When you get older, you notice your sheets are dirty. Sometimes, you do something about it. And sometimes, you read the front page of the newspaper and sometimes you floss and sometimes you stop biting your nails and sometimes you meet a friend for lunch. You still crave lemonade, but the taste doesn’t satisfy you as much as it used to. You still crave summer, but sometimes you mean summer, 5 years ago. You remember your umbrella, you check up on people to see if they got home, you leave places early to go home and make toast. You stand by the toaster in your underwear and a big t-shirt, wondering if you should just turn in or watch one more hour of television. You laugh at different things. You stop laughing at other things. You think about old loves almost like they are in a museum. The socks, you notice, aren’t organized into pairs and you mentally make a note of it. You cover your mouth when you sneeze, reaching for the box of tissues you bought, contains aloe.
When you get older, you try toner, you experiment with trousers, you experiment with real sexy outfits, you experiment with pin curls and darker hair and orange-toned red lipstick and you date people that look good on paper. You kiss them in public and feel only a little self-conscious. You never like them, although sometimes you really do. you think about safe sex and sometimes, kids. You think about plants, maybe succulents, or maybe even a cat?
When you get older, you try different shampoos. You find one you like. You try sleeping early and spin class and jogging again. You try a book you almost read but couldn’t finish. You wrap yourself in the blankets of: familiar t-shirts, caffe au lait, dim tv light, texts with old friends or new people you really want to like and love you. You lose contact with friends from college, and only sometimes you think about it. When you do, it feels bad and almost bitter. You lose people, and when other people bring them up, you almost pretend like you know what they are doing. You try to stop touching your face and become invested in things like expensive salads and trying parsnips and saving up for a vacation you really want. You keep a spare pen in a drawer. You look at old pictures of yourself and they feel foreign and misleading. You forget things like: purchasing stamps, buying more butter, putting lotion on your elbows, calling your mother back. You learn things like balance: checkbooks, social life, work life, time to work out and time to enjoy yourself.
When you get older, you find things like rejection hurt less and things like nostalgia hurt more. You watch people do things you want to do, and then you do some of those things too. Things start to feel like pins on a map. You watch landmarks pass and almost note them. You eat a taco from a food truck and be careful to dab the corners of your mouth with a napkin. You smooth your shirt down. You think about details, the details of how clean the beer cup is, how you need to put the dishes away, how she smells like a perfume you wore and how his teeth are perfect and aligned. You feel a little less downtrodden by things like routine and security and a little more appreciative of things like doing nothing, finding a friend, stretching on a big couch. You hear old songs and only sometimes do they gut you. You think about your future almost always, in both a thrilling way and a very very panicked way.
When you get older, you find yourself more in control. You find your convictions appealing, you find you like your body more, you learn to take things in stride. You begin to crave respect and comfort and adventure, all at the same time. You lay in your bed, fearing death, just like you did.You pull lint off your shirt. You smile less and feel content more. You think about changing and then often, you do.
When you get older, you barely notice it at all. Then, you are sitting somewhere you’ve been before, staring at the nothingness of the sky, and you feel the wind moving away from you, fast and almost impossible to catch.
• Assuming all Latinxs are from the same/said country
• Assuming all Latinxs know Spanish
• Assuming all Latinxs should know Spanish
• Thinking issues Latinxs face are secondary to issues other marginalized groups face.
• Telling us to go back “where we came from”
• Thinking a Latinx is only respectable if they have a “high profile career” such as being a doctor, lawyer, etc
• Thinking all Latinxs look the same- we come in many different colors from all around the world
• Telling us we have to assimilate
• Trying to speak Spanish to us, thinking we all know it
• Thinking we all listen to Spanish speaking artists
• Blending in our cultures together. Latinxs come from many different cultures and all of them are unique and respectable
• Asking us to cook for you / assuming all we eat is Chipotle and Taco Bell shit
• Saying we’re “the best in bed” or “the best cooks” - that is FETISHIZATION. We will not appreciate or tolerate it.
• Calling us “spicy”, “caliente”, “fuego”, “mami” or whatever dumbass word you can think of. That is also fetishization.
• Making jokes about Trump’s dumb fucking wall
• Thinking Black Latinxs are less valid than non Black Latinxs. That’s also anti black racism which is also disgusting.
• Telling us we are not “Latinx enough” because of our skin color / ability to speak Spanish
• Thinking we all dance salsa, bachata, merengue… like seriously?
• Thinking all Latinxs know each other. No, I don’t know “Maria” from your job.
• Thinking only white people can be prejudiced against us
• Eating our food, listening to our music, using our fashion but blatantly disrespecting Latinxs. This one is pretty obvious and very common.
• Prioritizing documented Latinxs over undocumented Latinxs
• Thinking we all are teen parents. That’s ignorant and guess what? We’re not. Even if a Latinx is/was a teen parent, they’re still deserving of the utmost respect.
• Thinking every Latinx is “illegal”
• Thinking Latinxs owe you shit
• Calling us stereotypical names such as “Maria”, “Juan”, “Rosa”, “Diego”, “Jorge”, “Juanita”, “Alejandro”.. etc.. we have any name and our names, whether Spanish or not, are not for you to joke about. Shut the fuck up and go along with Richard Spencer and be a trash bag far away from us.
• Thinking we need to have a last name that is Spanish
• Derailing us when we try to talk about the issues we face. BIG ONE. Shut the hell up and listen to us for fucking once.
• Thinking we’re all criminals.. honest to god…
• Disrespecting Cinco De Mayo, Dia De Los Muertos, or any other Latinx holiday. If it’s not from your culture, either respect it or shut the fuck up.
• Disrespecting our culture.. duh!
• Calling us “Spanish”.. guess what, you dumb fuck? Spanish people are FROM SPAIN. Spanish people are also not Latinx. It’s not that hard. That’s like saying all white people are German or all Asian people are Chinese. That’s so fucking stupid. You are an idiot if you do this.
• “You don’t look Spanish / Latinx”
• Again, telling us the issues we face are secondary / invalid
• Using Latinx slurs.. if this wasn’t obvious..
• Calling us all “chola” or whatever.. you’re also very ignorant if you do this
• Telling us to calm down if we get angry.. we have a right to be angry just like everyone else on this damn planet
• Assuming we listen to a Spanish speaking music artist… like… ???
• Refusing to recognize the racism Latinxs face
• Thinking we should be glad to be fetishized. No fucking way, I will not be glad someone sees me as less than human and equates me basically to a sex toy.
• Thinking we haven’t face any problems.. we do. We do. Oh hell we do. Just because they’re not addressed in the media does not mean we don’t.
• Making jokes about calling immigration on us. It’s funny how I’ve seen Non Latinx POC do this more than white people.
• Thinking all Latinxs come from Spanish speaking countries… no…
• Thinking we’re all maids, janitors, fast food workers, nannies, etc… first of all, those are honorable jobs. Secondly, so fucking what if we were? You’re not better than people with those occupations. Thirdly, we have so many occupations- each and every one of them deserving of respect.
• Thinking we have to chose between our culture and westernized culture. We don’t.
• Saying stupid shit like “hot like Mexico”.. really? Are you serious?
• Only respecting Latinxs that look a certain way
• Making Anti Latinx jokes.. this is obvious
• Thinking you can appropriate our language and culture. There’s Spanish from Spain and then there’s Latinx slang. You cannot use our slang and then disrespect us which you all do tbh.
Other Latinxs feel free to add in because I obviously missed so much.