Mia: Shaken Not Stirred

The true life stories of a NYC female.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

My mom's fav. quote....

I was re-reading this article on Puerto Rico’s current colony status and this statement by Lolita Lebron moved me. It’s one of my mom’s favorite quotes.
“ People were not born to be slaves, even if those slaves were dressed in gold and ate at the tables of their masters. There was a divine principle underlying the situation: human beings had been created free and should, therefore, move in the direction of freedom. The United States had tried to make young Puerto Ricans forget their language and culture -- to make them speak English and think of themselves as North Americans. They wanted to buy Puerto Ricans with banal things. The United States gave Puerto Rico nothing, exploiting the territory 24 hours a day, while it was claimed that Puerto Rico could not survive without the United States. Puerto Rican heads might be bowed, but they were a people who would rise from their knees.”

Throughout her life Lolita Lebron has had an impact on my mom. As a child Lolita Lebron was an embarrassment to my mother b/c she was considered a terrorist by the American government. To my grandmother Delia, Lebron was a hero. Lebron led an attack on the House of Representatives in 1954. Wrapping herself in a Puerto Rican flag she fired a gun from the visitors' balcony of the House of Representatives. Her shots wounded several members of Congress as she announced, "I did not come here to kill. I came here to die."
In Junior high school as her social/ political conscience was awakened Lebron became one of mom’s heroes. Mom even volunteered on committees working for Ms. Lebron’s freedom. Finally in 1979 when my mom was a HS junior Lebron was pardoned by President Jimmy carter after serving 25 years.

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Posted by @ 4:12 PM
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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

It ain't that serious....I'm outta here...

I did it I quit my job at the restaurant... or is it diner? I still haven’t found out the answer to that question. It was a spur of the moment thing. I walked in to start my shift on Sunday and something just came over me I walked up to the manager and told her I was quitting and thanked her for the opportunity of working her. When I left I felt the weight of the world lifted off my shoulders. I then headed out to the mall and went job hunting.

I should tell you what made me finally quit. I liked the job, hated the work atmosphere. It all came to a head on Saturday night just before my shift ended.The manager approached me and tells me,” Maria I need to tell you something. I don’t want you to hate me.” Now I’m intrigued … “this is coming from me not the boss.” Ahhhaaa go ahead sister lay it on me….. “I want you to change the way you dress” “what’s wrong with the way I dress? Jimmy (the boss) told me this was fine no one has ever complained.” “You and I are the face of this restaurant when people come in we are the first thing they see.” … a huh go on I say to myself…. “I want you to dress more like me.” I look at her out fit, pants so tight they look painted on, and a shirt cut so low I’m pretty anyone a little bit taller than her can see the top of her navel; her cleavage being the main attraction of her shirt. My eyes popped wide open, “You want me to dress like a porn star? What the hell this ain’t Hooters!” I tell her, “ I have clothes some what like yours, actually I have a very nice wardrobe but Jimmy doesn’t want me to show my tattoos, and if I wear anything low cut it’s going to show the top of my tattoo.” She then suggested I wear an open shirt over something low cut again I remind her of the tat on my chest. She then tells me she wants me to start wearing makeup to work. I’ve been known to wear makeup every now and then but it’s not my thing and with my allergies in the spring the thought of mascara and eyeliner is frightening.

She then tells me she knows I like my job here and that I shouldn’t take my cue on how to dress from the girls behind the counter that work the late shift. I take it as kind of a threat you know bend to her wishes or I’m out. I tell her that when I started working there I asked specifically if there was a uniform that I should wear. Jimmy's wife saw what I had on and said that what I was wearing was fine; just to wear comfy shoes/ sneakers since I was going to be on my feet for 10 hrs a day. I looked down at what I was wearing…. Nice plain short sleeved white cotton dress t-shirt from old navy with a round neck. Dark plain PePe jeans pressed and hemmed, black sneakers, black sweat shirt jacket since it was cold outside and I’m standing next to an open door all during my shift. My hair was slicked back and in a pony tail because it was a rainy day. One pair large silver hoop earrings and 3 very small hoops in descending order in the other piercing in my ears, my white gold name plate, and a few rings. My nails long and well manicured. No make up today just a touch of lip gloss… I barely was able to get my contacts in that morning my allergies were so severe. She made me feel so “damn un- pretty” to quote a TLC song from a few years back. I felt ugly. My mood turned from curious to wanting to slap the taste out of her mouth. I guess she saw this and backed down and tells me,”Maria I like you I don’t want you to hate me. Please don’t hate me. I tell her, “relax it’s not that serious.”, and go about my business. That’s my mantra in life whenever something goes wrong or my friends are losing their marbles over one of life’s little dramas, “it’s not that serious.”

I looked around the place and saw what she was getting at. All the women there tend to dress like they're going clubbing, very sexual. They flirt with the male customers. I understand they do this in order to get tips. In order to keep the men coming in. But that’s not me I’m not there to flirt, or push up my breasts in a mans face, no where in my job description does it say I’m to wear the tightest jeans possible and wiggle my butt for the men that come in. That’s not me it’s not who I am I don’t believe in using my sexuality to advance myself especially for no 15 percent tip. I’m not even getting tips so why do I need to look all “hoochified??” I realize I don’t fit in here.

When I got home I spoke with my parents about what had happened they were both pissed off. My dad went on one his funny rants. My mom sensed that this woman had hurt my feelings that she had made me insecure about my looks. My father said that this was nonsense that I didn’t need to feel insecure that if I was ugly Jimmy would have never hired me. He’s known for actually turning away qualified women because he doesn’t find them physically attractive. My dad told me that when he first saw me he remarked to my dad that I was pretty and had beautiful eyes my dad’s response to that was for him to calm himself down and remember that I was his (my dad’s) daughter and the same age as his own daughter. It didn’t make me feel any better.

I thought about what the manager had said all night meanwhile this is a woman who last week had worn a see through mesh shirt with a fabric insert only in the front covering her boobs everything else was open to the eye. Several women customers had commented to me that they felt the shirt was inappropriate for a family place perfectly acceptable for a bar or strip club but that it wasn’t kosher for a this place. I shrugged it off and said “to each his own.” I thought to myself this is the way she wants me to dress. I’m supposed to emulate her style. I couldn’t do it and that’s what spurred my decision to quit.
So now I am unemployed… but at least I did what felt right for me…i thought about it long and hard and decided it ain't that serious I can find another job and i'm outta here...


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Posted by @ 2:04 PM
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Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The Story of The Dick Spray

My uncle Hassan is a generous man, whenever his friends ask him for a favor he can’t say “NO”. The thing is that this will often create little “situations” for my aunt Nora because more of than not she’s the one that has to do the running around in order for Hassan to keep his word. With this in mind I give you the story of The Pinga Spray aka The Dick Spray.

Hassan has a friend in Egypt who is older and married to a much younger woman.
The man has a problem with maintaining an erection and premature ejaculation, but he’s a horny bastard so he looks for solutions to his problem and Hassan's help has been enlisted. There’s a store in the nieghborhood that sells a little bit of everything; gum, cigarettes,phone cards, and sex stuff. Hassan went in one day and scored he found something to help his penile challenged friend. However the guy behind the counter thought it was for Hassan and Hassan got flustered embarrassed and offended all at the same time, so he’s not going back in there anytime soon.
I can’t remember the name of the product but it had a chick “riding” a guy on the label. I dubbed it “The Pinga Spray”… (pinga is Spanish slang for penis) Hassan purchased a few bottles and took it with him to Egypt and gave it to his friend.
The man loved it! He used it all up, and wanted some more.

This is where me and Nora come into the story. Hassan calls her up and tells her that he needs more of the spray. Here’s the thing though Nora isn’t about to go into the store to buy it in her Muslim garb, she’s embarrassed. She doesn't want them to think "pinga spray" everytime they look at her when she goes in to buy a phone card. The solution was to ask my dad to see if he could get it where we live or around his job because my dad is not about to head out to Brooklyn just to get some Dick Spray. My dad asks around his job but it’s like 3 times as expensive as in Brooklyn and it’s not sold in my neighborhood. Now it fell on me to go buy the damn dick spray. I was spending the night at Nora’s and as soon as the sun went down we went out in search of the dick spray. I walk into the store in my PJ pants and explain to the guy behind the counter what I was looking for. He gave me a weird look and reaches behind the counter placing a bottle of pinga spray onto the counter. I pick it up and look at it and tell him that this wasn’t the one, the one I was looking for had a chick riding a guy on the label. He disappears into the back for a minute and brings the brand I was looking for. I tell him I need 6 bottles, and needed to know how much it was per case and how many came per case…. he looks at me standing there in my pj pants and asked if I was having a party. By this time I got a mini crowd of guys looking my way intrigued by my supply of dick spray on the counter.

I imagined the counter guy thought that I ran out of my house in the middle of an orgy, or perhaps that I worked in some bordello, and needed it for the customers. Maybe because I was specific about the brand I wanted I gave him the impression that I was some type of dick spray connoisseur. Maybe he'll recommend it to other customers since I purchased so much of it and insisted that it had to be the one with the chick riding the guy on the label. I imagined him telling future customers in his accent, "You know I had a young lady come in here and purchase this in mass quantities because it is such a good product... 3 out of 4 Latinas prefer this pinga spray...will keep you hard for a long, long time!", and then there'd be a crowd of horny little men clamoring for bottles of dick spray with the chick riding the guy on the label. The imagination is a very fertile place when you’re standing in the middle of a sex shop at night money in hand, in your jammies with a large supply of dick spray waiting to be rung up. As I left the shop I could feel the eyes of the men inside following me. They strained their necks trying to see where I was going. I jumped into Nora’s car and we burnt rubber, laughing hysterically as I relayed my story to her.

I was told that my uncle Hassan would probably be introducing me to the man who needed the dick spray. I can’t remember his name right now, but it doesn’t really matter because Nora and I had a signal for him. Whenever his name came up we’d do the pumping action of a finger on a bottle of spray. I had to carry the dick spray in my luggage when I went to Egypt. I thought it was funny me carrying dick spray across international borders… I prayed that customs didn’t decide to open up my bag in front of people and hold up the bag of dick spray for all to see in the airport.

The dick spray and I arrived unscathed and I hear the man and I imagine his young wife were thrilled to recieve it.My uncle Hassan still has no idea that it was me the purchased the dick spray for his friend I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have approved of me going into the store.


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Posted by @ 9:36 AM
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Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Latinos Are Like Skittles We Come In All Colors!

My mothers side of the family is a mixture of Spaniard and Taino Indian the indigenous people of Borinquen (Puerto Rico). My father’s family includes Spaniards,Africans ( great-great-great grand father) bought onto the island during Spanish rule, and Tainos. My great-grandfather (paternal) was always mistaken for being African- American; he had the coolest white afro. When people would hear him speak English with his thick Boriqua accent they’d do a double take.

My fathers’ mother has no Spaniard blood in her as far as she knows. Like my maternal grandmother she was born and raised in the mountains of Puerto Rico.
Her forefathers were Taino Indians. Like my maternal grandmother the blood of the Taino is evident in her features. Her face is exquisite. She is beautiful. Both of my grandmothers had beautiful tanned skin. Both of them had beautiful hair; thick and black. Slightly oblique large dark eyes. which I'm proud to say I inherited.
A narrow nose, with slightly flared nostrils and high prominent cheek bones. Both women small in stature, 4ft 9 and 4ft 10. Guess I never stood a chance i'm 4ft 11. Actually my grandmothers resembled each other, they could have passed for family. The only exception was that my grandma Delia had really deep dimples. Sorry to say I didn't inherit those, my brother did.

In the 90's a DNA study was done on a very small number of Puerto Ricans and found that 70 percent of those tested had Taino mtDNA. This DNA interesting enough is only passed down from mother to child. What this study revealed was the Taino population of Puerto Rico had not been wiped out by the Spaniards as originally thought. They even found American census records attesting to that fact. Records also show that Puerto Rican children were being relocated to The Carlisle Indian Industrial School here in the states after the United States invaded Puerto Rico in 1898, because they were considered to be Indians, further dispelling the argument that Tainos had been wiped out.

I'm one of the lucky few I know my history I can tell you who was a Spaniard and who was a Taino in my family and am learning more as my mother continues to research our geneology... I am the end result of many ethnic groups falling in love and creating new bloodlines..it's nice and I must admit I love my coloring and all the history connected to it.

When I first came in to work they took one look at me and did a double take.
They didn't belive my father was really my dad. It's one of those looks can be decieving situations. At first some of them thought I was bi-racial,or adopted.
I felt no need to correct them and explain what I am. I know what I am. Soy Boricua en alma, cuerpo, sangre, espiritu, y corazon. Roughly translated; I’m Puerto Rican body and soul. My dad favors his European ancestors (the only one in his generation to do so)he is light skinned and has beautiful green eyes.
After awhile their curiosity got the best of them and they began to question me.
Ordinarily I would dimiss them with some smart ass remark and not give them the answers they so badly wanted but these are people my father deals with on a daily basis and it would reflect badly on my father if I were to be rude. So with the patience of a monk I answered their questions. Someone asked if I was my dads’ biological daughter;I was tempted to say "I don't know" and let their tongues wag away, but instead I said, "Yes, I am." They looked at me with that “I wonder who was delivering the mail while your daddy was at work” look.
I informed them my that I take after my dads’ family in coloring. That seemed to satisfy their curiosity. Then they carefully inspected my features. They all agreed that I resemble my father somewhat. I didnt have the heart to tell them that I actually favor both of my grandmothers more. From head to toe I am a combination of Fefi (paternal) and Delia (maternal). I've heard it all my life, especially now as I get older. The thing is these two women looked alike so depending on what side of the family is looking at me that's who i'm compared to. There was even a point where I thought I was going to have to come up with DNA evidence to prove the man was my biological father to my co-workers! “You know Latinos are like skittles we come in all colors.” I inform my interviewers.

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Posted by @ 11:53 AM
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Thursday, April 14, 2005

Spring, renewal, realization, and a long date...

Spring is here and all that comes along with it… in my case that means some kick ass allergies and a sense of renewal. Spring has always a good time for me. I take stock of whom I am and where I’m headed and make whatever changes in my life need to be made. After much soul searching I’ve decided that being a lawyer is not for me.
I want to make a difference in the world. I want to work with kids, help the ones that are troubled. All my life the walking wounded have been drawn to me. My talent lays in listening. I realize now this path has been pre-destined for me. Thank God I didn’t change my major (psychology)… I’m hoping that the path I have chosen will allow me to have a positive impact on the lives of children and teens.

Last year during this time I came to the realization that a relationship I was in was killing me and I needed to break free of it. After 5 long years I walked away. I wish I could say it was a clean break in terms of emotion. But the truth of the matter is that I loved this person very much and he affected my life. Man it was a longggggggggg year, it took a lot for me to be healed. I knew this the minute “the mistake” tried to get me back in his life before I left to Egypt. I swear the theme song for that convo had to be Alicia Key’s “Karma”.., lol
Unfortunately to this day he still affects me in that I’m not as quick to carefree as I’d like to be when dating. I don’t take guys at face value and keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. But I am getting better! Since breaking up with the guy I call “the mistake” I’ve been in 2 mini –relationships, there were more like “transition guys”. I think destiny sent them my way to help me over the hump I was in.

I met this really cool,tall (6ft 4) 25 yr old Ecuadorian/Irish guy, a male version of me! Yes I admit it I’m cool dammit! He doesn’t speak a word of Spanish which is rare for me to meet a fellow latino that I know more Spanish than. We hit it off instantly and a few weeks ago he asked me out on a date. Our schedules finally allowed us to have that date this past Tuesday. Man it was great, it was the longest date of my life, something like 8 hours. We went to a wax museum; damn George Washington was a tall man! Then for a walk in Central Park, next to the museum of Natural history it’s my favorite place in the world.
Afterwards we met up with my friend Reina for a bite to eat and walked her back to school. We spent the evening playing pool and getting to know each other. It was nice.

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Posted by @ 12:10 PM
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Monday, April 11, 2005

Racism is Alive and Well and Enjoying a Cheese Burger in a Bronx Diner

Racism is alive and well and enjoying a cheese burger in a Bronx diner. Wait is my job a restaurant or a diner? What’s the difference? I should ask someone who knows. Either way racism is one of the regulars in this joint. The bosses and their partners are all Greek. The people in the “higher up” positions are either Greek or Albanians. And here’s how it works with the “higher ups” in the joint I work at… they don’t talk to or associate with the black, or dark skinned Latino employees . There’s even one waitress who when waiting on blacks will slam the food down on their table as if it’s beneath her to serve them!
The other day I walk into the job and felt like I was in the Deep South during the 50’s. “Hark the herald!” I thought to myself, hasn’t anyone told these people about the civil rights movement?? The Albanian lady who was working the hostess shift before mines had segregated the restaurant. All the black patrons were seated in the section that is worked by one of the black waitresses. The only one working that shift that day. All of the other light skinned patrons were divided up among the other staff working that day.
Even the black waitress noticed it; she asked the hostess why was it that she seemed to be the only person waiting on the black customers. That kind of opened my eyes and made me take a good look at the things that go on in the diner. I noticed the difference in the way the customers were treated by then “higher ups”. It amazed me that feeling the way they do they would chose to open a place in a area so racially diverse as my neighborhood. In my hood we have Italians, Irish, Pakistanis, Arabs, Guyanese, and Asians living side by side with their Latino and Black brothers and sisters and we all get along. Yet in this restaurant among certain employees/ partners it’s like we’ve back tracked into another era. I have never experienced overt racism, this is as close as I have gotten to it and to tell you the truth it pains me that it still happens, especially in this restaurant which makes so much money off the people in this area.

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Posted by @ 12:32 AM
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Sunday, April 10, 2005

Peons and Kings at the Diner

I really dislike my boss, not only as an employer but as a person. Trust me, that’s a first for me. I usually find something to like about everyone I meet. Nope can’t think of one thing about this guy. Okay not true....he’s a great business man, he is a self made man. I have to admire him for at least that. But this man has a way of treating people, ugghhhh it’s like we’re all peons and he is a King. I understand he has a place to run and it’s a sizeable sum he has invested in his restaurant but that’s no excuse for being an obnoxious, contemptuous, cocky bastard. There I typed it out for the world to see!
He interferes with everyone’s job and then turns around and yells at his employees blaming them for his mistakes. As the hostess I get it worse, because the little man likes to stand there at the door while I greet customers. He will often interrupt me when I’m with customers taking over my job. It tends to irritate the customers and they’ll tell him so. This of course pisses him off because he thinks he can do everyone’s job better than they do and of course he’ll take it out on me. Ordinary I’d tell him off, but he’s my dad’s friend and I don’t want to disrespect him it looks bad on my dad. Before I went to work with him I was warned by the employees as to what type of man he is but I figure I’ll just ignore him but man oh man there is no ignoring this guy. He gets up all in your face until you just want to punch him out. Even his kids avoid working with him, they avoid him period. I spoke with my mom about this and told her a few of the things he had said and done to me. My dad over heard it all and told me if I wanted to quit I should do so. He went over and spoke to my boss about disrespecting me, even though I asked him to leave it alone, not to bother .From what I was able to understand (dad didn’t tell me the whole convo) my dad was basically told my boss in a nice way you keep messing with my kid and you and I are going to have a problem. The people in this restaurant know of me because my dad tends to brag about me. He’s done this all my life. A lot of the workers there are illegals and when I was taking immigration law while working on my associates I helped a lot of them with immigration problems. Any time they’d need help they’d come to my dad and he’d talk to me and I would do the research or talk with my professor (an immigration lawyer) for them.

He’s really proud of me. As a result I think it has caused some animosity between some of the employees and me. They feel as if I think I’m better than they are because I’m in college. That’s not true I don’t feel that way. My thing is this I see all the back biting and hypocrisy that goes on between alot of the employees there and choose not to be a part of it. I avoid those people whom I see make it a point to kiss their fellow workers when they come in and as soon as they leave the room start talking crap about them. That’s not my style. If I have something to say about a person I‘ll say it to their face. It makes life simpler that way. When I came into work yesterday one of the queen hypocrites looked at me and made a comment to the other queen hypocrite I would later find out was directed at me, she said, “ Oh I guess you need to have a college degree to work here.”
You see that’s what I mean about making life simpler. If she had just came up to me and made the comment directly at me I would have asked her what did she mean by that and where was the latent hostility coming from and then perhaps we could have talked about it and sorted it all out. But instead she chose the cowards way out snipe and run.
Tsk tsk…. I feel bad for her though she’s been there for 20 years and has nothing to show for it, her daughter also works there and is the same age as me, has a drinking problem and seems to be going nowhere in life. I imagine that my dad bragging about me and having some of the other people I work with sing my praises while dissing her daughter must be hard. I also don’t seek her out , and I don’t defer to her like some of the newer employees do. This I imagine must irk her she probably thinks I have an inflated opinion of myself. I say hello to her when I walk in but when she starts talking about people I excuse myself. I don’t want to be a part of that. I see so much racism here it's not a joke but that's something i'll write about another day.

I like my job; I’m learning a lot of stuff and meeting interesting people. I am also studying the people at my job, it’s amazing what a psych major can learn in a place like this.

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Posted by @ 12:47 PM
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Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Learned something new....

My mother is fond of saying, “you learn something new everyday.” Today she is right on the money. I was reading a speech given by Russell Means in 1980 and actually learned something. Mr. Means is an American Indian activist from way back but a lot of people know him from his acting. He played Uncas’s father in “Last of The Mohicans”, he was the last Mohican at the end of the flick.

In his speech Mr. Means talks about Christopher Columbus discovering America and how the American Indians got their name from him. We’ve all been taught in school that Columbus was actually looking for India when he landed in America in 1492.
Mr. Mean states that during that time India was actually called Hindustan . Columbus called the natives he met “Indio,” coming from the Italian (Spanish too!) in dio, meaning “in God.” I looked it up and he’s right during the era the Columbus sailed here there was no India, there was Hindustan.

Oh yeah and today I discovered that one of my oldest friends is distantly related to me on my mother’s side.. lol My mom’s last name is Quiles and she’s been doing some research that basically claims that all the Quiles people in Puerto Rico are actually related to each other. They are all descendants of this one branch of Quiles that immigrated to Puerto Rico from Spain in the late 1800’s, and before that they had immigrated to Spain from France centuries earlier. It turns out my friends ½ uncle is a Quiles from Puerto Rico.. lol

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Saturday, April 02, 2005

A Marilyn moment...I LOVE this picture. I saw it in today's newspaper announcing a series of Bagpiping events going on in NYC...supposedly it was an unstaged pic which makes me love it all the more.. lol Posted by Hello

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Daliah came over and picked up her birthday gift. She was really excited too, almost cried awwww...She named the guinea pig "Flower" too cute! Here Cleo says adios to Flower. This love was never meant to be! lol  Posted by Hello

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Friday, April 01, 2005

My 4 yr old dog Cleo is a very sweet dog. She’s half St. Bernard and half Chow and the princess of the house. She’s really good with kids, and everyone who meets her falls in love with her because she is so adorable. Cleo LOVES smaller animals. She doesn’t chase them or get aggressive with them instead she’ll sniff them out and licks them. She has her own pet hamster which she will sit and watch for hours and if you take him out of his cage she will follow you around until you let her have him.
Today I purchased a guinea pig for my cousin Daliah as a birthday gift, unfortunately I won’t be able to give it to her until Saturday. When I came in with the guinea pig Cleo lost her freaking marbles, jumping all over the place even climbing onto a chair in an attempt to lick the animal. She seems to think it’s for her. Now she’s “standing” guard over her newest pet. I’m thinking I may have to go out and buy her one!
 Posted by Hello

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Posted by @ 12:19 AM
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