Friday, August 25, 2006

Racist Lite

OK, who here knows that my loverman, Ramon, is half Mexican-American? I see that hand, sister [points lovingly to sole blog reader]. It comes up in coversation with people, mostly because I want folks to know that I'm technically in a bi-racial couple which means I'm down, get it? Just kidding. It comes up because he has the biggest brown eyes on the planet and it's due in large part to his Hispanic heritage. Now if only we spoke Spanish (the nice servers at restaurants in Puerto Vallarta kept addressing Ramon in Spanish. We both get pretty green around the gills with a guilt only monoglots can feel when that sort of thing happens) - but that's a whine for another day.

Anyway. Here's one of the funny/weird/was-that-racist? coversations I had when my bébé's skin color came up. I was talking to a guy about an upcoming concert with the Seattle Symphony - did I mention I'm in the Seattle Symphony Chorale? [pops cuffs, smoothes hair] - and mentioned how much I'd like Ramon's family to be able to come sometime. They live mostly in the Midwest, sadly, which is where his grandparents ended up after a lifetime of working their way around the States. Here's what he said:

Guy: "Well, it's a good thing his family ISN'T here, you know? They'd be a rowdy bunch, huh?"

I'm calm. There's probably a rational explaination...

Me: "Rowdy? Why would my husband's family be rowdy?"

Guy: "Well, because they're Mexicans, right? Rowdy - not in a bad way! Congenial! And you know how most people say 'Bravo!' after a piece? They'd probably say 'Olé!'"

Oh, dear. OK, where's my short fuse and fearless temper when I need it? Seriously, I could rip this guy a new one and it would be totally deserved. Crap.

Me: (eloquently and with raised eyebrows) "Uh...'olé'?"

Guy: "Well, yeah, I went to a bullfight and everybody was like 'Olé! Olé!"

Me: "First of all, bullfights are awful. Second of all, you were in Spain, I take it?"

Guy: "Yeah...uh, but Mexians say 'Olé' too, right? I'm just saying..."

Me: "Gotta go tinkle!" (or something equally inane - can't really remember, but I skedaddled without raking my fingernails over his face, to my eternal regret)

This isn't the first time I've gotten this sort of silliness from people. Someone before this told me how happy they were for me - Mexicans being congenial, family-oriented and SO hard-working and all. I mean, come on! Ramon's not congenial! Well - he's nice, but I mean... Family oriented? We don't even want kids. And hard-working, feh. You should see how late this dood sleeps in on his days off. He has two jobs, though. Hmmm.

Oh, my god. They're all RIGHT about Mexicans! Ramon fits the mold perfectly! Sheesh, I might as well start calling him El Guapo, for the love of Pete.

Geh. Dicks.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

In case you haven't gotten that I'm weird as hell...

(Oh, ah, come on in [brushes away cobwebs in the doorway]. Right, so, I suck - yep - haven't written anything since June. JUNE, people. I am never going to get to Dooce-level popularity that way. Huh-uh. Sorry for the long hiatus. No excuse, really. It's not like I've been doing any deep thinking or anything. Noooo.)


So I was walking to the bus stop this morning, groggy, slightly breathless (it's all uphill. Both ways. Barefoot in knee-deep snow. All year). I smacked the pedestrian button a good one, since today (it's unprecedented) I actually have time to wait for my light instead of hurtling across the street on a red, praying to Dear Buddha and Baby Jesus to spare my life.

So I'm standing there, enjoying just standing - note to Seattleites that have lived here longer than my own 3 years. Do you EVER get used to the bloody hills? - and it got into my head that a crow (maybe a raven. You know? Since it's my blog and I don't know any better I'm going to call it a raven) is on the light pole across the street, cawing away and I just now noticed it. She was so beautiful (since it's - as I said - my blog, the raven's a girl); sleek black with beautiful lines and delicate feet. I think her head-cock action was so that she could beady-eye me, but I'm not sure. Felt like she was looking at me...I remember thinking that I was just woozy enough from it being 7:30 and not 10:30 (my preferred time of being up and about and not a second earlier) to be looking for omens, but that I'd never thought of black birdies as BAD omens, really, and this one was too damned pretty to bode anything but good.

"Hello, little sister," I thought, smiling up at her. Hey, this whole post is about how strange I am, OK? We've only just begun. I greet trees sometimes. Anyway. I noticed that she'd be quiet for a second, then caw a certain number of times - four, I counted (weird. And slightly OCD) - over and over. Four every time.

"Four? Four's not my number, really. Can I get a five (2 and 5 and 7 are 'friendly' numbers in my head. Weird weird weird)? I suppose seven's too much to ask, huh?" I'm thinking this. At least I don't talk this stuff through aloud, all right?

"Caw. Caw. Caw. Caw. Caw."

I'm not kidding, mes amies. 5 calls RIGHT THEN. I'm crossing the street now, taking a treacherous moment to double-take the lovely creature. She really gave me five. Un-freakin'-believable.

Another second, then she's back to four calls. Over and over. And I'm walking away wondering what it all means.

See? I'm crazy. And I'll write more of this loopy goodness, I swear. No more leaving and letting the blog get all moldy.