I’ve spent my 18 years of life trying to be okay with the fact that humans fade in and out of each others’ lives. No matter how I think about it, I can’t make it sound romantic or poetic. To those who have already passed through my life and to those who eventually will: I love you. I miss you. The back door will always be unlocked if you ever feel like coming home.
Early in my freshman year, my dad asked me if there were lots of Latinos at school. I wanted to say, “Pa, I’m one of the only Latinos in most of my classes. The other brown faces I see mostly are the landscapers’. I think of you when I see them sweating in the morning sun. I remember you were a landscaper when you first came to Illinois in the 1950s. And look, Pa! Now I’m in college!”
But I didn’t.
I just said, “No, Pa. There’s a few Latinos, mostly Puerto Rican, few Mexicans. But all the landscapers are Mexican.”
My dad responded, “¡Salúdelos, m’ijo!”
So when I walked by the Mexican men landscaping each morning, I said, “Buenos días.”
Recently, I realized what my dad really meant. I remembered learning the Mexican, or Latin American, tradition of greeting people when one enters a room. In my Mexican family, my parents taught me to be “bien educado” by greeting people who were in a room already when I entered. The tradition puts the responsibility of the person who arrives to greet those already there. If I didn’t follow the rule as a kid, my parents admonished me with a back handed slap on my back and the not-so-subtle hint: “¡Saluda!”
I caught myself tapping my 8-year-old son’s back the other day when he didn’t greet one of our friends: “Adrian! ¡Saluda!”
However, many of my white colleagues over the years followed a different tradition of ignorance. “Maleducados,” ol’ school Mexican grandmothers would call them.
But this Mexican tradition is not about the greeting—it’s about the acknowledgment. Greeting people when you enter a room is about acknowledging other people’s presence and showing them that you don’t consider yourself superior to them.
When I thought back to the conversation between my dad and me in 1990, I realized that my dad was not ordering me to greet the Mexican landscapers with a “Good morning.”
Instead, my father wanted me to acknowledge them, to always acknowledge people who work with their hands like he had done as a farm worker, a landscaper, a mechanic. My father with a 3rd grade education wanted me to work with my mind but never wanted me to think myself superior because I earned a college degree and others didn’t.
My dad always hated when I didn’t say hi to every single person at the party. And that’s difficult to do at mexican parties, when there’s 30+ people every weekend, all scattered around the property (in the house, the backyard, outside in the street, probably cousin Beto at the corner liquor, etc). I used to hate saying hi to my aunt because she notoriously would kiss my entire face, but my dad made me anyway.(via comidalatina)
Do you think celebrities just have each others phone numbers and like Miley Cyrus will just text beyonce and be like “dude I want Mac and cheese so badly rn lol”
do you actually think Beyonce would even consider giving that greasy pasty mashed potato being her number
cute how whiteys get all offended for mispronouncing an English word but god forbid we call em out when they mispronounce a word in Spanish 👀
Lol gotta be up at 4:30am to shower/finish packing. It’s 2:15am. Liiiike what’s the point tbh