|We learn from our environment, but we can also change it.|
The next day when I went into the office, I had asked my cubical buddy, Alicia what "gringa" meant and if it was bad. She also happens to be Puerto Rican.
Her exact words:
"Ooooh mama, that's a bad word. Who said that to you?"
I instantly saw red. Just the fact that this woman had the nerve to stand in my home, stand in my kitchen, eating my food and telling me it was a "gringa thing" fired me up. And I was hearing this firsthand from someone else who shared the same culture. Madelene kept insisting that this was not a bad word and that Alicia was wrong. So, I chucked it up to "debatable" and then began to use it toward myself in front of some of her friends and family - like - "Ah, I'm just gringa, what do I know," whenever they would reference to something of their culture I wasn't familiar with. Some would shoot me a look like, "Oh no she di-int!" And others shot me a look, laughing at me, surprised that I even knew what gringa meant.
"Ju-know dat stupid blanquita ovah there trying' t' tell me dat my license was expired!?!? Pssshhhhhhh."
So, I hopped onto my phone to Google, "blanquita".
It states, "The root word is "blanco"/"blanca" which means white. and the -ita is used to show affection or it could also mean little. Most people think this is derogatory or mean, but in reality, it's not. it just depends on what way it's used.
And to the single girls talking all this 'slang' in public:
"You can't be ghetto and talk like a sailor, and expect prince charming to walk into your life. It's either pimp or drug dealer. Choose wisely." - Author unknown
And get this - even "I'm" not even "allowed" to say "ghetto", because I never lived in the ghetto, so therefore, it's bad etiquette to even refer to it.
When I first started dating Madelene, I noticed how well spoken and educated she was. She came from the Bronx, but hardly held the accent that I expected. She didn't use slang or "ghetto terms" to show she was still apart of her environment. She was brave enough to break the mold of her surroundings. To be completely honest - I am not particularly attracted to hispanics due to my own experience of seeing how some of them acted back in school. Reminder: Mad and I met when I was just 19 years old, so I was just fresh out of high school. My experience with hispanics were good - but I didn't want to date someone who spoke offensive slang. It was a major turnoff.
"You might want to tone that down." he suggested, as he passed her.
Not only does this look horrible in front of a prestigious company, but it made Madelene look bad too. I was more upset over the lack of respect she had for Madelene's place of work than I did about how she was jumping around like some idiot, pretending she had anything of a phallic nature to describe her rendezvous with a very well known customer. Now, this also looked bad on the customer too. Here's a woman in her late 40's acting like some 17 year old street thug who just got laid. All around: bad gig.
With all that being said, let me first say this: I realize that your environment, the people who you surround yourself with can pose a great influence on your behavior. I know that not everyone acts this way or conducts themselves like the above mentioned. I met Madelene - and I know that there is proof that there are some people out there who share the same culture, background and environment that do not act this way. But sadly, it's rare, or so I find. In my culture as an Italian American, we will always be a culture divided - a culture that will be always considered "white privileged" and have derogatory slang thrown at us just for being us. Madelene says, "Well you're not white, you're Mediterranean."
"No. I'm white."
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