So why are you so Clueless?

I love Mexicans. I grew up in Los Angeles, where I played with Mexican children afterschool in my apartment building in Reseda. I ate their food, danced to their music, pummeled their piƱatas.

But I am not a Mexican. My father is Peruvian and my mother is Colombian. Aside from Tijuana and a layover in D.F. on my way to Argentina, I've not yet been to Mexico.

Yet I've been called a Mexican all my life.

Moving to New York, I've found that Mexican food is very hard to come by. The "Mexican" restaurant across the street from me thinks that tucking a tortilla into a plate of meat so spicy it's inedible constitutes a burrito. I am not a Mexican, but I sure as hell know what a burrito is.

Upon moving to New York, I also learned that I am now "Spanish." Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Colombians, anyone who speaks Spanish (and eats rice and beans) is called Spanish in New York.

I am not a Mexican. And I am definitely not Spanish.

Spanish is my first language. I am technically ESL. My parents are both immigrants. I listen to Peruvian flute music and Colombian vallenatos, and I am a fierce defender of my people's food and culture (as I'm sure most Mexicans will be when they read my blog title).

So for all you clueless people who think everyone who speaks Spanish and eats rice and beans is Mexican, here's a little quote from the timeless classic "Clueless."

Thank you for inspiring the name of this blog, but please, get a clue. You don't want me thinking you live in Queens if your address says Upper East, right?

And if anyone knows of a good Mexican restaurant in New York, please be kind enough to pass along your suggestions. It'll help with the Mexican food withdrawal symptoms.

Cher: Lucy, the fire department called again. They said we need to clear out that bush. You said you'd get Jose to do it.
Lucy: He your gardener, I don't know why you no tell him.
Cher: Lucy, you know I don't speak Mexican.
Lucy: [storms off]
Cher: Great, what was that all about?
Josh: Lucy's from El Salvador.
Cher: So?
Josh: So, it's an entirely different country.
Cher: What does that matter?
Josh: You get mad if anyone thinks you live below Sunset.