Post Title: Piñatas and S&M
Post Date: March 16, 2012
I may not speak Spanish, but I’m fluent in having a good time. My friend gave me a discretionary warning when he asked if I wanted to go to his niece’s birthday party.
“You’re going to be the only white person there,” he said. “I can’t be held responsible for what they say,” he said. “My sisters might be mean to you,” he said.
“Whatever… Will there be a mariachi band?”
“No,” he said.
I had always wanted to go to a real Mexican party. White people think that if you mash some avocado into a bowl, throw out some flour tortillas and drink margaritas, it’s a fiesta. I didn’t see any of these things on Saturday.
There were children everywhere, running around the inflatable jump-house in the backyard, which kept the little maniacs occupied while the adults did what we do best. I’ve never been intimidated by a set of balls holding a Pacifico, so there was no need to slow my buzz.
The highlight of the evening was the piñata spectacle, something I thought might have been too cliché for a real Mexican Party, but wasn’t. After the kids destroyed the piñatas and collected all the candy from the grass, it was time to test my white girl palate on the Mexican treats. Everyone stared, curious, while they picked out random candies for me to try, candies that didn’t even taste like candy because they were spicy and savory. Everyone laughed at the face I made trying to push chili paste out of a neon tube and onto my tongue.
My friend brought out a huge bottle of Tequila and set it on the table… Next thing you know the uncles are buzzin’ hard, and I’m having deep conversations about the economy with the borracho next to me.
“You know, you’re pretty cool for a wetback. It’s cool that you’re so open,” one uncle said to me.
Clearly I had them all fooled by my freshly colored blond hair. I had come to party. I was down for anything they could dish – minus the pozole, that had all kinds of animal parts in it. But as far as they were concerned, I was a wetback, and they had no problem letting me know it.
I guess all that laughter got me tense, because I made an appointment the following Monday for a Chinese massage. Everyone knows that Eastern medical practices are far superior to their Western counterpart. They’re more natural and seem more at peace with the earth or whatever. Plus their culture is, like, super old. So, I signed up for an hour with the oldest guy in the spa; he would surely be the best.
I figured it would go down similar to what I had seen on TV or in movies: calming candles, relaxing music, and not a care in the world. But instead, this old man was rubbing my body with cold lotions. I was fighting an anxiety attack over why the blanket was pulled so far down my ass. Why is so much attention being paid to my buttocks? Is that where I carry stress?
At one point it stopped being a massage and started to feel more like an S&M experience. He was hitting me, and grinding my shoulders so aggressively that I thought for sure I would look like I had been assaulted. So much for Chinese medicine.
I almost lost my shit when he asked me to turn over. Am I supposed to be relaxing? As he rubbed my inner thighs, I couldn’t help but feel totally molested. I could feel the blanket slip further and further down my chest as he worked. Holy shit. This is not happening right now. Millimeters away from a nip-slip, it was over. I felt like smoking a cigarette.
We all carry assumptions about people that externally seem to come from a place dissimilar to our own. But it fascinates me how easy it is to break through those assumptions when you just sit down and talk to people, drink a beer, or have them rub strange elixirs all over your naked body.
As “open” as I am, I still thought there would be a mariachi band at the party.
I will never get a Chinese massage again.
[Edited for length.]