Monday, August 13, 2012

Chameleon powers activate!

I've always said that if I could be a superhero, my name would be "Redline". As in... when I sing so loud, I "redline" the microphone. I imagine I'd have Banshee-like powers, that I could fly and scream the skin off of people. Lately, however, I've noticed that I have another superpower; my uncanny ability to change my appearance and blow people's brains. This weekend, for example, I attended a wedding. As you can see, I managed to clean myself up... do my nails... do my make-up... make my hair less uhhhh.... poofy? And throw on a dress I bought for the occasion. Well, it went over pretty well, it was a lovely day and a lovely ceremony, and I had a couple of lovely martinis that made me feel quite lovely indeed. After some nice dancing and family fun times, Willy and I piled into the limo his parents rented for the occasion. The limo driver asked where I was from, because apparently, he thought I was Indian. Well, fancy that! I think that's the 3rd time someone has thought I was from India. I've been categorized as a lot of things, in fact! Indian, Egyptian, Native American, white, Italian, Armenian... the list goes on. For those of you who don't know, in terms of colors, I'm exactly 1/2 white (my mom is Spain, specifically Catalan) and 1/2 brown (my dad is from El Salvador, descended from the indigenous Pipil tribe), so my skin has this slightly orang-y yellow-y caramel color and I've got a big Euro-nose.

So far, the only people who have guessed that I'm Salvadorian are actual Salvadorians. They know something is up, though... they always do. They kind of give me this, "...are you Salvadorian?" while looking at me skeptically. When I explain that I'm Spanish on my mom's side, they get it. However, and here's the kicker, you can tell the difference in American and Latin American culture right away because there have been several people I've met that seem impressed by this. I remember one dude, when I told him where each of my parents were from, thinking my dad had won the jack-pot. (He's never seen them argue, LOL) The sad reality is that Latin America is still harshly racist. As in, pale skin is considered waaaay more attractive, and is often an indicator of social status. Do we have that in the US? Absolutely, but we're a lot more quiet about it. People in Latin America don't shy away from the truth; people with pale skin tend to have it easier, and people with dark skin are routinely discriminated against. It kinda sucks. I feel bad for people who react so favorably to my "pedigree" (I'm mixed, I don't really have one!), because of all things to admire in a person, I don't want it to be my skin color.

That being said, I seem to be pretty good at blending in because of it. I imagine that this, plus my acting skills, would make me a pretty good spy! But man would I get tired of not being able to tell anyone...

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