We had the Washington Wizards (a basketball team) stay with us here at the Hoe-tell-all this week. I've got to say after experiencing hockey teams, football, soccer and now basketball, that basketball players are by far the coolest.
It's crazy but hockey players are the worst - spoiled rude brats and the soccer guys not far behind. The football guys are pretty laid back but about 25% of them are a tad over-hyped on the roids and can get a bit mean. But the basketball players - decent guys. Hors, yes, but nice to me and that's all I care about.
One of them made a comment tonight that really made me think. We were hanging around waiting for their cab, shooting the shit and got on the subject of the Valley were I live. One of they guys was decked out in nice jeans and a rosary - no shirt and was (nice view btw - wow) trying to explain his half nekkid-ness through the fact that he's from the north and when he goes back home it'll be cold so he was just soaking up the nice weather. I explained that he wouldn't like it here so much when it's 110 degrees for 4 months and he replied that he'd be happy to put up with it just to be around the people here.
I asked what he meant and he said "The people in this area are really cool, no offense, but minorities are just nicer."
It cracked me up because this is a black man telling a white girl - living amidst a 90% (literally) Mexican population - that minorities are just so great. He's from a different place and has no idea that south Texas is basically an extension of Mexico, so when I said "But I'M the minority here," he just gave me a goofy look and started talking to someone else.
It got my hackles up though because the people here really are NOT that nice. I don't mean this in a race way by the way, more of a geographical thing. You see, for many of the Latinos that live here right ON the Mexican/Texas border it's a huge deal to separate themselves somehow from "real" Mexicans. (omg this is hard to explain) A lot of the people here are only one or two generations removed from being Mexican and for some reason feel a strong need to prove their American-ism.
I understand it, but they seem to go about it in all the wrong ways. (And good lord, I'm not saying everyone is like that here, so no hate mail ok?) They tend to go to extremes - sometimes in a good way like excelling in education and what not, while the others throw everything they have in them into being. . . "better." Everyone has the latest I-touch what not phone and if they see someone with last years version they'll make sure to mention it. Ed Hardy clothing is a MUST and other brands that I don't really know the names of - and if you don't have them, you're just too lame to be spoken to. LOL "blonds" in abundance as well.
It's not all commercialism, some - many - are going so far as to abandon speaking Spanish - refusing to, so that they'll seem more American. How sad when I would give my left leg to speak it fluently.
Then, where it gets nasty, the racism. If you're too "Mexican" too "Ranch" you're bound to be scorned. Then there's me. White people are the majority in this country and it seems that for what ever sad reason that the Latinos here desperately need to prove that they are as good as whites, and better. I never experienced having someone be racist to me until I moved here and it was - and still is - shocking. Honestly I think it's less of a racist thing than more of a . . . defense mechanism? They just want SO badly to be excepted and feel . . . I don't know, how could I know?
The result for me though is dirty looks, people that flat out won't speak to me if I ask them a question or try to spark up a conversation, whispers, laughs and giggles and outright rude statements and behavior. My least favorite? LOL I don't know why this one pisses me off but I swear I can't go shopping without being cut in line. It happens ALL the time, I'll be standing in line and someone will come up, push me aside and get in front of me. Some pretend they don't know they're doing it while others will give me a dirty look and all but challenge me to say something. The really sucky thing? The store clerks see it every time and I've only had one guy in a year and a half SAY something in my defense. The others just avert their eyes or give me a dirty look as well.
There's one cashier chick at a store I need to shop at for our flea market once or twice a week that screws with me every time I go there. She'll wait on the 2 or 3 three people in front of me - plus the one or two that inevitably will cut in front of me (some that she encourages!) and EVERY SINGLE TIME when it comes to my turn to check out - she'll find something terribly pressing to do. Or at least try to appear that way so that she can make me wait. Sometimes she walks away and pretends that she doesn't see me, sometimes she'll turn around and stare at the wall and rearrange some merchandise and other times she'll just fiddle with something on the cash register.
I always smile at her, tell her to have a good day - try and show her I'm a good person - but for what ever reason she just hates my guts. I'd be lying if I said it didn't hurt.
The Mexicans though? The real ones that live in Mexico? They're so welcoming, so kind, helpful and accepting and just. . . wonderful to me. (LOL I've only been cut in line once over there) But truthfully it's like a different planet just driving across that bridge and I'm incredibly thankful. I can deal with rude customers, store workers and even doctors, but it would be too much to deal with having neighbors or in-laws that hate me.
Ah well, I'm fine, it's just different - it's funny what one lil comment by a basketball player can set off!
And the square thing? I was walking one of them up to his room to open his door and he was talking about the previous nights bar activities when he felt the need to say "Oh, but you don't drink do you." Not a question, just a statement really. I guess after being around them for a few days I gave the impression that I'm quite the square. Or maybe churchy or just . . . you know - not "the drankin type."
I guess I should be proud I don't give off a hor-ee, drunk vibe? Funny.