We all like to spend our time talking about the things we deem important -- which is why we like to hang out with people that share our same interests.
I love my husband to death but he and I should definitely make a pact to steer away from conversations on religion and the Middle East. (Come to think of it, it could very well be the same thing).
He and I have very different priorities when it comes to world news. In my case Mexico is at the top of my agenda, being that I'm (sort of) far away. Yet, it never ceases to amaze me how much time Mexicans in Mexico spend trying to fix the rest of the world -- while I'm over here searching for bits and pieces of relevant news about my hometown.
My mother calls long distance and asks me things like "Did you see Hillary's statement on X or X? Did you hear about the Italians? Did you see the piece on the French response to the Germans? Are your Greek neighbors sad over what's happening in Athens?"
"Yes Mom, I did 'hear' what happened on the other side of the world but I'm here waiting for friggin' Lopez Doriga's news on Galavision, because I want to get the lowdown on what's actually happening down there where you are."
Yesterday my husband got home after a two-week absence (he was working in Mexico) and he opted to make Palestine the dinner topic, "Are you as excited as I am about what happened? I could cry of happiness."
I stayed silent so he bluntly turned to his son, "Last week the United Nations assembly voted to recognize Palestine as a State. Out of a 193-member assembly, 138 voted in favor of the plan, which obviously represents a strong repudiation for Israelis and the damn gringos who just don't get it!"
I committed the serious and stupid mistake of rolling my eyes one too many times and then interrupted his monologue with one question, "Now can you tell us what's going on in Mexico?"
Dude, I thought to myself, we have a new president who took his presidential seat just this Saturday, there have been serious protests and revolts around the country. There is a new cabinet in place with some obvious members of the old guard. The PRI, who ruled 71 years and left for 12, is now back (and some say with a vengeance), so really, can you share something, anything, about what's going on down in Mexico?
He got terribly enraged at me because he has always believed that I support Israel against the Palestinians. Now let me just say for the record, this is plain crazy. I am a strong believer that there are always two sides to every story but that is beside the point, I have nothing against Palestinians and it deeply affects me each time innocent women and kids get killed because of this conflict.
But really, really -- I just wanted to know what the hell was going on in DF.
My husband hasn't forgiven me.
We can engage in a discussion about Obama's Asia Pacific policies or whether Nethanayu it's a jerk, but I would also like to discuss the finer points of Peña Nieto's 13 items agenda. What about his economic plans for the country? Education? What about the fact that we have the second largest population in Latin America living with HIV and it was World AIDS Day on Decemeber 1st? Or we can have a good laugh at the Russians -- currently seized with a New Age malaise because they believe the Mayan calendar predictions of doom, but if we are going to multi-task with our news, if we are going to be swept up in the concerns of places half-way around the world, can't we throw Mexico into the mix too?
Has our drug war, our own tragedy, caused those not immediately affected by it to turn away? As if engagement in the outside world can shield us from the conflict and problems in our own backyard? Is it the thing we just don't talk about? Mom, I am also a fan of Hillary, but she just voted no for Palestine and husband, I too want peace in the Middle East, but can we focus for a second here?
Please, let's talk about Mexico.
We can even start using the Russian motto -- when it comes to world news -- "It can't be worse."