Dear Mexican: With a scant four weeks before I cram mymochilawith a few clothes for me and a hoard of presents (read: bribes) for my futurecuñadas,sobrinasy mi mera suegra, I found myself terror-stricken tonight asmi novioand I watched a home video of his family doingvariosfamilial things like hiking to the top of a hill and battering a Barney-esqe piñata on his mother's birthday. He will not be making the maiden voyage with me, and while he swears to me that his lady-kin aremuy amableand great fun, I am terrified! I do know his father, and we're great friends. But I have tattoos, which seem to be more taboo in rural Mexico. At least I'm going in December when I might be able to hide them, depending on the weather around Christmas in Guanajuato. Do you have any advice for a terrified, tattooed, white American (Spanish-speaking, by the grace of God) daughter-in-law-to-be on her first visit to meet the matriarchy of her futuremarido?
La Nuera Temblosa Dear Trembling Gabacha Daughter-in-Law: Chula, you have nothing to worry about. You obviously love your guy, you're sensitive enough toward backward Mexicans that you don't want to offend them, and you know more Spanish than Carlos Mencia—you'll be adentro like Flynn. Good luck in Mexico, and don't drink the water!
The superstars of this century will be China, India and Brazil, who will crush American economic and cultural dominance. Their superstar rise will be owed entirely to a population willing to work without labor protests and who are entirely devoted to national growth—even Africans, who are the poorest of the poor, say that the Chinese migrant workers who are extracting oil from Africa work hard and even on Sundays—and a society that is so education-focused that they will virtually do anything to make sure their kids graduate from not only high school, but also college and graduate school.
Why doesn't Mexico have this drive toward technology and math/science education that has virtually transformed India? India doesn't even have the mass economy like China, but they have billions and billions of dollars because of their brains. Mexico doesn't produce labor other than the kind that will scrub, wash, press and cut grass. This would be okay for the first generation, but the second-generation kids in America are not even close to Chinese-American or Indian-American kids in America—have you ever heard of Chinese or Indian kids (who, by the way, don't speak their parents' language) dropping out of school, joining gangs, or getting their teenage girlfriends pregnant? Have you ever seen Chinese or Indian kids resorting to menial labor?
Mexico has to stop with the wholequinceañerathing and start shifting to rewards only on graduation day. Mexico's whole obsession with family values could learn from the real family values that have uplifted the entire continent of Asia. Mexico, sadly enough, can't even keep refining the oil it owns because there are not enough oil engineers, geologists, or mechanical engineers. Most of all, Mexico needs to stop comparing Mexicans to white Americans and realize that the epicenter has shifted to the East and Asian-Americans who will be this century's employers and businessmen.
A Captain of Industry
Dear Gabacho: Glad to see a gabacho finally admit they're as screwed in the 21st century as Mexicans!