Archive for January, 2009

Angry brown grrl

Memo to all who participate in my life:

Yes, I am a very sparkly, serious yet playful, intense, intelligent, driven, angry brown grrl.

And if you aren’t down with that. You aren’t down with me.

The end.

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Pink + Five Year Old Boy= Happy Femme

It’s official.  I live with the coolest kid evah!  Not only does this bioboy child (who is, for the record five, turning six in February a few days before I turn… yeah before my birthday)  okay… so not only is he the kind of child who finds random sparklies and jewels at school and brings them home for me because he knew I’d like them, not only is he the kinda kid who knows what my favorite dress is for going out (it’s black with large red polka dots and he knows I wear it with red shoes!), not only does he make me random treasure maps, cut off my arms and legs when we’re playing pirate (and thinks I should have a pink eyepatch), he’s also the kind of kid who actually KNOWS (and remembers) that I used to hate pink but then I started liking it…and explains that he used to like raisins, but now he doesn’t anymore, kinda like I didn’t used to like pink, but now I do, but backwards.  All with his toothy grin.

He’s the kinda kid who, when I sit down to have dinner with him tonight, goes to the drawer to get our forks and picks out the pink one special just for me!

It’s impossible to have a bad day around that.  Simply impossible.

Comida Mexicana

I don’t know when comida mexicana became comfort food for me.

I was tempted to attribute it to recent experiences but I think it was born before that.

I think it was the first time I tasted Ana’s home made tamales when I lived in Idaho.  It still makes my mouth water to think of that mujer’s tamales.  I gorged myself on them till I was up to my eyeballs in glorious smooth creamy firm masa.

Or maybe it was born, around the same time, in my visits to La Fuente where I knew I could be surounded by Spanish language, welcome respite and a cold tres equis didn’t hurt either.

Or it could be the first time I went with Sonia to a hole in the wall, a secret club of sorts, that sold gallons of crema, enormous rounds of queso blanco, mountains of chorizo, and made the most amazing menudo I’ve ever tasted.  The first mouthful made my eyes water with the amazing blend of the taste of home combining with the new flavors that were so familiar and bold.  My ex was repulsed at the patitas which Sonia and I eagerly snatched up from her bowl.  She was confused at the enthusiastic squirts of limon and hot sauce that went into our brimming bowls.  I didn’t grow up with that costumbre but it tasted like home even then.  Maybe it was the relief from monotony that a taco truck provided when I could banter in Spanish and eat delicious fresh tacos.  Or the homes I was invited to where I was fed fresh tortillas or mangos with chile.

I first noticed the comfort food connection after the elections this November.  After voting, a very emotional moment for me given that it’s the first presidential election I’ve been able to vote in.  I’ve voted for other seats in the past but happened to be in PR every time a new prez was being elected, and we don’t have voting rights on the island.  So, not only did I get to vote but I got to vote for a black man.  Wow.  I came out of the polling booth with tears streaming down my face.  And I went to the bodega on my way to work and stopped for a paleta.  The taste of mango making the tears come that much quicker, taste of home.

I’m experiencing conflict in a few different areas of my life and I was trying to figure out if I could eat without getting sick, and the first thing that came to mind was tamales.  I wanted tamales, carnitas, aguas frescas, or maybe a licuado.  I didn’t exactly get that order but instead I walked down to the colmado.  I walked to where I feel like I’m part of the comunidad, where the sadness in my eyes is recognized and garners gentle inquiries and kindness.  They roast chickens there on weekends and the whole neighborhood is fragrant with the smell of pollo asado making my mouth water as I approach.  With the loud sad corrida playing on the speakers I gather the few things I need, lingering as I walk through the aisles.  With my rice, beans, tortillas, and fresh salsa I was set.  I had a refresco de tamarindo to wash it all down.

And it tasted like home.

It was the perfect meal to nourish tired body and soul.

And isn’t that what comfort food is for?  It’s the food that makes you feel cared for, loved, the foods that remind you of home, of simpler times, bring happy memories even if they are vague and fuzzy they are Good.

It makes everything else that much easier to handle when I know I can care for myself in simple and healthy ways.  And it makes me smile to find that comida mexicana is part of what gives me comfort.  It used to be that living far away from home, or far from places where Puerto Rican food was readily available meant that I had fierce cravings for mi comida.  I haven’t experienced that here.  Even when I can’t find exactly what I’m looking for I’ve found that my idea of what tastes like home has expanded and my taste buds for patria are evolving.

And now to find the perfect tamales!

The Pink Butch Test

We all have tests that people have to pass in order to be deemed dateable. We have screening tools. We all have things we look for, relationship benchmarks, dealbreakers even.

I have a few but one of the items high on my initial compatibility checklist is the Pink Test. Closely related to the Feather Boa Test.

I will only date butches who are okay with pink.

The first butch I dated when I was back in the game was a major player in converting me to pink. She set the bar with her joy at my pink pajamas (and my midnight treks to the video store in said pjs). Then there was the boi with pink shoes. There was a boi who acquired a pink harness in my honor (hawt!).  A  boy with a soft pink blanket and a favorite pink tie. There was a butch who explained she wasn’t anti-pink, it just wasn’t in her color chart (and showed me the color chart as proof). A one date butch who wore pink to meet me at the train station which automatically endeared her to me despite our short lived flirtation. A butch in a light pink dress shirt picking me up for a second date. Such fun!

You see, I love genderqueers, I heart transgression and contradiction. And I have found that butches who won’t embrace pink tend to be somewhat binary in their “pink is for girls” thinking.

I want a butch who is confident and sexy enough to sport that pink dress shirt and rock it, to not give a fuck, not for a second think that they are less of a butch, not for a second consider it in any way feminizing– if anything that pink shirt is now being queered, it is being butchified, it is now transgressing the boundaries of pinkness. A butch who isn’t down with pink is generally not someone who will be compatible with me. If they are not okay with pink, odds are they won’t be okay with feather boas, or with glitter and sparkles. And I’m not okay with that.

So far my test has worked for me.

My New Year’s Eve date wore a pink dress shirt (and a beautiful tie) and has expressed that he favors white feather boas over black.   Looks like he  is going for extra credit!