Bad Latina!

I’m going to let you in on a little secret… don’t tell. Kay?

I’m a bad latina.

There. It’s out. See, I don’t quite meet all the requirements, but I am claiming to be one anyway.
I’ve got the birthright, the culo, the dark skin (which is actually optional), I’ve got the language (which is an obstacle for many who want to enter the club), but.

I only have one cousin. And I haven’t really talked to her in a year or two. Not like upset big drama kind of not talking, just we don’t really have a lot to say to each other kind of not talking so why bother with the social awkwardness of it all. Yes. One cousin. It’s disgraceful I know.

I have a small family. I am an only child. My other middle name should be princess although I did get called “center of the universe” when I was a kid. I don’t know hardly any of my extended family due to who knows what kind of feuds or drama. The weird part is, instead of getting together every Christmas to rehash the drama over lechón and too much Palo Viejo, the ruptures were so complete I don’t know these people’s names.

I don’t ask mami for the bendición. I don’t have a lovey dovey kissey huggey relationship with her anyway. I have never had a family reunion or party.

My parents were not religious, so the one time I tried to say grace I was laughed away from the table.

I don’t have an adoring abuelita, I don’t have tons of sobrinitos, I don’t have parrandas every year, I don’t have deep family connections.

I don’t have a collection of Rosarios I lovingly fondle when under duress. I don’t cook with jamonilla. I don’t think salad is iceberg, greenish tomatoes and mayoketchup. I don’t think Teve guia counts as reading a book.

I don’t think men doing housework causes their testicles to atrophy, nor do I find testicles all that interesting in general truth be told.

I don’t wear a flower behind my ear and shuffle (with my hips) to play a role.

When I read Latina magazine, I see I’ve got a lot of work to do before I can find myself in the glossy Spanglish pages.

But do I even want to see myself there? Is it easier to cling to the myth of the noisy, loving, frentic, big family, loud music, big hearted variety of dysfunction? Or is it possible to establish new grounds? New hybridities and new borderlands with no fences and fluid shift.

Just call me the utopian latina.


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