by Katrina Tinoco
co-owner of La Vendimia Restaurant
One would think that after living in Baja for over 20 years that one would be fully integrated into the Mexican culture . . . well, one would be dead wrong! I usually hate to generalize and group people together by race, color or religion, but when it comes to nationality one cannot help but notice the difference and it is really quite difficult for us to leave our old habits behind when living in a foreign country.
We eat dinner at 6 p.m., the Mexicans have their main meal at 2 p.m.; we have a cleaning lady, the Mexicans have a maid, who is also the nanny, cook, dishwasher, errand runner and does windows; we have very little family close by, the Mexicans can fill the local baseball stadium for their Sunday "Carne Asadas."
One of the biggest differences that I've noticed over the years (at risk of my husband filing for divorce) is when it comes to Mexican Men. Yes, we all the know the usual quirks of the male species, and their devout reverence for people who hit, throw or kick a ball . . . the Boys' night out where they discuss the people who hit, throw or kick a ball . . . the extreme mental capacity to remember all the stats . . . and the lack of space in that same overworked brain to remember other stats such as the wife's birthday or anniversary, and the inevitable grocery list where they are supposed to pick up five items—come back with three, plus new batteries for the remote control (to enable them to watch more of the aforementioned ball action on the TV).
Mexican men have all these "qualities" and more—and talking of balls, Mexican men are forever rearranging theirs! This is usually due to the fact that they use the same size underwear from teenager to geriatric. They have their "Crown Jewels" locked up tighter than Fort Knox!
One has to be very careful in Mexico, especially if you are ordering breakfast, because the Mexicans refer to their balls as eggs! I have seen waiters having a wonderful time with the foreigners ordering their morning fare.
"I'll have my eggs fried." (Sure will if your wife catches you with that other woman you brought here last night.) "I don't want my eggs too runny." (Then don't sit in the sun too long.) "I'd like mine scrambled." (Just go out and buy a pair of those Fort Knox undies.)
Mexican men pride themselves on being macho romantic Latin lovers. Whilst dining at a wonderful restaurant, he will grab the local musicians and request the most wonderful Mexican love song full of passion and promises of how he wants to stay in your arms forever. Then his eyes glance at a young good looking woman with her tight jeans, half a T-shirt, black hair to her waist and wearing enough eye liner to make even Cleopatra want to check out the latest Avon catalog! Then he turns to you and says, "Huuney . . . I compare other womans to you and they cannot never match to you." Whatever that means, but you know it's a compliment so you receive the rose that he gives you with gratitude just like those women on the TV show The Bachelor. (Note: For all you non-Mexican men reading this, this is not a "How To" article.)
Another Mexican trait is how to lie to the wife whilst out with the "Boys." For years I believed that the local cell phone signal barely reached the golf course until my son, who was eight years old at the time, came home and said, "This is how daddy answers the phone to you," and proceeded to make a noise with an empty candy wrapper into the mouthpiece. "Sorry huuney, bad signal . . . can hardly hear you." (Again, not a "How To.")
So why are you still here and still married, one asks. Well, Mexican men love their families, are charming and aim to please, and if all else fails in this macho-driven society, just threaten them with, "I am going to tell your mother." Believe me, it works!