(I’m probably gonna get in trouble for this…but fuck it)
Every culture’s got women. Every culture also has a way of trying to get their attention. But there’s one that has found a way to get under my skin like I thought only motorcycle noise could. There I am. Walking down the street sans iPod. And I hear the hiss and then the cry that I cannot avoid. “Mami…MAMI!!!”
I grew up in south Florida, so I suppose I should be used to it. I’m also a woman. I have both my legs. And I’m under 300 lbs. I mean really, with specs like these I’m practically begging for it. But every time I hear them hiss “Mami…MAMI!” I want to whirl around and scream, “I’m a gringa for god’s sake. DO I LOOK LIKE YOUR FUCKING MOTHER??”
What I really want to know is why they continue to do it. Has it ever worked before? Do they actually think that any woman worth Mami-ing is going to reconsider her destination of the grocery store take this man into the nearest alley? And even if she was looking to do that, of all the men on the street, why is she going to pick the one with the Oedipus complex? “Mami…MAMI!!”
Now I realize that the English language has similar terms for reducing women to walking orifices. We’ve got our hot and sexy mamas, but I don’t hear them referenced as much and as non-discriminately as “Mami…MAMI!!!” It’s the tune I walk home from work to. I work in a club, so I’m usually wearing a lot of makeup on my way home. I’m aware that my super glam face (trust me, it’s only the makeup) is not going to help assuage their cries. So I’ve started bringing a hooded sweatshirt to work. On my way home I make sure the hood is covering my head and the strings are drawn tight to hide the majority of my face. Hell, at a quick glance I could even be mistaken for a boy. But apparently every gender’s got “Mami” potential. Because a man closing a small street beverage stand hisses at me. “Psst, Mami. I save some free coffee for you. Mami!” But even though I was freezing and would have loved a hot free beverage, he lost me at “Mami.” He might have had better luck with “Eyy…Pretend my pants is France and invade ‘em!” At least there was a chance that I might laugh and not hate him as much.
“Mami…MAMI!!!” It’s beginning to make me bitter. Even a little crazy. I kinda wanna give up everything that makes me look feminine and pretty. They’re supposed to be the crazy ones. They’re the ones without any blood in their brains and desperately labeling anything a “Mami.” But every time I hear it, the blood rushes equally out of my brain and into my fists. I want to run to the nearest candy store or hotdog stand to find something…anything that might help get my weight up past the 300 mark. Cause maybe then, I can finally walk to the grocery store in peace.