Sunday, June 5, 2022

The Moment You Own It, You Better Never Let it Go

Shrimp Fajita plate
If you're trying not to eat beef, pork gives you headaches, you're allergic to fish, and you've made one too many chicken dishes this month, a good alternative is frozen shrimp!  You can make Shrimp Scampi, Shrimp with Grits, Shrimp tacos, Shrimp Po'boys and on this night, a shrimp fajita plate.  This is a lightened up version and not exactly authentic.  
An incident at my local Mr Mango market reminded me that I am also not exactly genuine.  I was purchasing my vegetable booty at the counter, when my cute young cashier and her coworker had an exchange about a price discrepancy, an angry customer believed the price was lower than charged.  They were speaking Spanish and became excited and finally began laughing hysterically.  The other cashier left to attend to her customer when my gal looked at me with a knowing grin. Thinking that I understood what went down, thinking that an obviously Latin girl, would obviously speak Spanish.  She felt so comfortable in fact, that she began recanting the story to me, with such delightful animated joy, apparently explaining why it was so darn funny.  She was so happy and I was so....not understanding a word she said.  Yet, could not bring myself to admit that I am the only Latino in New York that can not speak a lick of Spanish.  I wanted to be in her club.  I wanted her to see me as a fellow compadre.  Instead of confessing my inability, I simply broke out into instant 'I get it' laughter and head nodding, as if to acknowledge that was quite the story, and then quickly wished her a great English.  I sped out of there shameful of my actions. And now I shop temporarily at the more expensive corner store until this nonsense blows over. 

I would love to learn to speak Spanish and most likely will make the time to do so someday.  But until then, I have to be okay with being this oddity in New York.  Chicago, Los Angeles, Colorado, you name it, this would not be an issue.  There are plenty of third generation Mexican-Americans everywhere else but here.  Somehow that's the one group that has managed to elude this city.

Refried beans and Mexican rice normally accompany a good fajita platter.  But I don't do traditional too often either. Someday I will find my tribe and they will say, no it's not weird at all that you paired your shrimp fajitas with cumin toasted quinoa. 

And a spicy lunch box the next day


  1. Oh you're far from being the only person of Latin descent here who doesn't speak a link of Spanish. You'll get around to it at some point. I have faith in you.

    1. Hi!!! You wouldn't know it, in my corner of Brooklyn. But the great thing is that I'm taller than all the real Mexicans that I know. haa haa.


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