Why do Mexicans Want Their Sons to Marry Mexican Villagers?

Dear Mexican: Many of my friends think I'm loco for playing with my dad the way I do. See, mi padre is retired and living in Mexico and is worried that I am now 30 and not married, so he wants me to go back to where he lives to try to take an india from there. I retaliate by kindly reminding him that we are leprecanos, to which he gets very angry. Last year, I gave him for Navidad a bowler hat, an Irish soccer shirt and matching knee-high socks. He was so red for a second I thought he was going to explotar, but we still love one another very mucho. Are family relationships between gabachos so much different? CONCERNED GREEN BEAN

Dear Leprecano: Just a quick reminder for the gabachos and wabs who might've forgotten: A leprecano is a half-Mexican, half-Irish person and therefore probably the most raza borracha of all. As for your question: Why are you asking me about gabachos? The one spiel I can pull out of your hilarious pregunta is the idea of Mexican families in the States sending their pocho sons to the motherland to find a nice rancho girl. While intermarriage rates among Latinos continue to rise — the Pew Hispanic Center reported this year that 26 percent of Latinos marry outside their ethnic group, second only to Asians among America's largest ethnic groups — the reality is that Mexican immigrants want their children to marry within their old social structures. That's why a Mexican-American teenager's life is a perpetual weekend of weddings, quinceañeras, birthdays, baptisms and boxing matches. The fail-safe for parents is the rancho: There's always going to be a third cousin in the ancestral village who's still a virgin.

Why do Mexicans all flock back to the motherland at Christmas for weeks at a time? They buy a shitload of presents, new clothes and basically check out of the USA, then come back broke and start all over again. My folks are from the beautiful state of Chihuahua, and I cannot remember ever leaving at Christmastime for an extended trip to Mexico. Come to think of it, I can't remember any presents either. MEXICANA POR FORTUNA


Ask a Mexican

Dear Wabette by Fortune: Most of the Mexicans who historically made the trip back home to Mexico (fewer Mexis are making such trips at the moment) loaded up on presents for relatives back home, relatives who were usually poorer than them. Also don't forget the conspicuous consumption angle and the fact that Mexicans return to Mexico because they're Mexicans and have Mexican relatives.

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