Saturday, June 4, 2016
I'm Not Saying
My brother Bob, in Michigan, posted this graphic on Facebook and asked me if it's true. I wasn't sure. I know those foods are popular here and some have cultural significance but I'm not qualified to pass judgement on whether this graphic is something a New Mexican would agree with so I answered the question indirectly by saying, "If you order at least one of these items in a restaurant you'll get more respect from your waitress, that is, you'll be treated with less contempt."
A day before I'd had lunch at Mac's La Sierra, a nice West Side family restaurant on Central Avenue on the edge of the West Mesa not from from where I live and where I eat now and then. It's a friendly and often busy place with old wood paneling and dark wooden booths, and to me has a lot of New Mexican ambiance of the Route 66 variety. Central is old Route 66 and is where you'll find many iconic symbols of old Albuquerque.
The waitress at Mac's had given me a choice of bread or sopapilla and when I said sopapillas her attitude toward me become a little more friendly. Less suspicious, perhaps. This happens to me once in awhile here. The way I dress and comport myself and talk marks me as an outsider but to ask for sopapillas may be a signal that I at least know something, and who knows, maybe I had validated something in her Hispanic identity.
The picture, by the way, was posted on a web site called I Am New Mexico, which has a web site and Facebook page. It's one of those anonymously published web sites; whoever is putting it out there is playing it close to the vest. New Mexicans aren't the only people who play it close to the vest but it's a central part of the culture here.