Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My firs Mexican nontruth

I remember shortly after I moved here reading in the online book, The Trick to Living In Mexico, about the nontruths of the Mexican people. (this is a great book by the way and I have a link to it on my home page) Anyway this section of the book spoke of how Mexicans tend to tell what we would consider "little white lies" fairly frequently. I was raised that even the smallest lies lead to larger ones and for most cases I still believe this to be true. When I first read this it helped me to understand my husband a bit and realize these occurrences were just a cultural thing he had grown up with. I like that she called them nontruths, because my husband is a great guy and I hatted to think that he would intentionally lie to people or me for that matter. And I always knew his mother was a great Christian women and to me this seemed like loose morals. Ok so here is an example from when we first got together. Him and I had plans one night but someone asked us if we would come hang out with them. He would say, "Ok we will see you there." Then when the time came we would do whatever we had originally planned. I would be like, "didn't we tell so and so, such and such." And he would be like,"Yeah." and end of story. Seriously I could go into a thousand specific examples. Like when we first moved here and frequently his family would say they would come over for dinner. I would cook tons of food and no one would show up. I know now, why, when you visit people no one cooks until your already at there house. Click, it all fits into place. They all know they do it and its so natural they have just adjusted to it. So one of my husbands Aunts (specifically the one who was very inconsiderate to me when I first moved here, regarding my lack of Spanish), has asked... no demanded that I teach her and her family English. So because I already have lesson plans made up from my other student I told them no problem and we set up a time for them to come over. They live about 20min away so after a few weeks of no shows I figured they didn't really want to learn. On our next visit out there she asked... no again demanded that I go out there, because gas for me was cheaper than them to all get buss tickets. I agreed with that and agreed that I would try. Well later I got to thinking about how rude it was of her to demand such a thing, not only free classes but for me to drive to them. And by the way they have a van that would fit the whole family and it actually would be as cheap for them to drive here as me to drive to them. So I changed my mind and decided not to go. A few weeks later during a visit out there (My husbands grandma who we all love lives out there to, so we go to visit her)I was asked by this same Aunt why I hadn't come. First I told the truth, that we didn't have enough money for gas because we had decided on Wednesdays and my husband gets payed on Thursdays. Then out it came the Mexican untruth, "Ill try next week" I said. And she shook her head and the conversation was over. It was weird to me because conversations are never over with her she usually finds something to argue with me about. Its like she knew what I was doing and was almost happy with it. And the craziest part is that I didn't even realize what I had done until later. This is very strange for me because I am a very upfront and sometimes brutally honest type of person. When I told my husband about it he just laughed and said, "Your turning into a Mexican honey."


  1. I really struggle with this one with my husband. He does it ALL the time. It is usally in the situatiohn you stated, telling people we were going to do soemthing with no intention too. I am always like "why cant you just tell them no?" Drives me nuts. He also does it alot with his location. He will say "oh i am on my way home" When in fact he is not on his way nor has any intention on being on his way for some time.....UGH!

  2. Amanda, I have started this too. I'm usually very direct and unguarded, but I've seen that in some cases you have to tell the untruths in order for it to be socially acceptable. It's all part of the 'saving face' game.

  3. LOL!!! I do the same thing, when people ask me if I give private English lessons in my home. These people ask time after time, with no intention of ever attending class. I used to say "No" because, well with 4 kids and Hubby's shop next door, I have no time! But since saying "NO" is considered rude, I just tell them that I will let them know. Then when I see them again, they're the ones that feel bad and say "Oh, I never went to ask you when we could start our English lessons"! Welcome to the club of nontruths!

  4. Congratulations. You're officially a beaner! :)

  5. I've heard about this but haven't learned it yet. I'm still very direct and sometimes I see the administration at the school flinch when I tell them what is on my mind. For example, my refrigerator isn't working properly. I told them all my food is spoiled, it's going to cost me a lot of money and I asked who is going to reimburse me for the food. I told the school that I was going to take a day off from work to look for a suitable apartment if they don't fix things like the oven that doesn't heat, the shower drain that doesn't drain, the nasty toilet base with gross stuff growing out of it, the pilot light going out all the time on the water heater, etc. It's the American in me coming out in full force. Luckily, the school wants to keep their English teachers happy!

  6. You liars! just kidding. :P

    Turning into a Mexican, eh? Next thing I know, Isaac's going to start wearing a cowboy hat'n'boots.

    Hey - I love the new look for your blog! When did you do this?

  7. Rebecca- Issac was the same way, I actually have "encouraged" him to stop the "telling me hes on his way home and not being on his way home" thing and thankfully he has. I explained how I felt this was disrespectful and if he wanted to do it to anyone else fine but not me. It took awhile but now he only tells me hes on his way when he is.
    Leah-your right about the 'saving face" thing.
    Leslie- as long as you have been here I wouldn't be surprised if sometimes you do it without knowing it.
    Dreamer-Issac really enjoys that term it got him laughing.
    Ritamg-Im sure you get them to raise their eyebrows fairly often, Im only recently really able to speak my mind and my husbands family is slowly realizing IM not the person they thought me to be. lol
    Brian- cowboy hat over my dead body, or at least when IM on vacation. lol I changed the look of my blog a week or so ago. I decided with so many readers I should try a little harder. ;)

  8. isn't that great?
    That drives me nuts about Raf. He always says yes to people. about everything. and he always tells me he'll be home in 10 minutes and one hour later.....

  9. After five years here, I do it too now. The worst part is that I don't realize that I am doing it. I say yes, and when the time comes I just don't go.
    When people ask me if I give English lessons, I always say "no, speaking a language doesn't make you a teacher. I have a friend who teaches English" and give them her number, which they rarely call. LOL, I ought to sign them up for my beading class, it's taught in English, what fiasco that would be!