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.


Anonymous el gato gordo said...

LOL,Ole! Being a gamer and using el gato gordo as a gaming tag online, you wouldn't believe how many people assume I am a mexican and either try to speak lame-ass spanish at me or make typical comments such as the conversation you had, some seem malicious, other just have no idea that they are being a racist-lite.

I have a beef with grocery stores at the moment, making a "mexican" food section. I'm offended! Why can't the refried beans be with the "American" Beans (kidney and navy beans)? Do you really need to have prayer candles in a grcoery store, and do they have to be right next to the "mexican" soda that doesn't ever get put in the cooler section next to Pepsi and Coke. Is a pinata really necessary? Especially since the pinatas are very American styled pinatas (a watermelon pintana? Really?). Stop segregation of food!!!!

8/30/2006 9:38 AM  
Blogger Morphea said...

Sweet brothertons will have his little joke.

Segregation of food is no laughing matter.


8/30/2006 11:52 AM  
Blogger HASH said...

You have to fight for everything. Segregation of food is only the beginning... akin to "starter drugs" that lead to heavier things like cocaine.

Seriously. Some people were born dimwitted or raise to be morons. You did good by walking away from that one.

8/30/2006 5:16 PM  
Blogger Morphea said...

Hello, Hashish!

Right you are - segregation of food leads to segregation of cultures everywhere. Be warned, America.

8/30/2006 10:18 PM  
Anonymous el gato gordo said...

It's not a joke, I'm actually seriously bent out of shape every time I see it. It is the inherent refusal to intergate all cultures and lifstlyes into one harmonious world. The perpetual tower of babel syndrome.

8/30/2006 10:27 PM  
Blogger Morphea said...

Aha. I understand - I'm perplexed by it, yes, but not yet upset about it. Give me time, though. They lump all the traditionally Jewish dishes together as well, and Asian...

So, who's refusing to integrate (in this instance), and why? Why have 'sections' based on ethnicity?

Here's a question: if they didn't have an Asian section, where in the name of god would I find nori?

You know what's fun? Going Uwajimaya and finding the American section in every aisle.


8/31/2006 8:06 AM  
Anonymous el gato gordo said...

Yeah, down with the Asian section as well. The nori could be with the other dry goods, the yakisoba with the rest of the pasta/noodles, teriyaki sauce with the other sauces/condiments, etc...

Damn the POS reporting and marketers, I blame them for encouraging the food seperations.

8/31/2006 1:25 PM  
Anonymous el gato gordo said...

BTW...I have your shiny case and it will cost an evening with MV and I to get it back....

8/31/2006 1:27 PM  
Blogger Morphea said...

Dang it. [sigh] Fine - one more evening with you guys and then that's IT.

Love you,

8/31/2006 3:08 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home