Saturday, June 5, 2010

A walking paradox.

(not my photo,  but it does the job)

 One big f'in contradiction. Not quite sure where this is coming from.... Maybe the possible offessive Anonymous blogger comment, or feeling lonely here in Guadalajara, but I feel the need to clarify and declare who I am and what I want. I'm heavily tattooed. I'm pierced. I have lived my life outside the norm. I have chosen to raise my family outside the "American Dream". I come from a conservative, law abiding, middle class family, law student who decided to marry a ex-felon and eventually follow him to Mexico. I chose to raise my children in a third world county. I then chose to throw my children under the gun and force them to learn another language, another culture, another way of life.

 I am a horrible mother.

And with tears in my eyes, I feel the need to justify myself. Maybe this is coming from my hubby confessing a recent depression, and soon after, my daughter. Fuck. What am I supposed to do? Go home? Neither want me to do that. I feel awful. Maybe it's adolesence. Maybe he need a drink. Maybe I'm lonely.

People here are different. We don't think the same..... But wait!!! There's hope!!!  I met another gal from the States, a client of mine, who after, decided to take me out for drinks. :)  We went to a fabulous bar, and after a bottle of wine, was like I'd known her forever. But alas, she's given up on Mexico  and heading back to the States with a broken heart at the end of the month. Too bad we hadn't met sooner. On a positive note, it reassures me that after 20 months of living here, and finding two gals that are pretty cool, there has to be more, right? Patience is a virtue.

And sometimes..... I don't have it.

I feel different from alot of people here. I know that when you move, especially to another country, it changes you and you SHOULD change with your surroundings... but in reality, I feel that my only "friends" are on blogger/facebook. (Facebook is such a curse!!!) Women, that in some strange circumstance, are supportive and can relate to our current situation...or in general, expats, finding a new life in a foreign country. (And  I'm gonna get even more pitiful here....) but even so, at the same time, I feel like an outsider.
 There is ONE difference between you and I. (besides my horrible grammar.) You put your art on the wall and I put my art on my skin. That's it. I feel that people assume that because I decided to paint my body, that it automatically catagoriezes me in a pool with lowlifes, crack addicts and narcos. Yes, I "belong" to a subculture,( which you can see HERE) which can be totally rad, but sorry.... according to the "subculture" "subculture", I don't belong.... I'm not radically pierced, tattooed,  living on the extreme blah blah blah. I like dinner parties, hanging out, smoking my hookah, massive amounts of wine, family time, travelling, camping, art, getting my hair "did", scrapbooking, etc..... Need I go on?  

I should put an ad in the newspaper....
And while you're at it, throw it some kids, ages 6-12.... and we'll make it a date.
Appreciate it,


Gringa-n-Mexico said...

Ok I'm going to try and hold myself back and not spill ALL OVER your comments about how much I feel you. But I don't think I can.

I SO GET YOU!!! It took 11 months for me to find a friend here (you know Amanda) and I'm always afraid for the time comes when they might move back south or go north or just... away. She's a line to sanity that's even better than the GOD BLESSED Facebook and blogs.

It's just not the same making Mexican friends (not that I've actually been able to MAKE a mexican friend in 2 years) - for me because of the language barrier I guess, but even if I could it wouldn't be the same you know? You DO know. As wonderful as a person might be here they don't "think the same." Sometimes we need sameness.

And you sweet tatoo'd thing, I remember the posts about what a great Mom you are fighting for your kids and immersing them in different cultures but I get that sometimes we have shitty days. My lil baby fell asleep in the car yesterday after dragging her all over hell - with a pee filled diaper, a greasy face, a dirty shirt and a chicken bone clutched for dear life in her sweet little hand. In that moment I was a failure but I bucked up, pried the bone from her hand, fed it to the dog, gave her a bath and clean clothes and put the sweet thing to bed.

Our ups and downs are so exaggerated here and it's because we're lonely damn it.

Anyways, I spilled. I love you as much as a stranger can and I'll spend my next wish for you to find a girl friend.

tina said...

Don't feel bad, I am what you would call normal (not tatted) and have the same problems finding girlfriends. Something has changed in our world...everything seems to centered around material things and I can't relate. I want just enjoy time, food(okay cocktails too) and friends. It is not just in Mexico it is worse in the states. I am a flight attendant and see it every day. My best friend lives in South Africa and my husband jokes that only I would have to meet someone I can relate with on the other side of the world. You will find them just not very often. If you two great friends in your live consider you self lucky.

Anonymous said...

Please keep smiling, as I have learned the hard way, the people that judge you by what they see on the outside rather than taking the time to get to know the inside are definately not worth knowing. I have also learned that one good friend is better than many fairweathered friends, - hang in there!

Leah Flinn said...

I guess misery loves company :-) I have been feeling the same way lately, frustrated over not meeting any real friends here. And I do not require much of people other than they let me be who I am. Otherwise, I'll take anyone who's genuine. People here are different, they have many acquaintances but few true friends they can confide in and get close to. They reserve that almost exclusively for family.

The band of expat bloggers keeps me sane and work keeps me occupied, but I keep hoping that just one person will cross my path here in Veracruz that I can befriend and hang out with. Hope the same for you. :-)

On Mexican Time said...

Awwww..amiga, I don't even know exactly what to say...we all have to deal with assholes who judge us sometimes!!! Me for being blonde...honest to goodness people just think I'm a "dumbe blonde". I hate it, but at the same time it makes me wanna prove them wrong even more!

As far as the friend thing goes... I SOOOO get it. Do you know that my phone almost never rings? Yeah, like why do I have a cell phone? I have a couple friends, but we are all so different. I mean, not going to complain, but seriously? I neeeeed girl time. Also, like our gal-pal Gringa-n-Mex, I am sooo afraid they are going to pack up and leave. I always hear about ppl giving up and heading "home". It happens more times than it doesn't. Blogging, and Facebook certainly help. What would I do w/out all you gals?

Anyways amiga - we ALL love you. Could you imagine if there was a way we all could get together? OMG, it would be insane!!! One can only wish....

American Mommy in Mexico said...

Frankly, I think you are an awesome Mother living an authentic life.

The comments so far are right on target.

GRINGA: "Sometimes we need sameness." - this is so true and it is okay.

TINA -"Something has changed in our world...everything seems to centered around material things and I can't relate. I want just enjoy time, food(okay cocktails too) and friends. It is not just in Mexico it is worse in the states" - I GET it and I feel more and more different every day ...

ANON - "one good friend is better than many fairweathered friends, - hang in there!" YEP - words of wisdom here.

You are a brave lady. No matter where you are, life has ups and downs, happy days and depressed days.

Refried Dreamer said...

Gringa: I'm glad that you have someone to vent/laugh/relate to... and you're right, you can't exactly joke around the same way, or communicate comfortably. Hubbies don't seem to understand, because they do it, but are comfortable enough with the language to "blend in." As we gueras, don't. And yeah, sorry for the emotional baggage on this blog... that's what happens after a bottle or so of wine. ;)

Tina: I know you're right... and it's ridiculous to assume that you can make best friends anywhere, (I'm happy with just "friend" status) considering they take years to make and I want to do it in 20 months. It sucks that your BFF is in South Africa!! Wow.. that's gotta be hard. I bet facebook/blogger helps you guys too.

Anonymous: Thanks for the support and I know you're right.... best to wait.

Leah: Damn... is it something in the water?!? I don't think you're asking too much at all! HOwever, here I think we're more pressured to "BE" that person, that look, that style, that woman. And funny thing is, we're not. And won't be.
Haha... you guys keep me sane, too. ;)

OMT: And of course, you get the blonde thing...that sucks. Do they really have that stereotype down in Cancun? And I totally get you on the phone thing.... mine never rings unless it is my mom/husband trying to find me, or someone coming in from out of town. I pay sooo much a month so that I have internet wherever I go... and can blog/facebook and feel somewhat "included" in something.
haha.... and as for partying, that would be insane. I don't think our hubbies would be able to handle it!!!

Sorry I sounded kinda whiny, but thanks for the feedback.


Leslie Limon said...

I say we start our own support group! I too have the exact same problem. After 10 years, I still haven't been able to find a BFF. My only friends are my in-law's. I love them, but there are just some things I can't talk about with them.

And don't get me started on the stereotyping! I'm a child of divorce, with no siblings and I'm not all that close to my relatives. So of course, that automatically makes me a bad wife and mother. Add to that the fact that I am a Gringa, so I don't know how to cook, clean or anything else. :)

If I had a peso for every time I've told my Hubby that I don't think like most people, we'd be freaking rich! :)

But at least we have our blogger friends to keep eachother company! :)

Hugs to you! :)

Anonymous said...

Not sure things would be very different for you anywhere else. Internet blogs provide some degree of insulation, but its hardly real life, where your appearance is your first impression; something we must all overcome whether we be attractive or not so much. Pity we are superficial creatures in that regard. Persons like yourself who make the decision to radically distinguish thier appearance, ostensibly also choose to give others to understand that they are somehow different or unique, and that potential acquaintance requires acceptance (or lack of superficiality). Many, if not most people do tend to prefer the company of persons like themselves, and learn early that often conformity fascilitates camaraderie. At a point you decided to leave it up to others to exclude themselves from your circle of friends and acquaintances and likely weeded out a large, but mostly incompatible element. That shows mettle many must envy.
Chin-up! We are who we are, and there are some things you just can't change.

You don't say how people (especially other parents) belonging to the tattoo and piercing sub-culture react when they learn about your erotic novelty business...but that's a subject for another blog.


Gale Britton

Refried Dreamer said...

American Mommy:
You're right... and everyone that has posted is right. I need to suck it up, be patient and take responsibility for the choices that I've made for my family and I. Tomorrow will be a better day!Thank you for your kind words. :)

Leslie: I agree! We'll meet at Amanda's new place. ;) Yeah, I assumed that everything different, or American would be thrown under the "Gringa" stereotype.... and damn, if that doesn't include everything but the kitchen sink. How did you deal with it?

and ps... you're a fabulous mother!!!

ANON: You're right. I did make that choice along time ago and that my problem. I purposely chose to separate myself from the norm, but want to include myself in some aspects. It is beneficial, because there are many parts of society as a whole that I do not agree with and do not want to associate with. It's a contradiction in itself, and I need to accept that.
And as for the sex shop.... in the States, it wouldn't be such a big deal. Everyone, well at least, my generation, seems to be more open to the concept. It's nothing more than a business. Here in Mexico, yes... it does create an issue. The kids' school doesn't know we have another business... the tattoo shop is taboo enough. Sex is taboo here... at least with your own wife. Sad, but true.

PuertoVallartaGirl said...

You know i always have read peoples blogs and read and thought.... they aren't saying everything - they are trying to put on a happy face... so I read between the lines, I remember what it feels like to be in Mexico and feel the way you feel. I was very lonely and I burried it for my life with my husband. Since I read your blog about your business (do you still do the store?) I always thought how courageous you are. And not only that you are like totally hot. You should see if you could get a network to follow you for a reality show. maybe make some cash doing that? just a thought.

I just wanted to say.. don't lose your faith everything will work out. At 20 months in Mexico I was at my lowest point, my husband was depressed, I was sad and lonely and sick but now one year later I am good. Maybe just maybe a miracle of some kind will happen? I believe in miracles. and I prayed for you.

Sunshine said...

I could f wrote most of your blog...I know exactly how you feel.
Ohhh goodness I can soooo understand.
Thank gawd for gringa-n-mexico and Rita....I wouldnt know what to do with my self....i'd become mute! Just plain old mute! I love Leslies idea of a support group. Hey wonder if we can make one on facebook?
I feel so close to my blogger friends in ways i cant even explain. Like i stalk blogger to see if yall have posted something else. the same time i cant even come up with something to blog about. I have so much going on in my head that i cant seem to get it all out into words that make sense. kwim?
Oh and i soo understand the gal who said her phone never rings. OMG..I even have a american number and still my phone never rings! Geez the shit we go through. It's like were just cut off, plain ole cut off from life and everything we've ever known.
I would love to come hang out with you! And share some of that wine and what ever else you got going on and talk and cry and laugh till we were tired of talking!
love ya mama

Nancy said...

I think talking about this is such a good step, I think all of us who have made such a big move have had times when we felt lonely and isolated. Partly for me it is because my life "before" sort of doesn't exist, like I was hatched right here and now.

I have found that I have to be OPEN to new people for us to find each other and connect. And it isn't just an inward thing, I think my facial expression even changes when I am feeling more open.

And I am tattooed, too (just a bracelet, though.) I find people are mostly just curious and don't prejudge me. Husband Paul has a full chest and arms so at the beach we get a lot of looks, though.

I hope that you hook up with some like minded friends. It does make a big difference.

Anonymous said...

“Maybe he need a drink.
...decided to take me out for drinks. :) We went to a fabulous bar, and after a bottle of wine, haha...
...smoking my hookah, massive amounts of wine.
...le gusta tomar, festejar...
...that's what happens after a bottle or so of wine. ;)”

(children and family figure near the end of all you lists)

Knew a lot of “law students” who drank more than they actually studied, but none made it past “student”. Can’t say how many actually got tattooed, opened sex shops or married “ex” felons.
What, exactly makes a felon an “ex felon” anyway?

Just sayin’

An Actual Identity

PuertoVallartaGirl said...

dude you need to stop accepting anonymous comments - screw that person and their judgmental ness the first person to judge needs to look in a mirror - no one is perfect - and I applaud your honesty. just delete that and stop accepting anon's... you don't deserve that comment.

Refried Dreamer said...

ANON: Well that was a bit of an exaggeration.... I was referring to finding someone to just relax and chat with.... when you need to let go. If I need to justify my drinking habits with you, I do enjoy a bottle of wine that lasts me throughout the week. Thanks for your concern! RIght now, anyone who is cool and shares some similar interest would be great to hang out with a few times a month. It would be great if they had a family with similar interests and we could include everyone together. But yes, I am selfish... and after two years, I would like some individual attention. And I do take back "ex" felon... you are a felon but it is hard to be have a felony in a country where you no longer exist.

BTW... and thanks for clarifying your "ACUAL IDENTITY." Makes it so much more meaningful.

Theresa said...

I kept rewriting this but I can't get it right.
It's always hard to move to a new place, it's hard to make friends when every one is involved with their own families and jobs.
Not being a WASP, when I was your age and relocated for work (ummm 3 times), I always felt the way you do. I didn't want to be sucked into some evangelical thing where they wanted to be my friend until I told them I wasn't drinking the cool aide or attending their church.
The best thing to do is to find something you are passionate about, join in and find like minded people. It's hard, it used to be harder before the internet.
I'm really lucky to have friends here, but I didn't make them until I got involved in stuff.
Take group Spanish lessons, at least you will meet someone.
Sometimes, it's enough that they speak the same language.
I wish I knew some easy answers, but it just ain't easy when you aren't average (isn't that another word for mediocre?)

Anonymous said...

I'm not American but I do speak English. I don't have kids but I like them. I don't have that much free time but I do go out from time to time.
If you ever want to go out or just talk to someone, for whatever it is worth (and since you don't really know me), I'm here :) I know what it is like to feel lonely and like you don't belong and it's a terrible feeling.

Oh, and I don't think anything of your tattoos or your sex shop ;) Most people in this city are prudes but I like to think I'm pretty open minded!

Anyway... yeah, I think you have my email. If you ever want to hang out, just let me know!


Nikki said...

I have been thinking about your post for a couple days now and I just can't quite organize all of my thoughts regarding it. You hit a nerve. These are feelings that I have been dealing with for 5 years now and they are not getting easier. The loneliness is HORRIBLE! We do need girlfriends, our husbands cannot fill that void. I have made some wonderful friends here but it is a different type of friendship. Like Leah said, we just think differently, sometimes we do need sameness. I thought I was over this stage but I realized that I it has just been put in a box somewhere and I was trying to ignore it. That is not good. Reading all these blogs has really helped, I had NO IDEA that there were ladies in the same type of situation as me (with details varying of course). I hope that you find some peace soon. And it would be SSSOOO great if we could all get together somewhere, I can still dream right? ;)

Lesley said...

I'm sorry girl. But it WILL get better. You will meet people! And I agree w/ PuertoVallartaGirl that you should stop accepting mean-spirited anonymous comments. I've gotten several over the past few months, and it sucks, but you can't let people bring you down. As a wise aspiring DJ-rapper-performer told me a few years ago: "Haters just want to be you." (It's true!) Also, I read on the Dalai Lama's Twitter account today that angry or negative thoughts are actually harmful for your health. So don't let this person take you there. Un abrazo from DF.

Laura said...

Where to start? I think your pictures and the tattoos look awesome, in fact I was thinking if I ever swing through Guadalajara I would stop by to get a tattoo from you!! I think the pictures of tattoos that you've shown on the blog are beautiful! People who have negative ideas about tattoos and the people who have them are just misinformed. It is art, like you said (doesn't anyone watch L.A. Ink, ha ha)

I lived in Mexico for about 2.5 years and right now I'm back in the US because we were broke. Anyways, I think it is more challenging to meet people and make friends there because you automatically have certain things against you, whether it's the stereotypes about gringas who can't cook/clean/raise children/etc. or about blondes or in your case your tattoos. It's always something, no matter where you are in the world.

I think we moms tend to have the moments of thinking that we are the WORST mother in the world for one reason or another. I'm sure it's hard to see your family suffering but on the other hand they'd be suffering even if you were back in the US. You've chosen what is now probably the more challenging route but will ultimately be the most rewarding, in my opinion. I mean, what better thing to bring your family together than going through this whole crazy experience.

I'm not sure when you first moved to Mexico, but I will say that I think it requires more time to adjust that we expect sometimes. I did't start to feel pretty comfortable until towards the END of my 2.5 years there - more comfortable with the language, the people, the culture, the lifestyle, etc. etc. So maybe it's good to keep that in mind that you and your family may just be going through that really rough time before things start to make a little sense again. I mean, moving to another country is freaking hard, and even harder when you're doing it with your entire family.

And lastly I just want to say that I think it's totally normal to complain about everything that seems so backward and crazy in Mexico. I know I wore my husband's ear off some days complaining about whatever stupid little thing was peeving me off at the time. The funny thing is that since I've been back in the US (about 6 months) I MISS Mexico a LOT, daydream about it all the time, wonder if we'll ever really live in the US long-term again. In some ways I would RATHER raise my daughter there than here.

Good luck and you know you've always got your readers to fall back on when no "real-life" friends can be found!!

Nancy said...

Have you met Meredith at The Accidental Tapatio or gone to the Mexpat get togethers? Here's a link, might just be exactly what you need!

Cheers, nancy in Mazatlan

Anonymous said...

Hey, I'm a Georgia girl living in Puebla and your post so hit straight home with me. Thank you for expressing what you're going through so honestly. I have been living in Mexico for almost 10 years straight and it is not easy. There are a million great things, like you've expressed in other posts, but sometimes you just gotta rant. For at least half of the time I've been here I couldn't do that with anyone who I felt could truly understand me. It's taken a LONG time but I now have a few good friends, ironically the are English-speaking Mexicans, one of whom seems more Gringa than me at times. Anyway, I would SO totally love to be friends with you if you were closer. I hope that your search ends soon and you find a true friend who will understand you for who you are without judgement.

About Me

My photo
I've been living in Mexico now for about a two years with my hubby and 2 kids. Not exactly by choice, but we're here nonetheless. Luckily, I live with quite a few of the accomodations that i was used to in the states. In spite of those convienences, we also have a water tank with asbestos, outdated electricity, massive amounts of dust, caterpillars that burn your skin, and thousands of windshield washers on every street corner. My kiddos and I are learning to speak spanish and adjust to life away from our family and friends in the States.


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