SPECIAL CINCO PREGUNTAS EDITION
My question is simple: Can you please confirm the fact that there
are doctors, lawyers and other professionals living in Mexico? I’m a
Mexican-American woman living in Chicago who has had a heated
discussion about that topic. My friend, who is a teacher at a local
school, was of the opinion that there really aren’t any. Her point was
that when we see immigrants on television, none are doctors, lawyers or
any other professionals, for that matter. She believes that the only
wealthy Mexicans are drug lords. There seems to be a lot of ignorance
and confusion about this topic. Please enlighten her and those who
think like her.
Incensed in Chicago
Por supuesto there are doctors, lawyers, accountants,
scientists and other professionals in Mexico — who do you think
sews up the narcos after a gun battle, fights off American extradition
efforts, launders their money and devises nuevas ways to
Why do all Mexican restaurant workers cram the napkin dispensers so
full that you can’t possibly remove a napkin without a pair of
It’s called “refilling a napkin dispenser.”
Something I’ve never understood about other Mexicans, as I am one:
When speaking to other Mexicans about higher education and its
importance, they always interrupt me to place an emphasis on the
associate’s degree. Why the low standard? I’ve asked educators about
this before and I’ve been told it was a low-achievement standard that
was placed on Mexican-American students in the 1960s and 1970s by
mainly high-school counselors. True?
Párate and Deliver
Instead of wondering, why don’t you help them transfer to a
four-year university? Heaven knows, America needs more of its Mexicans
at institutes of higher learning — on top of our abysmal
high-school graduation rates, not enough of us go on to get college
diplomas. The Annual Social and Economic Supplement of the 2008 U.S.
Census Bureau Current Population Survey found that only 28 percent of
Latinos who finished high school went on to earn at least a bachelor’s
degree — and the percentage for Mexis is undoubtedly smaller.
(The survey didn’t break down its figures by Latin American
nationality.) Why the low standard? Ignorance, silly — not just
limited to know-nothings! Oh, and I don’t think there was a widespread
gabacho-counselor conspiracy in the 1960s to funnel Mexicans of that
generation into community colleges. Most encouraged their charges not
to bother with education, period.
Why are Mexicans so … laid-back?
Crazy and Lazy
Mañana, mañana. Que
será, será. Mexicans sleeping under a
cactus. All are iconic American commentaries on our inherent relaxed
nature. La verdad is, Mexicans are more neurotic than Woody
Allen’s onscreen persona — and if you don’t believe me, you try
living life avoiding la migra or knowing that if white teens in
a Pennsylvania hick town murder you, they’ll get off with simple
I recently worked security at a Tumbleweeds concert here in
Albuquerque. I guess they are a very popular musical group with the
Mexicans. Anyway, as I was checking IDs and letting people into the
beer area, I noticed that almost all of the Mexican guys held onto
their wives’, girlfriends’ or lady friends’ IDs. The women wouldn’t
hold their own IDs; the guys would hold them, show them, then put them
back in their own wallets. What’s up with that? I asked a co-worker
about this, and she told me it’s a power thing. So what’s the deal?
Could be a power-trip macho thing, but probably the chica
didn’t want to carry a purse and would rather let her man carry the ID
than stick it between her chichis. Sometimes, Mexicans aren’t
E-mail The Mexican at firstname.lastname@example.org, find him at myspace.com/ocwab, or write to him via snail mail at: Gustavo Arellano, P.O. Box 1433, Anaheim, CA 92815-1433. Letters will be edited for clarity, cabrones. And include a hilarious pseudonym, por favor, or we’ll make one up for you!