Last updateMon, 20 Apr 2020 1pm

Dear Mexican: I’m an Arizonan of the anti-SB 1070 ilk who has just adopted an Arizonan 5-year old boy who is obviously (visually anyway) of Mexican descent. I want to do right by my son where his heritage is concerned; I have my own ideas about what that means, but I value your opinion.

I’m enrolling him in a public elementary school that has a Spanish-language program (and hoping that the state Legislature doesn’t kill such things), and have a passing knowledge of some of the pertinent literature. (Among other things, I once produced a radio reading of Bless Me, Ultima for the local station for the blind.) I expect we are destined for difficulties from intrusive questions to downright racism in the future, so my immediate goal is to continue to grow my relationship with my son in such a way that he has no doubts that his family loves him unconditionally. Beyond that, though, I’d be interested in your ideas about what a gringo-raised Mexican child ought to be exposed to in order to have a healthy sense of self and a reasonably sophisticated acculturation.

Expatriate Ohioan

Dear Gabacho: This letter reminds me of Discovering Dominga, a wrenching 2003 documentary that appeared on PBS’s POV series and dealt with a Guatemalan girl named Dominga who was adopted by an Iowa family after she survived the massacre of her village (and family) by the Guatemalan military during the 1980s. Her adopted parents changed Dominga’s name to Denese and raised her to be a Midwestern girl; it worked mostly fine, until Denese became an adult and began researching her past, which tore her new life apart even as it healed her inside.

Discovering Dominga’s overarching question was whether full-scale assimilation was smart in the long run for everyone involved, and I agree. You’re at least off to a good start: You’re not negating your new hijo’s ethnicity, and you’re going to stand against the haters. But the best advice I can give you is to let your son grow into his ethnicity. If he wants to identify only with his gabacho parents, that’s OK; if he eventually wants to rename himself Xipe, that’s OK as well.

The important thing is to love him for who he is—and remind him to NEVER stay at a Motel 6.

Dear Mexican: At every family gathering, my Mexican family brings out a bottle of tequila to toast something. Indeed, my Mexican mother drank tequila until she was 77 years old.

My question is: What is it about tequila that brings families together?

Herradura Blanco for Me, Por Favor

Dear Gabacho: TEQUILA!

Dear Mexican: Why do Mexican men always tuck in their T-shirts? Do they believe this will clean up their dusty, sweaty, overworked appearance?

The Mick

Dear Mick: That, and any loose clothing at a blue-collar job is an accident waiting to happen. Any working man knows this; the fact that you don’t is just further proof of the decline of the gabacho male in los Estados, and why we need more Mexicans to Make American Men Great Again.

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Dear Mexican: I’m an American woman who has been living in Mexico for more than a year and a half. I found an excellent job teaching English at a university, and as luck or karma would have it, I met an amazing Mexican man who treats me with respect and kindness, with a kind of support I have never known from anyone. He is a doctor here at the university. We are the same age, and though he is a chemist, and I have spent the last decade of my life trying to be an artist, we get along sweetly. I do love him a lot. I should mention we also live together, and in general, it runs smoothly.

Things are good. But there is still that … I don’t know, American ambition—that voice in my head that says to me constantly that you have to keep going, keep achieving, you aren’t making enough, doing enough, being enough.

So here’s my situation: I want my boyfriend to come with me should I be accepted into the doctoral programs I’m applying for in the United States. But he has such a good thing going for him here in Mexico. He’s a professor at a university; he is doing research and publishing. I feel like a jerk asking him to leave. I fear if he leaves Mexico, he would come to the U.S. and need to work some menial job at a restaurant, when he is really a scientist. He was also born and raised in Mexico, and aside from study in Spain, he hasn’t really experienced a separation from his culture, food and home.

But then I think of my life. I can’t just sit here in Mexico and be in his shadow. I do not want to be the woman of the household while my man is out having a marvelous professional career. I have to think about my career as well, but I also want a family and the support and warmth that he provides for me.

How do I do this? How do I have a career and the man I love at the same time? How do I ask someone to sacrifice so much for me? Should I ask someone to sacrifice so much for me?

Sad in Satélite

Dear Gabacha: There’s ambition, and then there’s selfishness, and you, ingrata, are the definition of the latter. You already have a job and a man, yet you want to upgrade the former while forcing your querido to become a peon in el Norte, just because you don’t want to be “the woman of the household.” Isn’t that the position you currently hold in Mexico—a position you, yourself, say is wonderful?

You do realize you’d be in a subservient position up here anyway, since the only income the two of you would make during your college years is whatever he could cobble together while your apapachada ass buries the two of you in student debt, right? Just leave him: You deserve him less than Donald Trump deserves a Mazapan de la Rosa.

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Dear Mexican: A Mexican man recently broke up with me. We had great sex but a somewhat distant relationship. Anyway, the reason he left me was his immigration status. He says he can’t “be with me mentally,” because he’s somewhere else mentally—not knowing where he might be living in the next days and months is really bothering him. There is also the fact that he can’t find work now because of E-File.

I’m trying to find closure. It’s only been a few days since he left me, but I’m struggling with finding peace in myself. My friends say things like, “You’re better off without him,” and, “Things happen for a reason.” I miss him, miss the great sex (adventurous, great oral, got very close to anal) and most of all, I miss the idea of him. He’s liberal politically, helps his family here and in Mexico, is a good person, helps others and is very organic. I forgot to mention he has beautiful long hair and is “como un tren,” which means he’s solid like a football player and made me melt when I touched his “guns.”

Please help me deal.

La Heina No More

Dear Ya No The Chick: Man, you know Trump is destroying lives when Mexicans can’t even have sex with gabachas anymore without deportation on their mind. (Quick thought, gents: Think of 45’s blobbish physique to hold out just a bit more.)

It seems like the two of you had a great relationship outside of el sexo, and he’s obviously concerned about his livelihood and those of his fellow undocumented friends and family, so don’t take it personally. The most important thing right now is for you to be there for him, even if he’s unavailable physically. Protest whenever the inevitable migra raids inflict terror on the barrios in your city. Bombard your congressman and senators, demanding they oppose Trump’s wall of shame. Donate to nonprofits designed to help out people like your hombre.

Remember: The most important body part of his to have right now is his back. Oh, and #fucktrump.

Dear Mexican: This past Thanksgiving weekend for me was a bit surreal. I was born and raised here in the beautiful city of Nuestra Señora de Los Angeles and decided to visit my mother in Arkansas, where she recently moved with her new husband. (Her husband is from the state of Guerrero!) Before my boyfriend (who is white) and I arrived, my mother told me that they (her husband’s family and friends) were going to kill a goat in honor of me and my boyfriend’s arrival, and have a huge fiesta on Saturday. I thought she was pulling my leg.

Thursday, we had the traditional turkey; come Friday evening, there was a weird stench coming from the back yard of the house. My boyfriend and I noticed that my mom’s husband and his friends were preparing the goat. Mind you, my boyfriend and I only eat three meats in our diet—chicken, beef and a little bit of pork. Someone told me that this tradition happens in many places in the world, and the type of animal they kill in your honor depends how important you are.

So, do Mexicans really do this, or am I just super-special with my family?

Turning Vegetariana Very Soon

Dear Gabacha: I have always maintained that only the world’s superior cultures go crazy for goat. That means that the GOATs of the world are Jamaicans, Vietnamese, Koreans, Pakistanis and, of course, Mexicans.

If your ’billy mom is now with a guy who’s immersing her in the art of cabrito, consider yourself blessed. That he and his compas slaughtered a goat in your name is nothing but respect.

“Weird stench”? Watch your manners—and be glad they didn’t make you a taco bowl.

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Dear Mexican: I found your column about Mexican men and spousal abuse, and my question is: Is there any help for this?

I’ve been with a Mexican man, who is also an abuser of alcohol. He gets angry out of the blue and starts hitting me, and later realizes what he has done and cries. I had to leave him for my protection, but the feelings between us remain, and I don't know what to do with the situation.

Can you provide any comments or help?


Dear Abused: Get out of that relationship—now. But before you leave, coat that pendejo’s toilet paper with habanero powder, so he gets the burn in the culo he deserves.

Dear Mexican: How do Mexicans feel about environmental issues—specifically, a population explosion that will cause eventual food shortages?

I am told that procreation is a very macho thing for the Mexican male. You have even mentioned in the past that men do not perform oral sex on women because it’s not important when having children. How does that way of thinking weigh in with regard to the future of the planet?

El Blanco Pedro

Dear Pedro Gabacho: Malthus called—he wants his crackpot theory back. Besides, the gabacho love of suburbia has probven far more toxic to the environment than any 12-child Mexican mom ever did, so vete a la chingada con your faux environmental concerns.


Gentle cabrones: as I write this, the Mexican still doesn’t have a feel for whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump (or neither?) will be the next president of the United States. (The Mexican has to file his columna a week early.) In the interest of not looking more pendejo than usual, I will write three open letters to ensure I get the results right. Enjoy!


Congrats on beating that pendejo Trump—you’re now the greatest female savior of Mexicans since the original Santa Sabina, the legendary curandera for which the goth-Mex band was named.

But that’s not enough. Do not inherit the title of Deporter-in-Chief from Obama. Realize that the only reason you won is because raza overwhelmingly voted for you—and we want results besides appointments of token vendidos (although please do give a cool gig to Congressman Xavier Becerra, a truly down Chicano). Don’t pay attention to all the Know Nothings who insist on enforcement before amnesty. There are millions of Mexicans who have lived their entire lives in limbo, and it’s your job to save them. And if you do that? We’ll create a new altar to you at Tepeyac.


Congrats on beating that pendeja Killary—you’re now the greatest unifier of Mexicans since Porfirio Diaz. Don’t even try to deport 12 million people, or build that nasty, small-handed wall. Back in the day, raza mostly stood meekly by as presidents from Hoover to Roosevelt to Eisenhower to Obama enacted mass deportations—but those were honorable men. You’re not. We will protest; we will resist; we will struggle; we will take over elected offices the way Irish took over Boston. You hear me, President Pendejo? We ain’t no sleeping giant—we woke, and we’re ready to make your one term more pitiful than Enrique Peña Nieto.

Oh, and #fucktrump.


No mames, America.

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Dear Mexican: I’m asking this question for my best friend, who also happens to be my ex-girlfriend.

Both she and her guy are educated Mexican Americans. She moved in with her fiancé at his home. The problem is that his parents also live there. His overbearing mom has seven dogs and numerous chickens, and still does everything for her “baby”—like making his lunch every day and cleaning the room he shares with my ex, and offering her “ranchito” advice on everything. The mom has told her that she will not move until her son asks her to do so.

They might try to buy a duplex so they can at least have some privacy, or even a second home. The mother tries to make her feel guilty by saying that it is normal in Mexico, and her son loves the house he worked so hard to buy. Her fiancé might be in the worst position, because he will either have to lose his girl (my ex), evict his mom (probably to an OK apartment) or move into a duplex or buy a second house.

My ex has lived there close to a year, and is pushing her ex to make a tough decision; she is threatening to move out. Can you tell me what you think is the right thing to do? Gracias!

Ex Novio de Una Mexicana Maravillosa

Dear Ex-Boyfriend of a Marvelous Mexican Woman: Why do I suspect your ex has nothing to do with this question, and you’re just looking for my OK to break them up so you can whip out your Mexican thing?

Well, go for it, as your fiancé is already on the way out: Assimilated women will never understand the hold that a mami has on her son, and will never accept that a man can still be an adult even if his mom insists on washing his chonis every week because the damn gal in his life doesn’t use enough Suavitel.

Your ex should be content with the fact that her guy owns a house in this millennial era, and that she has a potential suegra who will offer free baby-sitting for life (go ask gabachos who live far away from their parents how much baby-sitting costs)—but she isn’t. So you have my blessing, Ex Novio: Break ’em up. Just remember, though, that the mujer will soon start asking you why you love your mom so, so have fun with your pinche novela.

Dear Mexican: As a proud Tex-Mex, I’ve always heard huevos used to describe anyone with brass and huevón to describe a lazy ass.

How can that be? Shouldn’t a huevón be a Super-Mex?

Tony Romo Should Retire

Dear Pocho: You’d think, right? However, while praising someone’s testicular fortitude is an almost universal compliment, you don’t want your balls too big in Mexico, as that pegs you as animalistic—e.g., stupid. So that’s why huevón (big-balled) means lazy, similar to the Argentine boludo and the Chicano #fucktrump—except Trump’s balls are as big as his hands.

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Dear Mexican: I employ two lovely ladies who clean my home and take care of my toddler two days a week when I go out to run errands. They are loving and kind and take superb care of her. My daughter adores them, and they adore her.

From the minute I brought my baby home, I asked them to speak Spanish to the baby so she would grow up bilingual. For some reason, they will not do it, unless I really push them—and then they speak Spanglish to her, as in, “Do you want more leche?” That isn’t going to help my child learn Spanish.

What really frustrates me is that their English is not all that great. I don’t want my child pronouncing shoes as choos, and chicken as shicken, and I don’t want her using no double negatives. My husband and I speak English very well, and we can teach our child English. What we don’t do is speak colloquial Spanish, which is where I hoped these ladies would help us. The frustrating parts are that they speak Spanish to one another all the time—just not to my child; and one of them is convinced my child will grow up speaking Spanish, and she comments on it, even as I ask her repeatedly (and pointedly) how that will happen when she barely speaks two words to my daughter in Spanish the whole time she is in my house.

I don’t get it—why will they speak Spanish to one another and not to my baby? As I understand it, even if she doesn’t grow up speaking Spanish, just hearing it now will develop neural pathways in her brain that will make it easier for her to learn foreign languages later in life.

Spanglish No Me Gusta!

Dear I Don’t Like Spanglish: Did you know that conservative icon William F. Buckley’s first language was Spanish? Taught to him in Mexico by a nanny. I’m sure Buckley’s parents didn’t hover over the niñera every moment, demanding she teach their son a certain Spanish to their exacting standards; after all, the nanny was the person who knew Spanish, not the parents, so they knew to stay the hell out of the way.

Do you think your toddler doesn’t listen to the ladies speaking Spanish and absorb it all? You’re insulting the help and your child—and hating Spanglish? Vete to pinche hell, pendeja.

Dear Mexican: I’ve noticed a pattern among Mexican men: They seem to be able to focus on large breasts and asses to the exclusion of everything else on a female. She could be the fattest, ugliest, nastiest-looking chick in town (often, she doesn’t even need to be Mexican), and they’ll still go nuts for her ample T-and-A.

In the past, I’ve even heard lascivious remarks about Rosie O’Donnell! Rosie O’Donnell? Please shed some light.

More of a Eyes Guy

Dear Gabacho: Mexican men are so obsessed with tits and ass that we coined the sacrilegious puns “chichis Christ” (“Tits Christ,” a play on “Jesus Christ”) and “nálgame Diós” (“Ass me, God,” from the expression “¡Válgame Diós!”—“Oh, my God”).

Why the curve addiction? Nature, son—same reason nearly all the Paleolithic Venus figurines were of BBWs and not a flaca. And don’t forget hips—glorious, sumptuous caderas, cabrón.

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Dear Mexican: Please allow me a little latitude. I’m a resident of Northeast Dallas, a wonderfully diverse neighborhood near the heart of downtown. I’ve lived here for many years and wouldn’t even CONSIDER moving north, south, east or west. However, I have one issue I’d like to address: What’s the deal with Mexicans’ propensity to stop their cars in the middle of busy streets?

I witness this almost every week, usually on Ross Avenue during afternoon rush hour. I (and hundreds of other motorists) will be clipping along at 30-35 mph in the northbound lanes, when all of a sudden, cars will swerve; horns will honk; and traffic will suddenly grind to a screeching halt. What could it be? A lost puppy dog crossing the street? A little old lady who’s collapsed from heatstroke while trying to cross the street? A partially open duffel bag containing thousands of dollars, with bills flying all over the road?

NO! Without fail, it’s a Mexican who: 1. Saw a friend walking down the street and stopped to exchange pleasantries. 2. A Mexican who stopped to drop off or pick up a wife, husband or friend. 3. A Mexican who accidentally passed his/her intended location, but instead of “making the block,” decided instead to stop, and in some cases, even BACK UP in order to reach their intended destination.

I LOVE Mexicans. You all are some of the friendliest, easiest-going, most-family-oriented, hardest-working people I’ve ever known. But put some of you behind the wheel of a car, and all bets are off. Help a gringo out here. What’s the deal?

Stuck on Ross

Dear Gabacho: Ever heard of the Chinese Fire Drill—when you stop at a red light, everyone gets out of the car, circles it and gets back in? I didn’t, either, until I got some gabacho friends last year; gabas are weird, ¿qué no?

Anyhoo, call the scenario you described the Mexican Fire Drill. You also forgot that Mexicans will stop in the middle of the street—traffic be damned—if they’re waiting for a friend who’s getting ready at their house, if they have to go inside a place to pick something up, or if there’s a particularly good banda jam on the stereo, and they want the whole barrio to listen. As por el why? After a lifetime of crossing borders, running away from la migra and hustling from job to job, sometimes it’s just great to relax and be still—and if that annoys gabachos, even better!

Dear Mexican: My name is Burjs, and I’m a gay male. I’m obsessed with Mexican men. I love you guys so fucking much. I love your “machismo” attitude—from the ways you guys walk, talk and look, to the way you make love. But I guess the thing I love the most—and it’s not true of all—is your tempers.

I wonder why Mexican men are mean and aggressive toward effeminate males such as myself. I’m not complaining, because I love it from you guys. Am I crazy because I like my Mexican lovers to sexually and physically abuse me? By the way, I’m a black bottom.

Provócame, Papi

Dear Provoke Me, Daddy: Don’t romanticize our machismo. If you get off on getting demeaned, that’s your deal. But far too many hombres who don’t fit the Vicente Fernández archetype of hypersexual hetero male have had to deal with too many calls of maricón and joto by other Mexican men throughout their lives to make it something cute.

Such aggression, though, proves the answer to the age-old question: What’s the difference between a straight Mexican and a gay Mexican? Two Tecates.

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Dear Mexican: I want to start by saying I’m a Chicano. Now, I don’t understand why you allow Gustavo Arellano’s column in your publication.

He is a racist. First, he has a negative cartoon of a Mexican. Just look at it. Just because his last name is Arellano, that does not give him the right to display such filth and to speak for all people of Mexican or Latino decent.

Second, he calls white people gabachos. In Spanish, this is the white stuff that accumulates at the corner of your mouth. It’s the equivalent to calling a black person a “nigger,” a Mexican a “beaner” or a Jew a “kike.” It’s ugly, isn’t it?

I’ve brought this up to him, and his response to me is that it’s all in jest. How can you call a person a racist name in jest? Please take his racist ass off your magazine, and please look into the word gabacho.

Chicano Charlie

Dear Readers: This guy followed up with me by sending a private email that whined, “I don’t think you have the balls” to publish this letter.

Well, guess what, Chicano Charlie? Not only do I have the huevos; I also have the facts. I’ve never claimed to speak for all Mexicans—just the smart ones. A gabacho is a gabacho, not saliva—you’re thinking of baba, which you should be familiar with, since your words are babadas. If we want to call a gabacho a nasty slur, we call him a Donald Trump supporter. And who says you can’t call someone a racist name in jest?

Anything is possible in this columna—including not granting a pendejo his dream. So guess what, Chicano Charlie? This columna ain’t going nowhere—feliz navidad, gabacho!

Dear Mexican: I own a shop in a small shopping complex. I see lone Mexican guys (with no wife or girlfriend in sight) buying expensive pieces of jewelry. I’m sure they are going to trade the jewelry for quickie sex, possibly with our women. Isn’t this crude, low-class and tantamount to prostitution? At least us white Americans of European descent know how to wine, dine and make a girl feel special before asking for the hot biscuit.

Where’s the romance? Are Mexicans only interested in getting their rocks off?

An Honestly Outraged Local Entrepreneur

Dear Chinito: Bruh, you’re just jealous they ain’t shopping at whatever piece-of-caca storefront you operate. And you’re also mad these hombres are getting action—the last I heard, a woman is more apt to go out with a man who surprises her with a ring than some loser who refers to her privates as a “hot biscuit.”

But, yes: Mexican men are only interested in having sex with white women. Sucks for you!


For another awesome year of random questions, kind words, hilarious haters, and ever-present DESMADRE.

Reward your faithful Mexican with the regalo of watching the premiere of Bordertown, the Fox animated show on which I served as a consulting producer. It starts Sunday, Jan. 3, at 9:30 p.m., and will air each Sunday at the same time afterward. Watch it live; DVR it; stream it on Hulu—I don’t really care as long as you watch it within a week of its air date.

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Dear Mexican: I’m an old fart with lily-white genes. I lived in the OC, L.A. and the Bay Area for 20 years, yet I had scarcely any interaction with the Latino population. It wasn’t because I was anti-Mexican; I was just apprehensive. I felt like I was the stranger, the one who wouldn’t fit. It didn’t help that I’d hear crap like, “Don’t go to the barrio, man! You might end up dead!”

Strangely, it took some business trips to Monterrey and Oaxaca to change my perspective. These are people doing their best to get by, just like everyone else—same concerns and desires. The differences between us were mostly language, world view and style. Once I got over that, I discovered I was rather comfortable there. In some ways, I fit better there than in my native culture.

Now I’m in the South, and I’m missing that large Mexican culture. I was glad when the housing boom lured Latinos here. If nothing else, I’ve been able to get much-better Mexican food (though it’s still a bit Americanized). It’s a joy to be handed Spanish-only menus.

As I approach retirement, I’ve developed a yearning to relocate to Mexico, but not to the resort areas or expat enclaves: I want to go as native as my limited Spanish will let me. At least I think I do. I’ll give it a few months of a test run, trying a few areas, before making the big jump. Do you have any advice on the matter?

Looking for a Peso Parachute

Dear Gabacho: So you’re telling me you didn’t care for Mexicans until you actually hung out with them? And now you’d rather hang out with us than your own kind? Can you tell that to the GOP presidential field?

Since you’re in the South, I’d stay there; the region has experienced the largest Mexican increase, percentage-wise, of any region in the U.S. Specifically, go to Louisville, and tell the U of L’s pendejo president that the only gabacho who ever wore a sombrero well was Homer Simpson—and that’s because his hat was made of NACHOS.

Dear Mexican: I am a fairly attractive middle-age black woman. Like many women who share my demographics, it is challenging for me to find interesting, attractive men—there is a shortage! Instead, I find myself approached by some of the least-appealing males on Earth: sombrero-wearing, pot-bellied, hygienically challenged, straggly mustached, snaggle-toothed, intoxicated, red-eyed, middle-age Mexicans.

In the past few weeks, I’ve been approached by not one, not two, but three stanky-drunk cholos while I was waiting at the bus stop or taking a walk. They approach me, speaking rapid, drunken Spanish. I can’t catch everything they’re saying, but I get the general idea! I answer in English, which they pretend not to understand. My friends laugh at me, and say I must be putting out some vibe of which I am unaware: some vibe that attracts drunk Mexicans with missing—or even worse—gold teeth. (They look a lot like the caricature for this column, only older and MUCH dirtier.)

Why are these guys coming on to me? Why are they drunk in the middle of the day? There are frequently young and attractive chicas in the same vicinity—why do they come staggering up to ME, and how can I make them stop?

Times Are Hard, but Not That Hard

Dear Negrita: What’s that saying—pendeja is as pendeja does? That’s all you, chula. Besides, you forget that a Mexican male will go after any woman, no matter how disgusting—so congrats!

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Dear Mexican: My boyfriend is Mexican, and I love him very much. We have a very good relationship, and most of the time, he is sensitive to my needs and feelings. On some occasions, however, he will act in a VERY stubborn way.

For example, if something I say or do is disappointing to him, rather than tell me he is disappointed or hurt, he will insist that whatever we are doing has to stop. One time, we had a disagreement on New Year’s Eve when we were getting ready to go out for the evening. He got so angry that he yelled and said the evening was off, and we were not going out—so we didn’t go. Another example that just happened the other night was that I didn’t feel like dancing when we were out at a lounge, but I wanted to stay to hear the music. He was so angry about me not dancing that he said, “If you’re not gonna dance, we have to go home,” which we did. In these instances, he demands that I do as he says, which is ending the activity—it’s as if he has to punish me if he doesn’t get his way.

I don’t understand why he has to call the whole evening off. Is this behavior part of Mexican culture (“El Rey” syndrome)? Or is this his own pathology? Or am I being an overly sensitive gringa?

Huerita Hermosa

Dear Beautiful Gabacha: Dump this llorón NOW.

I’m not going to pretend that Mexican men aren’t capable of domineering, irrational actions toward women—is your guy demanding that you not talk to your siblings for decades, like far too many rancho machos I know? At least you didn’t mention anything about physical abuse, thank Dios. But acting like a chavala when things don’t go his way? A real Mexican man wouldn’t even talk about his emotions to you, instead saving it for the yentas who are his borracho buddies. Continually melting down the way your guy does suggests he’s someone with the maturity of a Donald Trump supporter—so dump the pendejo now, and get yourself a man with actual huevos.

I just had my first child, and in true Mexican fashion, I plan to have him baptized Catholic in the coming months. However, I married a Whitexican, whose mother is white and father is Mexican. In planning the baptism this weekend, I tried to explain to them the very tradition of giving bolo by the godparents, but I was bombarded with questions as to how it started, and why we do this as a Mexican tradition. I had no answer, so I figured maybe you had an answer I could pass along to the in-laws.

As you might know, to give bolo is the tradition of the godparents giving away money to the attendees, apparently for being part of the celebration—usually quarters, dollars. etc. Now, this is my understanding as to why it’s done, but I may be wrong. Any help would be appreciated.

Baptism Belén

Dear Pocha: Perhaps the biggest difference between Mexican and gabacho Catholics isn’t our worship of Mary or their declining church attendance, but rather the importance of godparents. For gabas, it’s just an excuse to dress up for a day and pretend to be Catholic; for Mexis, it signifies a blood oath between families. Toward that, the tradition of bolo is for the padrinos to show their worth as godparents by giving away money, much like the potlatches of the Pacific Northwest.

Etymology? From the word óbolo, which dates back to the Greek term for a sixth of a drachma. But warning: If you’re an adult expecting bolo at a baptism, everyone will think you a loser deserving of the ugly cousin in the familia.

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Published in Ask a Mexican

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