The complexities of mother daughter relationships

I watched the movie again with the world’s most knowlegable person aka my mom.

I made the offhand comment that Ana and her mom reminded me of her and Nannie (nay-nee…my grandmother). The extreme of love hate. She proceded to tell me what she thought and I felt it was definatley blog worthy.

She stated: In case you’ve forgotten, mothers are people, with feelings, ideals, dreams, and thoughts outside of thier children. Your Nannie wasn’t able to do so many things, and has a gentler personality and alot of regrets. Sometimes mom’s try to live thier life through thier kids and when thier kids decide to go thier own way it’s like failing all over again.  You and I have the relationship we have because of the relationship that Nannie and I have.


This made me flash all the way back to the Never Marry A Mexican story. Is it possible that Clemincia’s mother’s mother was so overbearing it made her completly back off from her children resulting in less of a bond?

Published in: on Wednesday, 18 April 07 at 11:39  Leave a Comment  

Things left unsaid…

I thoroughly enjoyed the 1st section of this collection. Especially My Friend Lucy who smells like corn, Eleven, and Barbie-Q.  


Young girls are dealing with adult problems in resilient ways. Burnt Barbie and Melted Midge are more than they could have expected.  Lucy who smells like corn, and her many sisters, have the workload of grown women, and yet somehow remain children.  Eleven, by far my favorite, explored the idea that even the most liberated feminist is still a three year old who may just need to cry.  I really feel like there was much to be explored in this first section. Sexuality in terms of boys versus girls, identity defined through relationships with siblings and parents, the teaching of the expected gender roles, and the special kind of helplessness that can only be portrayed by young women and girls. I think, (Dr C, hint hint,)  that there should be a class dedicated just to Sra. Cisneros and her works, it could be a cross over Chicano Lit, Women’s Studies type of course. I just wish we had more time with this and her other works.

Published in: on Tuesday, 10 April 07 at 4:16  Comments (1)  

Telenovela Wishes & Fairytale Dreams…

(In the voice of Robin Leach):

Every woman has a fantasy of her husband to be and married life. Many fantasies are within reason, kids, house, two-car garage, soccer mom car pools, or chats with the nanny, or whatever the case may be.  Srta. Cleofilas however had expectations of perfection and a telenovela lifestyle in which she would be the star.

            Unfortunately for our soñadora she got the ugly side of the telenovela. She successfully lands the role in (Young and the Restless theme plays in the background) “Naïve and Helpless” as the victim, the helpless, or the classic damsel in distress, in need of rescuing by a real man. Her marido perfefcto takes her away from her family and the only home she’s ever known, leaves her alone with the children, cheats on her, beats her, and holds no apologies for it.

 It’s a telenovela all right, but Cleofilas is not the leading lady, she’s simply a background character. She’s the unappreciated wife of the handsome charmer, the mother of the unattended children, the lady in the neighborhood who doesn’t speak English, the forgotten daughter, and the weak woman rescued by the strong liberated one.

…and like any telenovela the ending is bittersweet.  Celofilas, gets the strength to leave and is finally rescued.  Her knight in shining armor, or the handsome leading man doesn’t rescue her.  She is freed by two of the very things that allow woman to maintain the feminine struggle: Felice (Feliz) the pursuit of happiness with one’s self and Graciela (Gracefulness) the manner in which real women handle crisis and the very movement of femininity.



Published in: on Monday, 9 April 07 at 9:55  Leave a Comment  

One Holy Night

Truth much like beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  There are many truths out there.  Reality is what occurs when truths collide.  Ms Cisneros is brilliant at demonstrating the carnage after the collision. Each character in this selection has their own truth, and when those truths get challenged, the reality is as brutal as a thorn poke to an unexpecting index finger.

“Ixchel’s” truth is that she is more than an average girl in the barrio. Her very self confidence and identity are caught up in the truth that she is a descendant of royalty and has been especially chosen as a queen for a worthy king.

Abuela’s truth is that “Ixchel” is a child without sense and almost without fault. She blames the man boy baby and the uncle who doesn’t work as he should.  At a point she even blames the child for her lack of knowledge, and shame. (which is a conflict of truths within itse’f, you have to have knowledge to know to be ashamed.)

Boy Baby’s truth is that he is the descendant of ancient kings, and only he can carry on the legacy of this great ancestry.

The conflict occurs when the rest of the world’s truth show Boy Baby as a child molesting, serial killer who like most serial killers, is an average man from an average town and average life. 


Abuela’s conflict of truth occurs when the text reveals that she did not guide her nieta as she should have, and the consequences are irreversible, and the little girl part of her is lost or stunted.

“Ixchel’s” truths conflict when her royal life meet up with the fact that she is a child that has to work and handle adult responsiblities and make adult decisions with out adult level life experience.



When all of these truths collide they leave the horrible but educational carnage of innocence lost, dillusioned guardians, unmet expectations, too young ears learning about things they don’t need to know yet, and even loss of faith in people.  Much like a bad car wreck, you want to, but you can’t look away.  Shame, anger, lies, confusion, mistrust, knowlege, growth, womahood, and the conflict of many truths meld here creating the well presented, bitterweet cocktail of reality.

Reality  Truth

…which is why the quote at the beginning …” About the truth, if you give it to a person, then he has power over you. And if someone gives it to you then they have made themselves your slave. It is a strong magic. You can never take it back.” impacts the story in the way that it does. If you give the truth away to someone they have the ability to control you because they are now capable of destroying the your innermost truth that carries you.  If that truth is shattered your very essence could in turn be destroyed.  (Or vice versa, you could destrou someone by shattering thier truth. 

Love is a kind of truth, and one of the most artful puppet masters.  To be loved or to give love is a strong kind of magic that can never be taken back, when it is real.  For “Ixchel” that one night of giving and reciving love and respect, when the magic was strong and the moon was just right made her forever loyal to her king, creating the mircle and magic of conception, truly making it…one holy night.


Published in: on Monday, 9 April 07 at 8:35  Leave a Comment