The American-Mexican

INTERESTINGLY, TO ME at least, I have now spent more than a third of my adult life living in Mexico, and since I’ve additionally been a Mexican citizen for most of that time, since 2005, I can refer to myself as an American-Mexican.

Just as accurately, I could call myself a Mexican-American, but that implies that I’m a Latino citizen of the United States. Many Mexican-Americans hold only one citizenship, the one above the border where they were born.

They are Gringos in brownface, often with attitude.

I, on the other hand, am the real deal.

usa-mexico-flagsWell, maybe not because I feel about as Mexican as I feel French or Chinese, which is to say not even a little bit. This will never change due to two things. One, assimilation is very difficult. Two, I’m not an assimilating kind of fellow.

But it’s been an interesting ride, so to speak, and I cannot visualize it ever changing, that I would move back above the border. I have so few ties up there. No driver’s license, no bank account, no address, few relatives, pretty much nothing.

(I suspect the lack of a U.S. bank account means I will not get that cash handout the Blond Bomber is gifting you people. If someone wants to pass by 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue to pick up my share, that would be sweet. Then send it via PayPal.)

Just because I do not assimilate does not mean I cannot learn. I understand fairly well how Mexicans think as a whole. I didn’t when I arrived. Cultures are very different, and few are as different as the Gringo mindset and the Mexican mindset.

When I married into a Mexican family 18 years ago, a door opened very abruptly. While I often got the Octavio Paz (See right-hand column) response before I was a relative, I instantly got the honest response after the marriage. It was like black & white.

Even today, I marvel when I hear one of the kin say something to someone outside the family and then turn right around and say the polar opposite to another relative, me included. It’s like living in two realities.

No, really, if you can stop by the White House for my money, take 10% for your time.

15 thoughts on “The American-Mexican

  1. My understanding is that if you receive SSA benefits via direct deposit you don’t have to do anything to get your money. Should be deposited by the 1st of May. We will see.

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    1. Daniel: We will see if that also applies to Mexican banks. From what someone told me, the cash is already landing in some U.S. bank accounts.

      Another aspect to this payment is that I do not need that money in the slightest, so this is yet another example of federal waste. The Kung Flu has not adversely affected my finances in any way. On the contrary, I’m actually saving money. Trump’s being eligible for Social Security payments is an example of federal waste too. There should be means testing for SS, and there isn’t. If you’re old enough, you receive it. Big Government, waddya gonna do?

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      1. PS: I agree with means testing. However, I’m too damn old to fight it now. They send me money, I spend it. You will know this week. First deposits for SSA retirees goes out today. To be finished by Friday.

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    2. If you receive SSA 1099, then SSA sends your deposit details to the IRS who make the payment to the bank where you receive your SSA payment. I have read that there are three requirement for expats to be eligible. Expat and spouse must have SS #’s, and adjusted gross income below $198,00 (married filing jointly). Be current with 2018 and 2019 tax returns.

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      1. Daniel: Well, I qualify on all counts if my wife’s U.S. tax ID number counts. It’s an alternative SS number since she is not a citizen. Time will tell. I’m not losing any sleep over it. On the contrary, I would feel guilty about it.

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        1. For various reasons, I will not be receiving a stimulus check that is effectively just me not giving me any money. But I will gladly pay for yours. May you spend it in good health.

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          1. Señor Cotton: Why do you think you won’t get it? I still don’t know if I will get it. If I’m not mistaken you still have a U.S. bank account, making it more likely that you will get it than I will.

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  2. I received a $580 cheque from Trudeau yesterday. That will help with paying my 2019 income taxes. Here’s hoping for another cheque in May. Three cheers for our socialist hellhole!

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  3. Whenever you establish means testing, you are creating a parasitic relationship. It needs to work for all those contributing.

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  4. Señor, it appears you have explained the attitude of the Mexican-Americans up here, while explaining your own. That’s a good day’s work. Take off early. Enjoy that gift from your Uncle Donald (read U.S. taxpayers).

    I am always amazed at folks up here and down there, attempting to adjust/explain the cultures they just do not understand and find it difficult to assimilate into. It makes a great story-line. And it’s a jewel in your crown that you attempt it.

    Fortunately, you and the missus have claimed a territory each can appreciate.

    By the way, I’m another of those SSA old guys. No deposit here yet.

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    1. Ricardo: Thanks for the positive feedback. I do my best. And the more jewels in my crown the better.

      As for the Trump cash, still hasn’t shown up. Will it? Who knows? Does it matter? Not a whit. Should I be receiving it? Absolutely not.

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  5. Estimado Felipe: True assimilation is very difficult and largely depends on your age and where you live.

    I came over from Cuba when I’d just turned 14, picked up English in about a year, attended American schools, junior high through graduate school, and feel totally comfortable as a converted Yankee Doodle Dandy. My late parents, and cousins in Miami, though, came over when they were in their 50s, never really assimilated and their command of English never got past survival/marginal. Living in an immigrant ghetto like Miami doesn’t help.

    Expats living in San Miguel have virtually zero chance of assimilating, no matter what they claim. They live in an English-speaking bubble, eat American food (even Jennifer Rose, rumor has it, craves meatloaf and mashed potatoes once in a while) and will remain Gringos until they day they die and are buried — in the section of the local cemetery set aside for foreigners.

    In Pátzcuaro or Morelia, with no place for Gringos to hide, you might have a better chance of assimilating, though at your age, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    I make no pretense of being assimilated in Mexico. My Spanish is fluent, but doesn’t sound Mexican. At six-foot-three, I hardly look Mexican. I enjoy shooting pictures of life here and sampling Mexican food, which I enjoy. But I can’t even begin to sort out Mexican politics, which is why I hesitate to venture any opinions about AMLO.

    All that said, I must confess that the three times I’ve returned to Cuba — sorry mess that it is right now — my American heart skipped a beat when the plane cruised over the palm trees on the approach to the airport. It was a strange feeling of “coming home.”

    Maybe my heart, even after all these years, remains more than a little bit Cuban, after all.

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    1. Señor Lanier: Since you arrived over a century ago at the age of 14, of course, you are American now. That you feel heart tugs on seeing Cuban palms still makes sense. Some things are eternal. The last time I was in rural southwest Georgia, the mid-1990s, I experienced something similar even though I am about as Georgia Cracker now as, well, those Castro boys. But some things stick in your soul.

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