Remember "poser"? That overused, generic, definitely not a good thing late-90's term that kind of just went away? I was thinking about it today. And how it really irritated me in its pompous, demanding, and condescending way. How when someone used it that person immediately became immune to its damaging effects and made the other person subject to its wrath whether or not they truly did fit the definition. Which brings us to another question- what did these post-mullet yet not quite out of the big-hair stage young folk really mean when they used the word? And more importantly- why was it such a negative label to give?

Eh we all know what I'm talking about. Someone who pretends to be someone he or she isn’t. Is there anything more irritating? Not only someone who wants to be someone or something else but who tries too hard, ya know? I've come across a few of those while living in Mexico. People that come from the U.S. and feel the need to prove something while they are here. Maybe it's that they know how to use Spanish slurs (i.e. using the same two swears every other sentence- just in case you forget that they know two swears in Spanish) or constantly referring back to the week they spent in Chile during their second year in college and how now they really feel like "one of the people". Or hanging out with certain people while spending time here just to be able to say they "did that" once they're back in the states. Women who become sexy only when they step off the plane and until they step back on. Men who whistle and cat call, but only to Mexican women, not other foreigners- this is what they take from such a rich culture. I'm not knocking immersing yourself completely in a culture to really understand it (swear words and all) or negating the fact that a week out of the U.S. can truly teach you things you wouldn't learn in a lifetime. I'm talking about using those experiences and adventures to spice up your own life and impress yourself, not others.

Fast forward a few years when the most likely situation is that I'm not living here anymore and someone turns right around and says the exact same thing about me when I order my enchiladas rojas at the Mexican joint down the street with a slight accent- crap, I'm caught. Am I just reminiscing about the time I lived in Mexico? Making the clerk feel more comfortable by speaking in his own language? Or am I just fluffing my feathers like a peacock on mating day? Thinkin' I'm the shit and letting everyone know it. I mean in this description I'm being a little more dramatic than necessary but this is genuinely a concern. To what point is it ok to flaunt your pride in another culture? When you are born in it? When you live in it? When your parents are from it? When you study it in school? When you live there? For how long? With whom? When I don't live in Mexico anymore will part of my relationship with the country and its culture slowly dissolve? It's a double-edged sword because here I am saying I am irritated by "posers" yet maybe I want to be one?

What if when I'm in the states I'm in the same relationship I'm in now? Is the accent I used in the Mexican joint ok now because at home I speak Spanish with my partner? To what extent is it ok to flaunt my lifestyle that I have here when I live in the States again? Being part of a culture in the U.S. is a very different thing from being part of the culture here in Mexico. In the U.S. it's the culture-less and it's everyone else. For example, first generation Mexican-Americans. Many who I know just don't feel Mexican and they don’t feel American. Why? Because Mexicans say they're not Mexican and people in the U.S. say they're not "American". So what are they? Why can't they be just Mexican? Or just "American"? Or why can't they consider themselves both? It goes back to the post I had about label, people just don't know what to do if they can't put you in a certain box.

Moving back to the states is a very plausible thing. But when I do, I'm worried that not only will I miss my life here more than I understand right now but that I will struggle with combining what I now consider to be the two cultures that I am part of.

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