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To Some It Will, To Some It Won’t
Ever heard the saying, Don’t judge a book by it’s cover? It seems that sometimes people don’t really see much beyond the surface. Some do try to look, but if they don’t like what they see then they either go back to judging you based on what is on the surface, or what they found inside. There are always those, however, that couldn’t care less about how you look, those who don’t judge, but instead, just want to have fun. There are also those who don’t care what is on the inside, but only what is on the outside. Isn’t it ironic that what can gain you friends, can also cause you to lose them?
On the surface I look one way, but am another. Because my hair isn’t jet black, or my facial features don’t fit the stereotype that many have of what a typical Mexican looks like, I am often mistaken for a Caucasian. They’ll see me as the same. They’ll allow me to enter their world and see what they are like. They’ll treat me as one of their own.
It isn’t until they see me interacting with others who aren’t in their tight-knit group, or they hear me speaking Spanish, a tongue not so different from their own, or they ask me where I was born, and my answer cannot be located in the continental U.S., that they notice I might be different. Will it matter?
To some, it will. To some, it won’t
Some will be like Megan, who was a great friend until she realized that in my home, we do not open our Christmas presents on Christmas morning, but instead at midnight, or that we don’t speak English in our house, simply because our parents don’t want us to forget our native tongue, or that we have a different way of doing everyday things. She didn’t care that we like the same bands or read the same books, only that we weren’t the same.
Some will be like Shaylyn, who didn’t care that I spoke Spanish, even when I was around her. She didn’t care that my last name wasn’t one so commonly found in the English language or that my pronunciations were sometimes different. She only cared that we read the same books, liked the same music, enjoyed the same t.v. shows, had the same interests, not that we had different backgrounds.
Sometimes, even those of my own culture, or similar, will distance themselves because of my lack of typical features, my lack of similarities to them physically. They’ll see me as if we were different. They won’t notice that I know their language, that I know what the whispers mean. They won’t notice that I listen to “Reggaeton,” or “Salsa,” that I know who Vicente Fernandez is, or that I know what “Menudo” is made of. They won’t notice that I am like them until they hear me talking in Spanish, or they realize my birthplace is Guadalajara, Mex. Will it matter?
To some, it will. To some, it won’t.
Some will be like Ignacio, who constantly asked where I was born, or some other random question in Spanish, as if waiting for me to slip up, and not understand him. To him, it won’t ever matter that I liked to listen to music in Spanish, or that I love to put lime and hot sauce on my potato chips, something that is so common in Mexico. To him, it only mattered that I looked different.
Some will be like Cecilia, who has been my friend for as long as I can remember and never once commented on the fact that we looked different. Instead on what we wanted for Christmas, what new songs were good and what ones were not, or what new store had just opened that had clothes just like the ones in the mall for a cheaper price, or if we should go to the new restaurant to try out their food. To her, it has only mattered that we could talk to each other, and that we felt comfortable.
The differences among the people will never cease to amaze me. Some will celebrate our differences, while others will frown upon them. It might matter that my native county is Mexico, and my adopted country the United States. It might not. It might matter that I share the same opinions, the same likes and dislikes. It might not. It might matter that I read and write in English, that as everyday passes I feel more like an American, but by birth, am still a Mexican. It might not, but will it?
To some, it will. To some, it won’t.
That is the way.