Dear Mexican: I just don’t get Mexicans and their grooming. The men slick their hair with baby oil, gel or Vaseline, or just shave it all off. The women wear it in ponytails with neon green hair bands or in pigtails, or they wear bangs created with the biggest curling iron in the world. Do they see themselves in the mirror before leaving home? Do they realize everyone is staring ’cause they look bad?? —Tommy Toupee
Dear Gabacho: Not only do we stare at our hair in the mirror, but we also blow kisses to our reflection and whisper, “Ay papi chulo, you’re más bonito than those gabachos feos.” If there’s one body feature that Mexicans can boast about, it’s follicles, repositories of the world’s hair DNA. Kinky, straight, curly or wavy, Mexicans do everything possible to draw attention to what humans can do with a comb and three pounds of gel. Some styles are utilitarian: The Mexi-mullet protects the neck from the brutal sun, while bangs allow our ladies to hide switchblades. Other styles, like indigenous pigtails or the frizzy ’fro, sing the body Mexican. But the best Mexican hair involves Three Flowers brilliantine, revered by generations of Mexicans for its tight hold, pleasant smell and a shine that rivals a flashlight. Women use it to slick their hair into buns, men to sculpt Morrisseyesque pompadours. Oh, and contrary to popular belief, no self-respecting Mexican man shaves his head: That’s the domain of pendejo cholos and their Chicano cousins.
I’m a nice-looking white girl with a great job and life. I recently started seeing a Mexican guy, who, I’m pretty certain, I scare the crap out of. He has never dated a white woman before and seems very nervous around me. He also asks me about the education and status of my ex-husband and previous boyfriends. I really feel like he thinks he is not good enough for me, although I don’t know why. He is gorgeous, hardworking and so kind. I have never been one to care about what someone does, where they are from or how much money they make. How can I get this guy to see that I really like him as a person and just relax? —Enamorada Gabacha
Dear Gabacha in Love: The first draft of my answer to your question ended this way: “You want to soothe your man’s frayed nerves, Enamorada? Give him a blowjob.” Thinking this was too glib, I wrote a second draft in which I explained the minefield of race and class that you and your beloved will have to cross. I noted that dating a gabacha is the pinnacle of a Mexican man’s sexual life, proof that he can navigate bedrooms as easily as borders. By the time I’d worked through all of that, I concluded that my first answer was best: Nothing eradicates ego and all of its clunky superficialities, nothing says I love you, nothing says “Welcome to America” like an old-school blowjob.
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