BYO Mexican

I took my kids to the May Day concert at Island school the other day. The school is private, expensive, lofty. The auditorium was bright and clean, and all the parents were in their aloha best-- matching aloha print shirts and dresses for the whole family, and lots of folks yoked with leis in mounds on their shoulders. May day is lei day in Hawaii, after all.

I was curious about the crowd-- who sends their kids to this school? Rich or frightened parents, I suppose-- jittery overpaid transplants, anxious underpaid locals, everybody gnawing their nails about our state's 3.5 day school week and shelling out more than I paid for graduate school from preschool onward.

We got there half an hour early and the bleachers were already full of proud parents and grandparents-- we found a spot on the last row in the far corner. Soon after we sat down and started our I-spy game, two Mexican ladies walked over. Real, genuine Mexicanas, with that rich accent, and wide Indian cheekbones! Yes, Hawaii is diverse: Filipinos, Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese, Samoan, Tongan, Micronesian, but nary a Spanish-speaker to be found. I was a bit star struck. They were the real deal, too-- dressed like foreigners. Formless t-shirts and oversized baseball hats, cinched in the back. I scooched over and beamed gringa goodwill. They came and sat down by us and I smiled and tried to eavesdrop on those lovely rrrroling syllables.

Then a tall woman walked up, with a long white-blond ponytail and leading a big white-blond dog on a pink leather leash. When she got close she said, "she needs to outside. Take her for a walk." And she tossed the leash to the Mexican ladies and walked away. They climbed down from the bleachers and took the dog outside. When they came back they were holding a sour-faced blond toddler and feeding her mashed spinach, bouncing her on their hips and talking her through the hula show.

So, what? It just isn't home without the Mexicanas to keep the children and animals tended and out of sight? So when moving to Hawaii, where they are hard to come by, bring your own Mexicans! And who has servants-- who issues imperious commands? Who brings fussy incontinent dogs to hula performances?

Somebody overmoneyed and afraid, I guess.


  1. BEST POST EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!@@@@@@#*($*#Y%OUIY#%O#Y($*YR!


    When your blog becomes a movie, I wanna be an extra in it.

  2. Oh Becca, you are such a GIFTED WRITER.....your views are marvelous and insiteful and make me think EVERY TIME. I'll write you a gmail. aloha, Mama Irene


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