Check the Scenario: Family Loyalty (Latinos)
Remember when you were a kid, and you broke dad’s favorite tape, or you dropped mom’s mazetas (flower pots)? Remember how scared we would get? Trying to put the Dad’s favorite tape back together, or hide the mess you did before mom gets home and notices. Growing up, our misfortunes are more serious, your mom found the weed stash in your room, or got caught with boy/girlfriend in the room (having a conversation of course [hint* sarcasm]). Our parents would go off the meter, I mean passed the rules of parenting and turning into militia torture. Looking back now, we remember the experiences we had and how there were too funny you cant help but laugh, but now you’re an adult. Our parents figure that they beat the common sense in to us, they thought that “la chancla” (sandal) carried a power of knowledge so they aimed it at our heads. Even as adults we make mistakes; “why did I get that stupid loan?” “I shouldn’t have been drinking and driving... i stained the leather seats (sarcasm*)” “I should have known better.” Hey, even though we are adults we are still open to so much wonderful things we don’t care if its stupid or not you just want to try it out. Most of our generation lives in an age where we can’t always see eye to eye with the ones who raised us.
Check the Scenario
My father and I don’t always agree in the same subject. Its been a rough few months and bringing in the money hasn’t been so easy, applying everywhere and collecting unemployment is a bitch (none yet). One of the things he tells me to do is “hey, get a job as a buss boy” I understand why he said that. Working as a buss boy or waiter you gain a better work ethic, you meet and greet people, pick up on some tip, and maybe learn a thing or two on cooking or whatever. My thing was that... why? I was working as a transportation clerk, why would i aim low when i have the experience? “Men start from the bottom up” WTF? I did start from the bottom! I worked at Old Navy then USC to clean the Carl’s Jr kitchen and wash dishes! I know what work ethic means, i appreciate things just as you did, I may not have to support my whole family like you did growing up but it doesn’t make me less of a man on how hard i work. I didn’t come to this country hungry to feed my family, I was born here to learn from you and what it means to value, not to be judged. “Ah, eres pendejo (dumbass), you don’t know what its like to work” Fuck it maybe I don’t, but watching you break your back isn't something I envision myself doing. I may not know what i want to do with my life but, i know for a fact that isn’t it.
I know my dad means well, I honestly try so hard to understand him and for him to understand me. That’s where we get to the term of loyalty comes in. In some Latino families, your perspective on things affects on what they value; religion, music, politics, sex, even the work ethics. Sometimes your opinion on things changes your status in the family, and how loyal are you to them. “Why don’t you like rancheras?” “Why are dating that girl/boy she’s/he’s not Mexican (Latino)” “Why aren’t you doing things our way, why are you changing it.” All these questions lead to suspicion, then questions grow to labeling; “Oh, el que no les gustan las rancheras”, then at times they exclude you from things. Loyalty in the family is more than follow the rules, its following the exact same steps our parents took, because to them its normal and anything else is not. They decision we make will affect us, and it will affect them too. We can’t always hide our emotions and opinions, we are born to strive for what we feel is right. doing things behind our family’s back isn’t always the right thing to do, we’re not children hiding from the mistakes we did. We are human beings who have minds that keep molding on the experiences we have and the things we encounter. I really don’t have an answer on how to break the barrier between us and them. We can’t always expect that the pieces will fall back together. All i can truly say is try, to explain, to understand, to listen and figure out why they think the way they think. Honor your family, and most importantly honor yourself and be proud of who you are and where you come from.
For the record, I love Rancheras.