rubio, the legendary actress best known for her role as Catalina Creel de Larios in Cuna de lobos, has passed away. She was 83 years old.
Thanks to her role as Soraya Montenegro in María la del Barrio, Itati Cantoral has been dominating the internet with an insane amount of memes, gifs, and even a House of Cards promo special. Itati blew up in the mid ’90s, when older millennials were still teens, and she’s that generation’s go-to character when it comes to Mexican telenovela villains.
Yes, Cantoral was great as Soraya, but the top dog in the telenovela villain game was — and has always been — María Rubio. The Tijuana-born actress was so good in Cuna de lobos that, according to an interview she did with Cristina Saralegui, the role ruined her career:
“[Catalina Creel] was a difficult, beloved character. I enjoyed playing her, but she also hurt me a lot. People completely forgot about María Rubio and now it seems that, after 40 years of being an actress, I’ve only done Catalina Creel.”
Catalina, a murderous matriarch, was known for having some of the best one-liners in telenovela history. But in the same interview with Saralegui, which was filmed over 20 years ago, María proved to be just as cunning and smart as her infamous character, but also incredibly funny:
“[Although I played a villain], I’ve received nothing but compliments, love, and admiration. Never aggression. I think viewers do attack the bad ones — bad actresses, that is.”
If you understand Spanish, check out the hilarious interview below. Watch María viciously own everyone in a panel of full of young telenovela villains:
Traumatic advice from aunt Rosa: “Don’t torture your Care Bear, Mijo. Or else.”
I was 6 years old when I yelled at Tugs, my Care Bear. I put him in time-out for not agreeing to the rules of an imaginary game I had just created.
I built a little time-out fortress for him to stay in while I played with my other toys. Coincidentally my tía Rosa was visiting that day. I urged her to see all my toys when she came into the house. I also explained to her that Tugs was in time-out, to which she replied in shock, “Mijo, mira, You have to be nice to your toys.”
I replied, “Tía, I am nice to my toys, but I’m teaching him a lesson.”
She contested nervously, “No, Mijo, you have to be nice to your toys or they might not be nice to you.”
I wasn’t following her logic.
“Mijo, if you’re not nice to your toys, then at night time they might wake up and crawl into your bed to cut your toes with tiny razors,” she said slowly while staring at my imprisoned Care Bear.
“What?!” I whispered to her while looking at Tugs from the corner of my eye.
“Yes, your toys might do very bad things to you if you don’t treat them good.”
I stared at her in disbelief.
She stood up and walked towards the doorway.
“Mijo, I brought you some tortillas. Come in the kitchen and let’s warm them up,” Rosa said casually.
From then on, Tugs sat on a tufted pillow on my dresser while I slept in velcro shoes for the next year. Growing up in my Mexican-American family meant that everything was possibly alive and watching you.