Saturday, May 27, 2006

On Murphy's Law and Latina mothers

Mom: Well hell, Hugh Jackman can scratch me with his claws any day.

Me: ...

Mom: Did-did I say that out loud?

Me: ... (moves a few seats away)

Mom: Oh come on, he's a hot art teacher. [This being a reference to X-men 2.]

So, what was the point of me presenting this small tidbit to you all? Well, I just wanted to use an exhibit for the creatures known as Latina mothers, because they really are a breed all on their own. Latina mothers present a host of different behaviors and qualities, but I think it's safe to say that said qualities can be roughly divided into two categories. The first category would be the side I just displayed: the funny, loving, sometimes quirky yet always amiable side. For more examples on this side, please see Absolutely Fabulous. This side is the one that makes these mothers act more like they're in their early 20's than anything else. Brad Pitt and Hugh Jackman are their idols. They don't want to do the cooking and cleaning, they don't want to be responsible mothers, and they sure as hell don't want to be seen as (gasp) older than their own children. It's all about having fun, making jokes, and making their families wish that the earth would swallow them alive.

The other category, however, is the vindictive, moody, I-am-the-queen-so-stfu side. Example:

Mom: Are those clothes clean or what?

Me: Some are, some aren't. I'll put the dirty stuff to wash tomorrow.

Mom: But why didn't you put them to wash today?

Me: It's 10pm Mom, I think it can wait.

Mom: Jesus Christ, what am I going to do with you? You've got a bed full of dirty clothes and you waited till now to tell me!

Me: Uh, all that's there are two shirts, jeans and socks. And I just got home. And you were the one who walked in here asking.

Mom: (starts going on and on about how irresponsible her children are, all the while ignoring the ironing that's been past expiration date for several months now)

Yes folks, this is the feared side. This is the side that lashes out at the slightest provocation. This is the side that flares up because there's a sock on the floor that just fell down there a few seconds ago. This is the side that is stubborn and that declares itself center of the universe. I think this could also apply for Caucasian mothers, only for them it's known as PMS. For Latina mothers, this is present half the time (since the other half of the time we have the teenager in a middle-aged woman's body). Everything's too much for her, her family doesn't care about her or pay attention to her, and absolutely no one except the dogs respects her. In truth, she's probably sitting on the couch watching Lifetime all day, while her husband's at work and while her son and daughter are out getting college degrees.

So then I wonder, why the duality? Why do Latina mothers have to be so bipolar? I don't know about the sons of Latina mothers because I'm not a boy, but when it comes to girls, there are these standards that we must fulfill in order to be perfect in our mother's eyes. We have to finish high school and get a bachellor and master's degree at college. Then we have to launch a successful career (preferably in medicine or business, because more money is earned). Then, we should be married by our late 20s, start a family, have a house, and then, with all the money we earn, we then have to take care of our poor old mothers until they drop dead on the ground. But don't forget, just because we're now liberal enough to have well-paying jobs and be at the top of the world, we have to get married and have families. We're absolutely not allowed to flirt, to stay out late because of rapists, to drink or smoke or have fun, or anything else our male siblings indulge in, because we're still women. Woe be me if I bring home a boyfriend, but my brother goes through four girlfriends in three months, it's perfectly alright.

I think the duality, then, just comes from the fact that we absolutely must surpass the previous generation and earn tons of money to support the entire family, because anything less would be complete and total failure. I suppose that's why I'm the family's deadbeat, since I drink, smoke, party late at night, and I'm studying theater to become an actress (not a doctor or a business woman). Sure, I'm doing what makes me happy, but it's not what makes Mom or the family happy, ergo I am a legitimate failure.

But, then again, I suppose that's alright, because what goes around comes around, just like today. My mother and I were sitting in the theater, ready to watch the third X-men film, and bam, the electricity goes out. And so, while my mother is probably condemned to never have her Hugh Jackman claw scratching fantasies fulfilled, I on the other hand will be back at the movie theater later tonight, ready to watch the movie with a bunch of equally good-for-nothing friends and buddies.

Oh Murphy, what a cruel person you must've been, but thank you for ruling in my favor today.

No comments: