April 23, 2011
soy * maestra
A reason why I love the neighborhood…
Overheard at the hairdresser’s this weekend, one Nepalese esthetician said to her younger sister, a Nepalese cosmetologist (no, I don’t know the difference between an esthetician and a cosmetologist: I only know their titles from reading the licenses on the wall. I do know the difference between a cosmetologist and a cosmologist, will give myself credit for that) —
“The doctor said I can’t have any sugar.”
“What can you eat, then?” (Clicking noises for sympathy.)
“No rice… no potatoes… no corn, especially not corn, the doctor said, and no tortillas… no fruit… no oranges, no strawberries, no pineapples… if I have an apple, only half… no juice… no cookies… no sodas… no cupcakes…. no pancakes… nothing.”
My kind & patient hairdresser, a self-described “African woman in a Mexican mujer/cuerpo” b/c her great-grandmother was an African woman from Africa who lived in Mexico and married a Mexican, echoed, “¡Eh! What can you eat?”
“Spicy peanuts. I can eat spicy peanuts.”
Cacahuates picante! Ah, the little graces in our lives. I actually think a Nepalese diet would be a vast improvement (smoked fish, black soybeans, pumpkin vine tips, lentils) over traditional American fare, but I also understand love for cakes.
Prayer: For the women in my neighborhood who see me at the market or hairdresser & ask if I’m Filipina, or Vietnamese, or Thai, or Japanese, and I wish my response were all of the above y la Mexicana.
When the women ask me what I do for a living, I say, soy maestra.
I am a teacher.