Sunday, December 28, 2008

I made a pretty pink hat for my soon to be born baby cousin!

So apparently you can get two pairs of knitting needles and a 50g skein of yarn for $3 dollars in Mexico. The same in the US would cost around $6 dollars depending on the brands. In fact, I could have gotten cheaper yarn. I bet the cheapest yarn in Mexico isn't even sold here in the US. I sure as hell couldn't find any great yarn down there (we looked in 5 different stores).

I don't have a problem, I swear!! Okay, maybe I do. But it's a very productive and handy problem to have. My name is Danny, and I'm a knittaholic. *Hi, Danny!!* I didn't bring my sweater-in-progress to Mexico for two reasons: I didn't think they'd let me bring knitting needles in my carry-on and I won't lose $60 worth of yarn and labor if my suitcase gets lost, and also I felt self-conscious about my knitting in Mexico. You see, there is more pressure in Mexico to be stereotypically manly than there is here. I was sure that my family would make fun of me. However, when a couple of my cousins busted out some outdated knitting technology (weird-looking tablets with nails that did a sort of knit-braid pattern) I decided to share my passion. A few days later I was well on my way to making my first baby-hat for my newest cousin-to-be, Zoe Jimenez Bernal. And what do you know– my dad was the only one to make fun of me. Everyone else was either silent/indifferent or else very interested in my project and impressed by the final project.

I must say, I don't think I could live in Mexico. And it's not just the lack of modern knitting supplies, or even the third-world conditions. It's the simple fact that if I were to live there I might as well forget about gay marriage– gay teens commit suicide all the time there. There is such a strong heteronormative culture there that I can't even think about coming out before getting a little sick to my stomach. I suppose I'll have to come out to my family in Mexico sometime. For now let them believe that I'm just enraptured in my studies and too busy for a girlfriend.

All things considered I really enjoyed my stay this year. I think for a few years there I was starting to take my annual trips to Mexico for granted. I mean, it's like a family reunion but with dirty drinking water, filthy rooms, smelly sheets, language barriers, scorpions, and not to mention different culture. But after not being able to go last year I think I learned to appreciate it more. This year I went with some very specific goals in mind. I wanted to learn more about my family's history, culture and share who I am becoming with them. I was able to do all of these things to extents that I had not expected. Slowly and a bit late I am getting in touch with my heritage, and finding that life is a whole lot more mysterious than I thought it could be. For now suffice it to say that I've been doing a lot of thinking about our identities. Sometimes it is hard to reason why we act certain ways or do certain things. There is so much that can be explained simply by looking at our heritage, our culture, our upbringing, etc. You never know what traits will pop up in any given stage of your life that can be traced back to your parents or family– but when you trace them back the connections you make can lead to beautiful things. Just knowing where you come from can sometimes be enough to overcome any qualms about the particulars in life.

2 comments:

  1. They do allow knitting needles on carry-ons. I've taken them on multiple times and never had a single problem. I think it's weird. You could hurt someone so badly with one.

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  2. I agree with the last bit. It's interesting to trace facial expressions, motions, and the like. Jamie and Ian both do the same "i'm fucking with you and we both know it" face: like this ;p It's really funny to see.

    I mean, facial features don't count (like the nose bump in my family) because they're more obviously hereditary, but other things can be too.

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