Ask a Mexican on Family Ties and Car Pools

Here is my problem: I was raised in a typical gabacho family. My siblings and I all enjoyed a typical gabacho relationship. We are as close as cats. I phoned my brother year-before-last and was gratified to learn that he was still alive. That call went so well, I may phone him again next year.

But now, I am in love with a Mexican woman, and that word "family" has taken on a horrifying new meaning. When we first fell in love, I just wanted to be one with them. I wanted to grow a mustache like Vicente Fernandez. I wanted to buy cars just to park them in my front yard. But that was many weekends ago. Many weekends, and carnes, and quinces. And Sunday mornings, with primos I barely know, all crudo on my sofa. Me and the lady are still in love. Me and her family? Less so.

Help me, Mexican. I want to keep the woman and lose the family. My Anglo neighbors are complaining about the cars, and my liver cannot take one more little kid's birthday party. 'Til I hear from you, call me . . .

A Gabacho Besieged

Sorry, but you're caca out of luck on this one. You have only one true point of contention here: Mexicans never let drunken cousins sleep on the couch — that's what the back of a pickup truck is for. The only advice I can give you for the next fiesta is to find the table in the backyard where the women, the pocho side of the family, and the closeted gay cousins hang out and gossip. Oh, and morning birria helps in your liver-repairing but bueno.

My carpool partner was illegal until three years ago, when she got married. She said just like her gente need to learn English, everyone else needs to learn español. What's that all about?

Learn English First So You Can Debate Correctly

It's all about the many studies showing people who speak two languages have a better-functioning, slower-aging brain. Learn logic first so you can debate correctly, pinche puto pendejo baboso.

If the money situation in Mexico, Honduras, and other countries is so dire, where do the immigrants find the thousands of dollars to pay the coyotes to bring them into America? Would the money they pay for illegal entry not be better spent caring for their families? From what I have read, a thousand dollars goes a very long way in supporting a family in Mexico. Are they aware that the coyotes will leave them to die rather that face capture? Do the immigrants realize that their capture means their return to their country of origin minus the money they used in the hopes of entry? Is it true that the Mexican authorities kill or imprison illegal entrants into their country? Why is this done when they expect kinder treatment for entry into the United States? I may have my facts garbled, because I have no firsthand knowledge of how or why the people come to this country looking for a haven. I would appreciate an honest answer from a person of firsthand knowledge.

No Name

From a lifetime of savings and probably family loans, probably not (simple economics, chica), yes (it's the risk that goes with paying a stranger thousands of dollars for entering the United States), yes (that's why they do it again), maybe (probably not the killing, but for sure the imprisonment and maltreatment), hypocrisy (but blame that on the Mexican government, not the people), and because the United States is the greatest damn nation on Earth — after Zacatecas, of course.

Good Mexican of the week! Keep sending in your choices, gente! Books, CDs, professors, nonprofits, hot chicks — the more, the merrier!

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Gustavo Arellano
Contact: Gustavo Arellano