September fifteenth kicked off National Hispanic Heritage Month, my dears! Or, for the Americans who believe that Hispanic and Mexican are mutually exclusive identifiers: National Mexican Heritage Month. It's Donald Trump's favorite time of the year; even more so than Christmas. Or Halloween. Or Thanksgiving. Or whatever.
Thankfully, being part Mexican, that would still make this celebration relevant to me. You wouldn't know it now because I haven't gotten any vitamin D in seven years and my skin is like, "What the hell is melanin?" but I used to be a brown, brown little girl growing up in Texas, and real talk: I did NOT like being Mexican as a child. I got called mean names like "Wetback," and was asked stupid questions like where along the river I popped out of my mother. Kids made fun of the way I looked, or the things I ate (I was Leftovers Girl at lunch), or the way I did things, or, because Spanish was my first language, the way I pronounced words—which admittedly was (and still is) not always spot on. It was no fun, and I developed what one would refer to as a complex.
But that was years ago, and fortunately the world is slowly coming around to the realization that variation is the spice of life, and GAH DAMN do some people need it. Every time a well-intentioned, unaware, non-Mexican or non-Texan takes me to some some "great Tex-Mex spot" they found in New York, a Sarah McLachlan song plays in my head and I think to myself, "My child, what is your life?" Do you know how hard it is to find a breakfast taco in this city? I'm not talking about what chefs will conveniently name a dish on their menu; I'm referring to an actual, legitimate, good breakfast taco. Do you know how hard that is to find? The answer is it's impossible to find, because it doesn't exist here. You may argue, "But, Daniela, that's TEX-MEX: TEXAN AND MEXICAN, AKA AMERICAN AND MEXICAN." An accurate observation. Nevertheless, if we refer to handy dandy Wikipedia, we discover that, "the cuisine that would come to be called Tex-Mex actually originated with Tejanos (Texans of Mexican descent) as a mix of native Mexican and Spanish foods when Texas was part of New Spain and later Mexico."
The truth is, America needs us. How else would people know to call someone "ese" when they're trying to sound gangster? How else would people know that guac and queso make every chip better, make EXISTENCE better? How else would they know that there are actually two ways to pronounce words that start with "sp"? There's "Sprite," "Space," "Spatula," etcetera, and then there's "Eh-sprite," "Eh-space," "Eh-spatula," etcetera.
Yes, America needs us. Not just the Mexicans, all of us: the Costa Ricans, the Cubans, the Panamanians, the Puerto Ricans, the El Salvadorians, the Uruguayans, the Paraguayans, the Guatemalans, the Chileans, the Dominicans, all of us, all of us. We're like the Ewoks in Return of the Jedi: All these rebels think they have it all figured out until shit gets crazy, and then the cute, short, hairy, brown natives have to come fix everything.
If you don't know what an Ewok or Return of the Jedi is, don't talk to me, we can't be friends.
Belt given to me by my papi from Mexico.
Top given to me by my mami from Venezuela.
Skirt given to me by my H&M from Sweden.
Necklace given to me by my Primark from Ireland.
Hairpiece made by me, but elements given to me by my Chinese dollar store on Grand.
Shoes: I don't know where the hell y'all came from.
And thus commences a brief series in which Kait must photograph someone who does not like to have her picture taken, nor likes to remain still.
"Daniela, you're the worst."
"SAYS YOU. Just kidding I know."
This is the face I put on when I want something. It never works.
What looks like me trying to pose is actually a botched attempt at scratching an itch, both due to my amazing inflexibility, and my general unawareness of where anything is on my body.
Ha! Marilyn Monroe. As if.
Just kidding I love you.
This photo would probably be nice if I weren't drunk.
I mean, if I didn't look drunk.
And finally, because I see no point in hiding my true nature from any of you, I leave you with the image above, and the video below.
I'm not in the video. Or am I?
I'm not, I have no coordination.
And that's about it. So remember, guys:
If anything, to indicate when you want to fucking DANCE.