Ask a Mexican

Do Mexican men wear necklaces with their mami's name on them?

Dear Mexican: I'm a blanquita, and I've recently begun dating a CALIENTE mexicano. I adore this man. The first time we were intimate, I noticed his necklace (which I had always assumed to be a rosary) was a name necklace...a WOMAN'S name necklace. He says that his mami gave it to him just before he left the country. I have quite a few Hispanic friends, but none from Mexico. Is this a likely scenario? I ask because a Mexican man burned me in the past; after two years of dating, he told me that he had a wife back in Mexico. I don't want that again, and I really like this man, but he's wearing a necklace that says "Rosa." What's your take?

—Asustada al Amor

Dear Scared at Love: What's that saying you gabachos have? Something like, "Fool me once, pendejo eres tú; fool me twice, el pendejo soy yo?" Something like that. Anyhoo, the only mom that hombres wear around their neck is scapulars of the Virgin of Guadalupe, so "Rosa" is quite obviously the guy's chica back in the rancho. Academic literature on Mexican migrant infidelity rates is too limited in scope to make a cobija statement on the frequency of such, but the paper "Effects of Husbands' Migration on Mental Health and Gender Role Ideology of Rural Mexican Women" published a couple of years ago in Health Care for Women International does detail the emotional devastation created by such pendejo husbands. You might adore the wab, Asustada, but realize he's probably just using you and cheating on his chica—and you're probably not his first sancha, which means he'll cheat on you, también. It's as inevitable as Mexicans migrating to el Norte.

I recently graduated from college and am thinking about doing grad school. Throughout my college career I played the Hispanic race card for financial aid and a decent internship. Que piensas: Should I apply and bet on my average GPA and hope they'll choose me on my education, or play the race card again and remind them of the low number of Mexicans in engineering graduate programs (computer science, in my particular case) along with all the trials and tribulations of La Raza? Espero tu aviso.

—Usando lo que Puedo

Dear Using What I Can: I'm going to call bullshit on your question, and you know why? Too many red banderas. Only Know Nothings capitalize the term la raza when using the term to refer to Mexicans (as opposed to the shorthand used when referring to the National Council on La Raza), and they also make the mistake of conflating "Hispanic" with "race." I also refuse to believe that anyone so openly cynical about affirmative action would exploit the very system they decry, since the people I know who are skeptical about the program avoid it altogether on the old-fashioned principle of integrity; you, on the other hand, come off as incredibly selfish at best, pathological at worst. ¿Finalmente? If you had really played a "Hispanic" hand during college, you would've joined the Mexican-American Engineering Society (MAES), the longstanding college organization created to help engineering students such as yourself, and get motivated to increase your ranks instead of mock how few of ustedes exist. But on the off chance you're legit, though, my advice is to play the affirmative-action card: Any college administrator will look at your middling grades and still reject you, Mexican or not, and give the slot to another Mexican who is deserving, affirmative action or not. Game that reality, pendejo.

GOOD MEXICAN OF THE WEEK! Obviously, MAES. We'll get our Guillermo Gates yet. Learn more at

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Gustavo Arellano
Contact: Gustavo Arellano