Hi, Doña Rictus. I’m a virgen María-fearing mother and I, along with the rest of my sisters, have been trying to organize a beautiful quinceañera for my 14-year-old daughter. I still remember my own quince like it was yesterday; I wore a 100 lb pastel pink dress, had 20 hot chambelanes, we served super spicy birria de chivo to the guests — it gave stomach ulcers to everyone who ate it — and my dad crushed my feet with the work boots he wore under his tux while drunkenly dancing “Tiempo de vals” with me.
Although at the time I wanted to murder everyone because I had severe teen angst and zero social skills, those were the best moments of my life. I want my daughter to have a similar experience. Instead, she’s asking for fake boobs, ass injections, says she wants to be like Cardi B, is going to marry a Jewish guy, and doesn’t want anything to do with my “embarrassing folkloric culture.”
How can I convince her to change her mind? Should I get violent with her? Please advise, comadre.
– Mamá Preocupada
Dear Mamá Preocupada, *takes off her reading glasses*
I’m assuming you live in the US, so no, don’t get violent with your daughter. American law takes physical violence — no matter how righteous — quite seriously. If you still lived in Latin America, I would personally lend you my rosary, which was blessed by Juan Pablo II himself, so that you can choke your daughter with it until she comes to her senses (I keep it stashed in my warm bosom, ready for these kinds of emergencies).
But, listen, when you introduce your offspring to a new culture, they can’t take reap the advantages of their new environment without acquiring its disadvantages — that’s just part of the deal. You’re daughter is gonna be “woke” now — what a hideous word — and probably won’t appreciate your culture, unless she discovers it by herself.
At least you’re not alone; in 2017 “¿cómo rezar el santo rosario?” [how to pray using the holy rosary] was one of Google’s top searches. This blasphemous generation has been losing their faith faster than Maluma fans have been losing their self-respect.
Again, as a parent, it can be difficult to push your culture on your own children because responsible adults are never cool to teenagers. But, since self-conscious teens love to be into artists their peers don’t know about, try pointing your daughter towards great, long-forgotten Latina darlings, such as Alaska, the Spanish punk princess who’s actually Mexican; Chavela Vargas, the unapologetically lesbian *se persigna in Spanish* Mexican ranchera singer who’s actually Costa Rican; or Lucha Reyes, the Peruvian Afro-Latina who’s actually, well, Peruvian.
If none of that works, go full Susan Sontag on your daughter and educate her ignorant 14-year-old ass on the complex camp qualities of quinceañeras. If you need visuals to go along with your lecture, use Colibritany’s “Mi sexy chambelán,” the most brilliant YouTube video ever:
Lastly, you do know Jesus was Jewish, right? Don’t be antisemitic, Mamá Preocupada.
– Doña Rictus
Send your questions, comments, criticisms, concerns, or money to Doña Rictus here: rictus.co [@] gmail.com
It’s a thankless job, but would you like to rant for Rictus?
Are you Latino, Latina, or Latinx? If you’re not, it doesn’t matter. Maybe you lived in Latin America, or know Latino culture well. More importantly, do you have a funny, witty, dumb, eye-opening, or virgen María-blessed insight about something? A personal story, a political view, groundbreaking analysis, or dissenting review about a movie, record, city, art show, or something nobody cares about?
Maybe nobody cares about whatever you’re interested in because you haven’t written about it. Share your thoughts with strangers! You may get even some virtual likes on social media, and that’s how people count happiness in 2018, right?
José and I have a lot of fun here at Rictus, but it’s fun to publish contrasting voices. We don’t make any money, so neither will you. This is really just about you loving the written word, as we do.
Some shit to consider:
- Can be as short as 300 words, or as long as you think you can hold people’s attention with your awesome wordsmithery.
- It’s a lot more important — to us, anyway — that you’re funny, insightful, or engaging about whateverthefuckyouwriteabout than a being a super professional writer, so don’t be shy.
- In English, please. We may add a Spanish section later, but, yeah, English werds, for now.
- You can use a pen name. Maybe you work at some conservative think tank and and don’t want to be found out. That’s fine. Use your superhero name.
- You should already have a good pitch. What do you know, or have strong opinions about, that others don’t? Are you mad about something you recently saw in the news? Does your aunt drive you crazy? Have you noticed an interesting pattern in penis owners? Are you a media geek? Do you love celebrities, but hate their dumb looks?
Broke, youthful & repressed: Things you’re too dumb to appreciate in your 20s
Are you trying to get through your 20s gracefully? Then you’ve come to the wrong place — and I don’t mean this website, I mean this planet. But this website too, maybe.
Listen, you will make horrible mistakes during your existence because #youth. But pay attention because, even if you don’t get past your 20s with some grace, you may be able to get by with some dignity.
1) You poor, endearing bastard
Ah, to be young, dumb, and full of cumulative social issues. As a broke twentysomething, you’re usually too self-conscious to realize that your youth, in a strange way, sanctions your destitution. You realize you’re poor — that’s obviously not the issue — but instead of making it your warcry, and finding strength in a nothing-to-lose attitude, you burden yourself attempting to portray the opposite.
Maybe you’re still trying to prove to society — and your parents, most of all — that you’re an independent, responsible, adult-ass person. You really want that vindication, especially if you spent tons of money on getting edumacated. Yet, you’re between a precious little window of time when society is still willing to forgive your poverty, access to influence, and lack of experience.
Ah, but once you reach your 30s? Let’s just say the Eye of Sauron has nothing on people’s judgemental gaze.
There are exceptions, of course, and if you come from money, none of what I just wrote will make sense to you. But in short, youngsters tend to misuse the grace period their youth affords them.
2) Foooreeever young. You’re gonna be, foooreeever dumb.
So you’re a young blood under the impression that your physical and mental machinations will go on forever because you can, like, totally wake up in the middle of the night with tons of ideas and inspiration, even if you got wasted at a party the day before.
And, whatever — you still have a baggie full of coke in your coat, even if it’s 60% baby formula. You can snort it at any point to get an extra kick, but why not save it for the next party? Because your work ethic is just unstoppable, and the thought of physical deterioration seems incredibly foreign.
Little do you know that nature is maniacally cackling behind a crystal ball in a deep lair within your body. It’s waiting to play a cruel joke on your dumbass, and when it’s time — in your 30s — it will begin by sabotaging your stamina.
That’s only the first part of nature’s cruel plan. The second phase is a lot more sinister because, although you’re left with a portion of the physical energy you used to have, a psychological hangup will turn all of your unfinished, half-realized ideas into regrets.
Suddenly, when you’re in the middle of a Netflix ‘n chill session, half-watching the 25th episode of some stupid show you don’t even like, nature will bitingly turn to your formally unstoppable will to say: “Where’s your messiah now?”
Its grim, I know. The point is, if you come to terms with the fact that age will physically slow you down, and you do so when you’re still young, it may push you focus on whatever you think is truly important.
3) Unlike complicated emotional bonds, sex stupid, but fun.
Sex is fun, but incredibly stupid. Stripped of all of the symbolism polite society instills on copulation, either through romcoms, music, books, or coming of age parties (see quinceañeras), the physical act of rubbing genitals with another person is messy and mundane. Conceptually, cooking chilaquiles is a lot more complicated than getting your gross body to secrete fluids.
I hate to go all Sex at Dawn on you, but modern culture has done a number on everybody. Current social taboos still conflate sex with all emotional sensations. A person can be sexually attracted to another while not being intellectually stimulated by them, and that’s fine. But most people still expect every sexual partner to be a perfectly-matched significant other, and that’s dumb.
Very few youngsters internalize a sexually-positive outlook. Their hormones are out of control, just like their clouded, repressed judgement, and too much emotional stock is placed on what could be a fun, pleasing, but ultimately near-meaningless experience — just like cooking chilaquiles.
Deep, rewarding, emotional, or enlightening bonds can be had with just about anyone — your aunt, a garbage man, or even a piece of clothing. You probably can’t have rewarding sex with any of those three — maybe the garbage man, if he’s hot — but you can have good sex with a dumb stranger.
Do it, and don’t feel guilty about it.
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