Also, the further I got into my education, I'm talking about graduate school, the fewer Latinos I came across. Advertisement That is not to say that dating a white man was my last resort. I can't imagine a better partner for myself. I'm lucky to have found him. It's in meeting him that I let go of many of preconceived notions. For example, not all white people eat boiled hot dogs for dinner, listen to Dave Matthews Band, and do the funky chicken at weddings.
These are things I simply did not know. My boyfriend sincerely wanted to know about my culture, he valued my intelligence and was interested in my innumerable opinions. He even watched Chespirito for me. Clearly, to him I wasn't just some spicy Latina shaking my proverbial maracas. At this point in our four-year relationship, sometimes he makes some salsas that are better than mine. He often speaks Spanish without even realizing it.
Of course, there are tensions that result from cultural misunderstandings. Having grown up poor as hell, my complexes about class have made some star appearances. Also, having been condescended to so many times in my life for being a woman of color - "Oh how cute, that little Mexican girl thinks she's a writer! If I even suspect someone is patronizing me, I lose my temper cue neck jerk and obligatory "Oh hells nah!
Sometimes I'm wrong, though. Most of the time, I forget that we're an interracial couple. Once and a while, however, other people seem to be really bothered by it. I can't count how many times a white woman has given me a dirty look when I'm with my boyfriend. And no, it's not all in my head! Also, when we go to nice restaurants, particularly with his family, the Mexican busboys look at me with confusion and sometimes judgment and disappointment. I can't express to you how awkward and guilty I feel at these moments.
Advertisement At first, my mom was also worried that his family would be racist, which is perfectly reasonable since Mexicans are not exactly considered the upper echelon of society where I come from. I had to reassure my mother many times that my boyfriend's parents were actually very kind to me. I used to think that the saying "You can't choose who love" was stupid and sappy because I thought that we could, in fact, chose who to love.
It's not to say that I took any of the recent racial tragedies lightly, but she's been to a lot more rallies than I have. People say, "If you guys are still together down the road, you need to start thinking about what your kids are going to look like. You have beautiful mixed babies out there that people are going gaga over.
My plan is that this country continues to have multicultural babies until they're all a shade of brown. Now that I'm thinking of it, I'm gonna have me a North West baby. We'd talked about the fact that Juan is percent Dominican, born there, and then came here when he was little. We speak differently with slang, or our accent. I grew up in the Poconos, in Pennsylvania.
I was in a rural setting. I went to a Catholic school all my life. I think I was the only Latina in my class. Advertisement - Continue Reading Below When we started dating, I was exposed to how a lot of Dominican women like to get their hair done. It's a weekly or bi-weekly ritual. They go to a salon or at home, they wash their hair and put it in the rolos and they sit under a hot dryer. I wasn't raised that way. In the beginning his mom asked me, before we went out, "Oh, what about your hair?
There's that difference between [Latin] cultures in the islands and those on the [U. This is an ongoing conversation within the Latin community. It's like, "Oh, I was born in the homeland, and you weren't. An unnecessary competition of who's more Latino. We have some political differences. Dominicans, we came from the whole Trujillo era. He was a dictator. He could come into your home and kill you. So I grew up with the mentality that we need more liberties. Christine has a different mentality because of the way she grew up in America.
But I've come to realize I'm probably more American than she is! Advertisement - Continue Reading Below Janet Zambrano Kessler, 31, Puerto Rican-Ecuadorian, and Ryan Kessler, 37, Jewish-American, married three years Ryan: We really clicked the first night [we met]. She just wants to date a white guy. I dated Latinas previously. There's a stereotype that when you see a Latina I guess I'll take that as a compliment.
Stereotypes do come up. It's terrible, but everybody always says Jewish people are cheap. Even I wondered after we first met, "Is he going to be really cheap and have a lot of money? He's cool, down-to-Earth, low-maintenance. There is a stereotype that in Latin families there's kids running around. That one might be true. I remember the first time meeting Janet's family, I went to her aunt's house and there were 10 adults and 50 kids.
It took me months to learn everybody's names, if not longer. And your side is, like, three people. I'm like, "Where's the rest of your family? The first time that our races really started coming up is when we had our son, Connor. Advertisement - Continue Reading Below Ryan: How do I put this? My family is very small, and Janet's family is very big, and they live 10 blocks away from us.
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