Your husband is an unpaid PT artist... So, if he works as a part time artist, what does he do for the rest of the time... I didn't pick-up your resentful tone the last time I read your letter... You didn't mention his birthday, nor his name, nor anything else. I guess that's a bad sign... You probably don't like that I said that you benefit from your role as the breadwinner... I guess you would appreciate some more contribution from his part. I don't know him... Nor do I truly know what it is you truly expect from life, from yourself and from others. I don't think it's just that. Expectations are strange, arbitrary, often fantasies. So, the question is Do you feel you are receiving enough from yourself and from life, from your relationship from him? I'm not asking you for a response to me. It's something you must do for yourself. How much money do we need? Yes, we probably need more for security, for safety, a few perks. I took Margarita to an Indian restaurant tonight knowing that it will not be anything like what you find in the U.S., since there aren't any Indians here... But, it was something that she really appreciated, something new for her, a little perk, a small luxury. I do the books and know that it's not the greatest idea to throw $350 pesos $30USD into a meal for two. That feeds 4 for almost a week here... But, it made her happy; a relaxed couple thing. Much earlier we stumbled across a tea lounge; something you don't find in Mexico; there was an absolutely wonderful one in Park Slope, Brooklyn... And we paid $80 pesos $7USD for two pots of tea. And she said, "It was like giving yourself a spa, without the cost of the spa..." meaning that, in the middle of a long walk, and also years of limiting ourselves extremely, it was like stumbling upon an oasis with the lounge chairs and the music and the fresh tea flavors and the just relaxing... We may never have our own house, but somehow we've gotta have a healthy relationship and these extras aren't every day.
My ex-roomate Scott visited us with his fiance, now wife, back in 2004. They came to Mexico on a personal photo journalism project and interviewed around 60 families who have sons living and working in New York City. They expected to hear the mothers and the siblings etc say how much they miss the "boys" and how concerned they are for them. Truthfully, it was a naive point of view of theirs, since the bigger question is Why are do so many Mexicans leave Mexico for the U.S.? Yes, one would think that with so many Mexicans living in the U.S. there are so many Mexican mothers and siblings with sad faces here in Mexico. But this is the history of the past 160 years of world immigration to the U.S. How many Italian mothers and Russian mothers and German mothers and Irish mothers and Chinese mothers etc have suffered the disappearance of their children to the U.S.? But no one writes about that. Why not? Because the bigger story in these and those communities is that now they have family thriving in the U.S.; they have "American" relatives with those perks...
But, in any case, Scott mentioned that he visited newly constructed houses, many pretty big and pretty modern, constructed with money sent back from the U.S. For the most part, the people didn't know what to do with the space, and lived in those houses as if they were living in the traditional much smaller house. And when asked the question how they felt about their child or brother being so far away from home, the generic response was, "I'm fine. Look at all we have now..." Scott and Laura were horribly disillusioned, just as I am horribly disillusioned. Here, Mexicans complain about the Gringos and the other privileged people of the world. But, the truth is is that what they want most from life is to have the same consumer power as those privileged people. The problem is that no one here cares to make them intellectual/cultural consumers.
Now to talk about Mexican-style consumerism and the ignored health repercussions...
Not long after the bills were passed, they were changed and reworked and then tabled. If there wasn't a voting problem in Congress or the Senate, why would they table the bills? Why would they suddenly decide that it was OK that the children were obese and then diabetic as adults? Mexico is #1 in Diabetes in the world. It is also the #1 consumer of Coca Cola products in the world. As I mentioned before, BIMBO is the largest bakery in the world after buying Weston Foods of Canada that was the owner of Wonder. But, BIMBO sells a long line of Hostess style cakes and cookies. The equivalent of the Hostess cupcake now claims to have MORE MILK, as if that is to tell the mothers that it is healthier for their children. Nestle has a monopoly on the purchase of milk in many states of Mexico as it has in the state of Veracruz. Yes, Nestle is better known for its milk products (and coffee products) here in Mexico than it is known for its chocolate products. There was a Nestle Quick commercial showing the mothers how drinking Quick will help their sons grow up to be big and strong... But it doesn't show how they will grow up to be big, fat and diabetic... Nestle picked up on the studies that the raw flesh that covers the coffee bean is high in anti-oxidants (but the raw flesh is removed from the bean and dumped in the second phase of the coffee production process beginning with the harvesting the coffee berries/the fruit of the coffee plant; The coffee pulp isn't even used as organic fertilizer because of its high acid content. In order for the bean to reach your cup of coffee, it must be removed from the flesh and then it must be removed from the casing. It is washed and then it is dried. Finally it is roasted). However, Nestle is marketing Nescafé as having anti-oxidants! Don't eat broccoli or carrots or papaya or swiss chard or or or for anti-oxidants. Drink Nescafé!
In Mexico, Pepsi loses to Coca Cola hands down. However, it is the proud owner of Frito-Lay, which controlls 85% of the world's junk food production and sales... And, in Mexico, there are at least 50 varieties of Cheetos, "Lays" (called Sabritas in Mexico), Fritos and Doritos to choose from. The child is spell-bound by the new flavors and what to choose from when they enter into the local store. The local family store sells all the varieties of flavored-sweetened waters/sodas, Frito-lay products, BIMBO products and Coca-Cola products and very little of anything else... Then controlling the giant supermarket industry is Wallmart Stores, followed by their Mexican competitors/allies Soriana, Chedraui and Mega; all of these supermarkets displaying purely Frito-Lay, Coca-Cola and BIMBO products. Yes, I'm simplifying this; they sell produce, meat, clothing, household supplies, toys, school supplies, canned sauces and canned vegetable; but who is selling them those goods/what is their place in the international market? Did you know that Del Monte is from the Yucatan, if I am correct? How big an enterprise are they? Don't fool yourself into believing that Mexico and Mexicans are small and poor.
There are only 2 beer brewing companies in Mexico since they were allowed to absorb all the other popular regional beer brewers; Moctazuma that brews Dos Equis (XX), Indio, and Bohemia, Sol and so many more (if I am correct) and Corona that brews Corona, Negra Modelo, Tecate and so many more. Moctezuma connected with Heinekin and Miller if I'm correct and now is the largest brewer in the world... But, that has nothing to do with the children. However, what connection does that have with the children? Back in July it was announced that just over 40% of Mexicans are alcoholics... By my calculations, that makes almost all adult Mexican males alcoholics... In many cities you see giant drive-through beer cans where you can purchase your liquor while driving. The giant beer cans are called Auto Latas; lata means “can”… In many of the beer cans there is a small bar for purchasing mixed drinks. In all of the convenience stores, many found at the freeway gas stations, there are walls of refrigerators selling all the brands of cold beer you can imagine. A popular ad on Mexican television takes place at a funeral. The somber comment spoken is, "Death caused by consumption of alcohol, although they didn't ingest one drop..." Seen is the casket of a child being lowered into the grave and the parents crying... But, you must ask, why do they put this ad on the television, if no one restricts the sales and the consumption of liquor?