There are a million and one reasons why we’ll never be all that fabulous. And I mean that in the sense that we’re not all that “fancy,” as Iggy Azalea or many other chart-topping celebs and their fans might explain that single word. Why? Because the truth is somos medios sencillos, in every sense of the phrase. I mean, sure we can clean up rather decently at a moment’s notice. Sure, we can work the room when it’s necessary. Sure, we know how to act according to where we are and who we are with. Sure, we can hold our own. And yeah, all that stuff is great, especially considering the fact that sometimes when you walk into a room being the only people of your kind, many folks will take anything you do or say as a representation of your entire culture or ethnicity. That’s not to say it’s right, but it does happen, and we try to always be cognizant of that.
Not because we have to. But because we choose to.
I think that has something to do with the way we were raised. Both my parents and Juan’s always stressed the importance of putting your best foot forward in every single situation. Growing up, we couldn’t so much as step outside of the house without looking presentable. If we were going somewhere important – say like to visit a family member, go to church, and especially if we were going to a party – we had to look even better than any other day. Hair had to be curled, pinned, or combed up very neatly; dresses and blouses had to be pressed; shoes had to look shiny and almost brand new. For quinceañeras and weddings, we spared no expense. If we were part of the chamberlanes and damas custom-made dresses and tuxedos were involved. It didn’t matter how humbly we were living, our families always found a way to make sure we had the proper attire.
Even now, when we have something important to do or a big event to attend, hay vamos, todos listos para comprar de lo mejor. Or at the very least to buy the best of what we can afford. We’ll mix and match our mejores tiliches, meticulously dig through piles of clothing to find something “presentable,” all while simultaneously ordering Edgar to change into “something else.” It’s really kind of funny now that I think about it. Out the door we go, looking all nice and neat, leaving behind a pile of clothes on top of the bed “that didn’t look right.”
Maybe there’s something to be said about vanity there too, but I’ll leave that for another momento.
The thing is once we get to where we’re going, we’re not afraid to admit all the craziness we just went through to get there. At times blurting out these details leads to bewilderment or laughter, usually followed by other’s own confessions about how much they go through just to get ready too. We like that. We really appreciate knowing that we’re not the only ones going through so much hassle just to walk out the door. It’s nice to know that despite all the Instagram filters and photo-edited reality of our social society, people today do still put on their blue jeans one leg at a time. We’re not all walking around with a “team” to work on our look. I think that makes being not fabulous all the more wonderful.
Beyonce may wake up like that. We certainly don’t.