17 July 2018
A Not so Lovely Lover
When I began reading the story of “Never Marry a Mexican” by Sandra Cisneros and how Clemencia had been abandoned by her mother after she cheated on her father before he died. I wasn’t expecting for her to get into a relationship with a married man. Since Clemencia was a little girl her mother would tell her to never marry a Mexican. Her mother told her this because Clemencia’s mother had married her father at a young age and never got to be young. When Clemencia’s father was on his deathbed, her mother had already been sleeping with another man. Clemencia said that she’ll never forgive her mother for that. Another character who had a big influence on Clemencia was Drew, the husband having the affair on his wife with Clemencia. Both Clemencia and Drew are to blame for this affair, but It feels like Drew is the one who should’ve never started the affair given his situation, and Clemencia’s past. I don’t understand the reason behind starting a relationship with Clemencia when she was young, and he was married.
Drew began this relationship with Clemencia when she was still in high school, he was her teacher and she was his student. On page 60 when Clemencia says, “And your father painted and painted me because he said, I was his doradita, all golden and sun-baked, and that’s the kind of woman he likes best, the ones brown as river sand, yes. And he took me under his wing and in his bed, this man, this teacher, your father.” (Cisneros). The relationship between teacher and student should never escalate to this level. Drew is supposed to be a role model for Clemencia. With Drew being Clemencia’s teacher and him allowing for this relationship to take place he is creating a false image in her head of what a relationship should be. Because he is a teacher to Clemencia he is basically teaching her that this is how relationships work. It’s almost like at this moment Drew became Clemencia’s biggest friend and role model. Clemencia’s mother had left her and her sister to start a family with a white man so she had no family, no positive role models. Her only role model she had in life was her mother and she isn’t in her life anymore, so she is looking for guidance from someone. Drew was able to seduce Clemencia into going along with this affair most likely because she never had a mother to show her how to have a relationship.
We also find out that Drew had continued to sleep with Clemencia even while his wife was pregnant with his child. According to the psychologist Robert Rodriguez, author of What’s your pregnant man thinking? “Ten percent of expectant father’s cheat on their partners during pregnancy. Many have fears about fatherhood.”. This really stands out to me because this is such a disturbing thing to think about. During the time Drews wife had needed him the most he was lying to her and giving his attention to Clemencia. When you are becoming a parent, you shouldn’t be practicing this kind of behavior because it can affect your child in the future. This affair directly affected Drews son a lot. As we find out later in the story Clemencia had become obsessed in a way with Drews son and the power she believed she had over Drew. The relationship between the two seems to be one-sided in a way that Clemencia believes she has more control over Drew than she does, and Drew is just having an affair. He is not only messing up his life with his family. But he is also ruining Clemencia’s life even more than it already is.
Clemencia is a creation of her own environment. She has never really had a person in her life who treated her the way she needed to be treated. Clemencia’s own mother had shown her that is was okay to cheat on her father and as she said on page 57, “Your father, he was so much older than me, and I never had a chance to be young.” (Cisneros). Clemencia was young as well when she began the affair with Drew. The only difference between Clemencia and her mother is that Clemencia was told repeatedly to never marry a Mexican. Since Clemencia is being told to never marry a person who is Mexican, she doesn’t believe that someone will want to marry her either. When Drew came around and began having relations with Clemencia she soon believed that she truly wasn’t doing anything wrong like that’s the way she was supposed to love someone. The affair that was going on between the two was nothing but toxic. Clemencia was only being used by Drew and was causing her even more emotional conflicts. When Clemencia says, “We’re cowards. Come back to bed. At least there I feel I have you for a little. For a moment. For a catch of the breath. You let go. You ache and tug. You rip my skin.” (Cisneros 62) she is telling us that every time her and Drew meet up she is being torn because she knows that he is going to be leaving again. She is beginning to become accustomed to having the ones she loves leave her.
With Drew being the only important person in Clemencia’s life since her mother left, he needed to take care of her and show her how to love and how to make relationships work. He could’ve helped, instead, he used her and never tried to help. It’s hard to imagine where Clemencia might have ended up if Drew would’ve just left her alone in the first place. Sometimes people who come out of traumatic situations are so distraught they think they are okay with what happened, but it can still affect their day to day, but if she only had to deal with her mother cheating on her father I’m sure she would’ve been able to find someone who was able to treat her how she deserved and even find a husband of her own.
Cisneros, Sandra “Never Merry a Mexican.” Woman Hollering Creek, Bloomsbury, 2004, pp.51–69.
Rodriguez, Robert What’s Your Pregnant Man Thinking? A Roadmap for Expectant and New Mothers, Lulu.com, 2011