What It Means to Date a Gringo

by Patricia Macias

I’ve dated a gringo for almost a year now, and I have some things I want to say.

I speak Spanish, he speaks something else. A recent example in an ice cream shop: `Un cono pequeno de chocolate, por favor.´ (A small chocolate c··t please.) I admit that sometimes it´s not his fault, like when his friend told him the Spanish verb `to poop´ is always reflexive.

Second, I asked him to explain American football.  He learned soccer in about eight seconds. So far, we´ve spent four hours in football `class.´ Too bad his clearly racist team the Washington Redskins lost 45-14 last night. He said if I pass an exam he´ll award me a diploma.  For this sport, I definitely deserve it. Even more so for putting up with him taking his football out with us at night and playing catch with his friends, terrifying Xela´s pedestrians.

I´ve learned that another American sport is eating. Though he´s a vegetarian, his appetite is double any terrestrial carnivore. Buffets are a paradise, and he goes silent with the dead eyes of a shark when food is placed in front of him. I am Spanish, and in 25 years I`ve met exactly two vegetarians in Spain.  (Don´t worry, I make him eat Spanish sausage.)

Gringos seem to have a thing about self-control and being serious. I understand the US is supposedly teaches hard work and high GDP, but seriously, we `don´t have time´ for a nap?  Maybe that´s because we spend so much time searching for eggs from `happy chickens´. And to avoid using plastic we bring plates to get pupusas, which I have to hold later at the bars while he throws his football. He feels the need to be constantly doing something productive, which can be nice, like when he bought me flowers. Unfortunately, he didn´t realize that the flowers from El Calvario are for the dead. That´s about all he gets me; he asks to split everything, because, he says, `he´s a feminist.´

And somebody´s got to tell gringos that it´s ok to tie, not every competition needs a winner. But I what do I expect playing Bancopoly with someone from the center of global capital?

OH, AND THE RED CUPS ARE REAL! They´re not just something from American movies like so many of us thought.  People actually use them for beer competitions like Beer Pong, Slap Cup, Civil War, and Flip Cup. I can now challenge any American college freshman to throw down. AND I can open a bottle with a spoon. Too bad his tolerance for beer doesn´t translate to our beloved Quetzalteca. His first experience with the chapin favorite was tragic; by 10:30, he was vomiting and crying in my bathroom.

We still have to plot our revenge for his April Fool´s Day pranks, when we in the house woke up to tripwires connected to hanging bags of flour, saran wrap under toilet seats, and all the communal furniture of the house stacked against my friend´s door, with a bucket of water leaning in waiting to soak him.

And Halloween. Can you guess what his costume was? Yes! American football player, with a Corn Flakes box as a helmet. He could have just gone as a normal gringo, wearing his shorts with his hiking boots and his baseball cap, by far my favorite outfit.


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