25 October 2017
Have you ever been cheated on? Or been the cheater? In my essay I’ll be writing about Never Marry a Mexican and Clemencia’s involvements in adultery stemming from her mother’s own affair. Clemencia lives an unethical life full of adultery and does not believe in the union of marriage. “Marriage has failed me, you could say. Not a man exists who hasn’t disappointed me, whom I could trust to love the way I’ve loved. It’s because I believe too much in marriage that I don’t. Better to not marry than to live a lie.” (Cisneros 69) Ever wonder how someone is able to detach their feelings from such harsh actions? Does it have to do with one’s upbringing or are they just a little bit crazy? According to The New York Times, When the mother is having an affair, the therapists said they detected a different reaction in children. Because the mother is still most often considered the focus of the family, a child who learns of an affair is in danger of losing confidence in the viability of marriage and family.
In Never Marry A Mexican, Clemencia, daughter to a Mexican American mother and Mexican father encounters numerous forms of disrespect in her household. Her father who came from a middle class family in Mexico believed he married down because he married a poor Mexican woman who was born in America. “ Having married a Mexican man at seventeen. Having had to put up with with all the grief a Mexican family can put on a girl because she was from el otro lado, the other side, and my father had married down by marrying her.” (Cisneros 69) Her father a proud Mexican was greedy, total opposite from her mother, a poor generous woman. Clemencia mother was no traditional Mexican women, in her father’s eye it would have been better to marry a White women. Even if she was poor, marrying a poor White women would have been marrying up. As her parents grew older her father became sick and while bedridden her mother found a new interest in her life, bad timing?”That man she met at work, Owen Lambert, the foreman at the photo-finishing plant, who she was seeing even while my father was sick. Even then. That’s what I can’t forgive. (Cisneros 73) Clemencia very hurt by her mother’s actions, how could she leave her father in his time of need? Could this be why Clemencia showed no remorse? “I’m vindictive and cruel, and I’m capable of anything.” (Cisneros 68)
As Clemencia grew a bit older she became involved in an affair with Drew. A married man much older than her. He filled her ears with everything she wanted to hear until daybreak, she reminds us he would be gone, as always. “My skin dark against yours. Beautiful, you said. You said I was beautiful, and when you said it, Drew, I was.” (Cisneros 74) The only thing left to remember him by were the teeth marks left behind on her dark skinned body. She describes herself as Malinche and him as a Cortez. He used her. She goes on to say she had a big part in his wife, Megan, the red headed woman giving birth to their son. Clemencia felt some type of power as she speaks about talking Drew into letting his wife carry on with the pregnancy, as if Drew was in love with her and only wanted her. “Does he know how much I had to do with his birth? I was the one who convinced you to let him be born. Did you tell him, while his mother lay on her back laboring his birth, I lay in his mother’s bed making love to you.” (Cisneros 75) Is it possible Clemencia was believing a make believe story of her own? Drew would take her and spend the next few days with her in the family home while Megan and their son were away. It would be there last time together. As Drew was busy in the kitchen Clemencia admired Megan’s personal belongings and mischievously left hidden gummy bears in places she knew only she would find them. Sneaky? What reasoning would she have behind this?”I got a strange satisfaction wandering about the house leaving them in places only she would look.” (Cisneros 81) Long after her gummy hunt she becomes a substitute teacher, amongst other careers. She becomes involved with Drew’s teenage son and seduces the high school boy. “I sleep with this boy, their son. To make the boy love me the way I love his father. To make him want me, hunger, twist in his sleep, as if he’d swallowed glass. I put him in my mouth. Here, little piece of my corazon.” (Cisneros 82)
Trying to understand why Clemencia chose this lifestyle is a tough one. Understanding that her choices stem from her mother’s advice and personal examples is not. Let’s acknowledge her mother’s involvement and cute Clemencia a little slack. We as parents have a huge effect in our child’s psychological growth. Sure it’s easy to label a crazy whore but is she really that person? Or is she a broken soul who’s made bad decisions. Ultimately searching a little deeper into her reasoning and insecurities will help us view her differently. The pressures of having your mother continuously speak negative about her father surely had a big impact on her not wanting to be in a committed relationship. Her mother experiencing a public affair and justifying it to Clemencia could be a reason why Clemencia doesn’t feel guilty and shows no remorse for Drew’s wife Megan. Or what about the deceit she felt when her half brothers took over the family home, could this have anything to do with anger she holds inside? She’s seen and experience pain caused by men, it’s understandable that she would want to use them for her own sexual needs. It not morally correct but at the end of the day isn’t that what they’ve done to her?
Brook, Andree. “HEALTH: PSYCHOLOGY; Experts Find Extramarital Affairs Have a Profound Impact on Children.” New York Times, March 9,1989.
Cisneros, Sandra. “Women Hollering Creek and Other Stories.” Vintage, 1991.