Dear Mexican: I am a nice-looking white girl with a great job and life. I recently starting seeing a Mexican guy, who I’m pretty certain I scare the crap out of. He has never dated a white woman before and seems very nervous around me. He also asks me about the education and status of my ex-husband and previous boyfriends. I really feel like he thinks he is not good enough for me, although I don’t know why. He is gorgeous, hard-working and so kind. I have never been one to care about what someone does, where they are from or how much money they make. How can I get this guy to see that I really like him as a person and just relax?
Dear Gabacha in Love: The first draft of my answer to your question ended this way: “You want to soothe your Mexican man’s frayed nerves, Enamorada? Give him a blowjob.” Thinking this was too glib, I wrote a second draft in which I explained the minefield of race and class that you and your beloved will have to cross. I noted that dating a gabacha is the pinnacle of a Mexican man’s sexual life, proof that he can navigate bedrooms as easily as borders. I cited the Orson Welles classic Touch of Evil (notice white-hot Janet Leigh is married to Mexican protagonist Mike Vargas — played by Charlton Heston in brownface) and I considered norteño super-group Los Tigres del Norte’s “El Mojado Acaudalado” (The Wealthy Wetback): “Decía una güera en Florida/‘I love you Mexican men’?” (Said a white woman in Florida/“Amo a ustedes hombres mexicanos”). By the time I’d worked through all of that, I concluded that my first answer was best: nothing eradicates ego and all of its clunky superficialities (race, class, culture), nothing says I love you, nothing says “Welcome to America” like an old-school blowjob.
Dear Mexican: Whatever happened to the “lazy Mexican”? Now all I hear is that they’re taking our jobs.
Dear Gabacho: Isn’t that the stupidest paradox? Really: How can someone simultaneously be a yeoman and a layabout unless he’s Shaquille O’Neal? But accusing ethnics of being both is America’s most cherished immigrant insult. Every group felt its contradictory sting: Chinese (opium smokers or railroad coolies), Irish (drunks or ward bosses), Scandinavians (oafs or Vikings), Italians (slum dwellers or Mafiosi), Jews (rag-picking parasites or international bankers) and now Mexicans. The insult’s popularity draws its venom from our Puritan forefathers, who considered life outside of labor sin: It’s a miracle the phrase on Auschwitz’s gate, Arbeit Macht Frei (Work Brings Freedom), isn’t inscribed on the Capitol Dome. What’s strange, though, is how modern-day gabachos forgot the Protestant work ethic long ago; meanwhile, immigrants continue to pick up Max Weber’s flame without forgetting to enjoy life. Bested in both work and pleasure, gabachos seethe, grow fat and elect evangelicals — and don’t get me started about faith without works and its relationship to American sloth.
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