June 3 – Ha!  Look at the foolish white man.  Putting his mangoes in the bottom of his shopping cart.  Every wise Latina knows that you put the mangoes at the top of the cart in the little tray, so that their vivid, juicy texture is not crushed out of them by the weight of your canned refried beans and laundry detergent.  If only he had consulted the collective knowledge of my Latin homelands!

 

June 5 – As I sip my café con leche (why do they call it a cappuccino in this Latin neighborhood?), I can’t help but notice that the white housewife at the next table is planning a trip to Cancun on her laptop.  She is a typical representative of the un-wise Anglo people.  If she had the wisdom of a true Latina, she would be planning to explore the beating heart of Mexico’s historic interior.  The mystical ruins of the Mayans, hidden in the jungle where the scent of banana wafts through the air.  Besides, the Mayan Holiday Inn has a great stay-3-nights-get-1-free offer this time of year, and they have a free breakfast buffet with huevos rancheros.  All you can eat.  I truly pity her.

 

June 8 – It’s sometimes a trial to be such a wise Latina!  Everything that passes before my eyes seems to scream cuan loco!  At the organic food store today, the African-American woman at the counter tried to sell me butternut squash enchiladas.  Who ever heard of putting butternut squash in an enchilada?  My abuela Conchita would be rolling over in her tumba.  The woman had the nerve to become quite irate when I told her that she was prostituting the Latino heritage.  She shouted in her loud, urban-contemporary voice that she was not a whore, and the tubby store manager was instantly called over.  Soon a whole crowd of ignorant gringos had gathered around, but they wouldn’t listen to my pleas for chorizo and barbacoa enchilada choices.  Tonight I will pray to the Holy Virgin for patience.

 

June 10 – My pale-faced, angry Irish neighbor with the torn T-shirt is on his political warpath again.  This time he is turning his ire on my bold Latino hermanos.  Some young boys in the neighborhood, trying to express their vivid Latino heritage in this homogenous, suffocating suburb, engaged in a proud display of Mexican culture in the park.  But my neighbor claims that their gunplay was ‘gang activity’ and a sign of ‘local drug cartels’.  If only he had the life experience of a wise Latina!  On the haciendas and pampas of the Old Country, a man who did not know how to use his gun was no better than an untutored girl, a sissy boy, fit only for making mole sauce at home, while his man-husband went off to kill a wolf for dinner.  Some traditions must pass across the borders and impregnate this New World, or all of us will suffer the vacuity of the flat and uncultured.  I must consider starting a blog.

 

June 13 – This may be my last entry in my beloved diary for some time.  Tomorrow I walk into the prison of the white man, but I enter with my head held high!  What was my offense?  I will tell you.  My lovely niece, Graciela, was married to my husband’s cousin Gregorio in a lovely ranch ceremony, complete with mariachis and a wedding keg!  But the policia were furious, simply because Graciela happens to be 13!  Not being Latina sages, they do not realize that in my country, if a woman is not married by the age of 14 she is regarded as a cascara, a shriveled mushroom drained of its ripe femininity.  Gregorio would not look at her twice if she were a wrinkled, mascara-blotched crone of 19!  And he has such a successful auto repair shop that Graciela is bound to benefit from his largesse.  I am unrepentant.  I suspect that I will find many other wise Latinas in this white man’s dungeon to which they are sending me!  We will emerge stronger than ever, and then the non-Latinas will regret their ignorance.  The day of reckoning cannot come too soon!

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