Peeps, for the record: Today is not Mexico’s Independence Day.
Before I met R, I thought that the big and important day for Mexicans was Cinco de Mayo.
R and I were dating for a month when our first one rolled around. Trying to impress him, I said that we should go out.
“To celebrate Mexico’s independence.” I spread out my arms for special emphasis.
“Today isn’t it.”
But I made a fuss. So we went to a Mexican bar/restaurant on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
R was the only Mexican customer. All the other Mexicans in the joint were employees.
And there was me, the half-Mexican.
The restaurant was full of white-looking customers chugging Coronas, and demanding that their dishes, “Not be too spicy.”
R rolled with it, his eyes dancing with laughter.
But kids, there’s a fine line between cultural competence, and trying to be more Mexican than a Mexican.
I’ve crossed that line more times than I care to admit. That Cinco de Mayo with R back in ’99 was the first time. But it certainly wasn’t the last.
So my suggestion? Take the time to learn today when is Mexico’s Independence Day, and why it happened.
Also take the time today to learn about May 5th in Mexico’s history.
Drink as many Coronas as your little wanna-be Mexican heart desires.