The Mariachi Band

While we drank margaritas at a place with a mariachi band last night, this white family near us requested that the band play "La Cucaracha" and "La Bamba." And I was like, "Ugh, white people. Of course they'd ask for the most obvious, stereotypical songs." Now I know the musicians are working for tips, so they're probably happy to play "La Cucaracha" until the cows come home if they're being compensated, but I was offended on their behalf anyway.

Upon further reflection, however, I couldn't think of any less cliched traditional Mexican songs to request before the band reached our table. The best I could come up with were Ricky Martin's "Livin' La Vida Loca", Enrique Iglesias's "Bailamos", Los Del Rio's "Macarena", Gerardo's "Rico Suave", Selena's "I Could Fall in Love", and 98 Degrees's "Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)". (After years of being off my radar, the last one incidentally came up in conversation earlier this week, oddly enough.) All of my ideas were shitty pop songs, and many of them were actually just Spanglish. 

Fortunately, we had a native-Spanish speaker with us to request some less predictable and less embarrassing song choices, but the experience taught me a lesson: I may have lived in southern California for quite some time now, but I'm still very white. I just wish I was less ashamed of that fact so that I could have dared to ask my sombrero-wearing friends, "Do you know that 98 Degrees song…?"

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