I often wondered, growing up in the same home since I was 5 years old, if people who lived in other states were required to study Texas history like I was. I found out quickly after marrying and becoming a parent that this is not the case.
Living in Memphis, Tennessee where 2 of my children were born, I knew that not only did the locals not have a concept of what went down at the Alamo but I was often asked (daily actually) what I was. Crazy...I know...I had no idea what this meant. A girl? a human?
I could be in the mall, or in a drive thru at McDonalds but I could always sense when it was coming just by the look on their face...
"Are you a sister? Do you have blood in you?"
I have 2 brothers, so i guess technically yes I am a sister and as far as I know...yes I do have some blood running through me!"
But what they were really asking me, was if I had a parent that was African American.
This was a first for me.
Coming from the state of Texas, I was just your run of the mill
mexican american girl. My dad was born in Mexico and became a US citizen when he was 17 years old.
It got to the point that we had a game with some good friends if you can spot a mexican you win a 6 pack of beer.
PC moment: (This was okay for me to do... being a mexican and all)
At the time , early 90's; mexicans in Memphis were no where to be seen. But could I actually be the only mexican girl in Memphis? My OB GYN used to call me Chaka Kahn! I had people tell me I looked exotic-"you people gotta get out more often"
I also had friends who swore they were not prejudice and yet when we bought our first home, I was asked,
So, how many blacks live in the neighborhood?
SERIOUSLY!! As if I were to go door to door...as if it mattered...then they would say, "you gotta worry about resale, you know?"
I knew immediately I could not raise children there.
Now there were some plus'...Memphis in May...the magnolias and dogwoods blooming down tree lined streets
best Barbque you'll ever eat, the blues bars, but there's nothing like listening to the man who closes down the annual bb-que festival by standing on the MISSISSIPPI RIVER singing 'Ol Man River while the Ferry's pass by and fireworks go off.
About the time we were moving away they put in a multitude of new highways and lo and behold the last time I was there I saw so many hispanics I thought I was in Texas.
When living in Detroit, my kids had to study the 10 provinces of Canada. (I could barely pronounce them.)
Then to Chicago, where I guess they all learned how to become competitive. Academically they were very competitive!
Now in Wisconsin-
How different could it really be...right?
My children had to go to school on Martin Luther King Jr day when the rest of the world had that day off.
They got the first day of hunting season off. (priorities people)
They rescheduled a wrestling meet so that the kids would miss half a day of academics so that they would all be home in time for the Packer game because it MIGHT be Brett Farves last game.
My 2nd grader brought home a stack of papers from school for typical sign ups in little league, soccer AND
BB gun safety and marksmanship!
Yes, that's right, I said 2nd grade people!
I could write a book on this stuff!!!