LET SLEEPING DOGS LIE
Dear Dolores: My boyfriend sleeps over at his ex-girlfriend’s house. I believe there might be something going on. Should I be worried?
-Juanita in Hartford
Dear Juanita: Yes. You should be worried about what’s going on. . . with you! Why do you put up with this situation? Let that fleabag of a boyfriend sleep over at his other girlfriend’s house and stay there.
-Wake up, m’ija! D
Dear Dolores: I didn’t live with my mom when I was a child. In my teens I moved in with her but we do not have a close relationship. I wish we did and that we could talk openly about everything. Every time we try to talk, it ends up in an argument and we just walk away angry. How can I improve our relationship and not argue all the time?
Dear Mayra: I’m glad you realize it’s up to you to improve your relationship with your mother. This may take some time. First thing to remember is that she’s your mother, not your girlfriend, so don’t expect her to immediately respond to heart-to-heart girl talk. I can tell you, based on my own experience, that it’s important to understand where your mom comes from (and I don’t mean a geographical space.) Everyone’s mother is from a different generation, with different upbringing and life experiences. Rather than trying to force upon her a topic of conversation you prefer but she may not want to delve into, try to just listen to her. Even if the conversation is about the whether or her favorite telenovela, if you perk up your ears you will learn a few things about her. Asking her about her childhood or her own parents can open rewarding avenues of conversation, which you could then, gently and skillfully, navigate towards topics you really want to talk about.
-Give it a try, D
THE LATINIDAD DEBATE, CONTD.
Dear Dolores: In contrast to most of your readers, I’m not of Latin descent. However, I have lived in Mexico and speak fluent Spanish. The majority of my family and friends are Hispanic, including my stepfather and my husband. I’ve gotten many comments, from gringos and Latinos alike, about “trying to be something you’re not.” But, instead of getting angry, I always tell them, “Soy latina de alma y corazón. Being Latina is not about the color of your skin or the language you speak. It’s about embracing and taking price in the culture.” What do you think?
Dear Güera: I think I couldn’t have said it better. Those who want to apply strict purity tests about being Latino forget that it’s a double edge sword. By the same token, some may (actually, too many do) deny that Latinos could never be truly Americans because we were not born here or don’t speak perfect English.
-Enjoy your Latinidad, D