Tim, it’s just like you to jump on this, and I’m so glad you did because it opens up a topic that deserves discussion. First, our maid is very much a family member, and I don’t include her name for the same reasons that I don’t include my own son’s name in the previous post (or, for that matter, why you don’t include your wife’s or son’s name when you write about them). Second, I admire this woman more than you can ever know, and just one of the reasons is her remarkable sense of humor. Her “Spanglish” is ten times superior to mine – she was an English teacher in Guatemala – and she finds it hysterical when I try to speak Spanish and butcher it far worse than she ever does my language. Here’s a newsflash for you: humor is okay. It’s healthy. And people like this woman do not give a damn about political correctness in speech; they want action. You can spew political correctness all day long but they know exactly who you are by your actions. And we have years and years of loving, caring acts of sacrifice on both sides to know exactly where we stand. You want more? Keep reading.
We don’t talk much about Anglo/Hispanic relationships in Dallas because it pushes our guilt button. Hispanics do jobs we Anglos are unwilling to do. They clean toilets, mow yards, bus tables, wash laundry, etc. etc. etc. You think they don’t know this? Then you aren’t listening to them. They know it and they want to talk about it.
On one hand, many are supremely happy to find work that, though menial to us, pays them ten times the wage they receive in Latin America. They are especially gratified when their employer is fair and caring and treats them with the basic respect we all desire. Because of their painful, hard experience, their definition of what is “a good job” or “a good wage” differs greatly from ours.
On the other hand, over time many become “Americanized” and so do their expectations and ambitions. They learn our language, understand and fall prey to the siren call of marketers everywhere, and so find themselves desiring more just like the rest of us. This is true with our maid’s son, who was born in America and has very different ambitions than his mother. It will be our family’s pleasure to help him realize his dreams.
As for what “offends” you, Tim, experience teaches us that bar is pretty low. I guess the part about her spending five hours getting to and from the march to show her commitment didn’t register with your notoriously selective reading. Still, I stand by “jellow hair.” That’s funny. And I can still hear her giggling as she said it.