It’s hard to come to an understanding on my personal life when a language and culture barrier still separates my mother and I.
On my end, I want to express my freedom of liberty, sexuality and expression. On her end, she wants me to be her perfect stay-at-home-daughter. I want to travel the world and move out of the house, she wants me to do the chores and run the errands. I want to go out on weekend nights with my friends, she wants me to stay inside and lock me in my room. I want to enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, she wants me to regurgitate it back up and wash the dishes.
The complex is: What should a 24 going on 25 year old daughter do when she still lives in her mother’s traditional Mexican household? Do I choose selfishness or do I succumb to prehistoric standards?
I read in Octavio Paz’s Labyrinth of Solitude that the Mexican woman can never be herself as she must play the roles of wife and homemaker. Although he’s speaking to the native born female of the 1950’s, this concept was how my mother was raised throughout the 70’s in Mexico.
She was conditioned to be the perfect household mom. Her schooling was that of my abuelita’s where her and her other nine siblings received lectures of cooking and cleaning. Emigrated by 18, married by 23, first child by 25, my mother’s path was set in stone.
As a daughter I carry the same weight of those traditions. Since nothing is more important to me than to make my mom happy, I oblige to most of them. Our sincerest mother-daughter connection even comes from the kitchen when she’s teaching me how to make chile rellenos or bestowing the recipe for my abuelita’s salsa. In the intimate setting of our kitchen our love is wrapped up in a tortilla, served with a side of arroz y frijoles, and shared with nuestra familia.
But in the Mexican Mother, American Daughter complex, our disagreement on her outdated norms bring us to each other’s necks.
In light of the growing relationship between my Mexican-American sancho and myself, I’ve had to make the decision whether I want my mom thinking of me as a “bariloca” or “borracha.” Our puppy love between my man and I means that I spend most weekends at his house, MIA at times from the place I call home. Since he was born a male, and I, a female, our star crossed love was doomed from the start.
The head of my house, Guadalupe “Lupita” Maria Tamayo Cruiel, Ruler of Rules,
Giver of Life, deems that her middle born child has no need for boys. So I, being the middle child that I am, will make up excuses and say I’m spending the night at a friend’s house. In return, she thinks I’m out partying every weekend when really I’m just watching Netflix with my sancho.
So after spending a few nights here and there in a bed other than mine, my Mexican mom has blessed her American daughter with angry voicemails on her phone.
Another fixation I have is in regards to the Mexican-American-Sancho’s-Parents and the Mexican-American-Sancho’s-Lover (me). Why is that when I stay the night at my significant other’s family house, the parents are so welcoming to bring me in? Does this only happen in Latino households? Are we viewed as the one to settle their son down? Now that I’m 3 for 3 on the subject, I’m also still wondering why I can’t even bring a boyfriend into my room.
I guess this is a topic of discussion for another time. Until then, as my mom would say, “Pónganse a limpiar!”