Spring 2012 starts with an homage to love, labor, family, and Mattel

There’s a first for everything and this spring’s first is a personal essay published in Doveglion Press. “Barbie’s Gotta Work” is about love, labor, and ironing underwear for golf fanatics in east county San Diego.

Here’s an excerpt:

Barbie’s Gotta Work
By Rashaan Alexis Meneses

Under the most surprising contexts, I’m constantly reminded of the efforts my parents and grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins have contributed for the sake of our family. In 1930, my maternal grandfather arrived from Limisawa, a small island in the Gulf of Leyte where Magellan landed and held the first Filipino mass. With nothing but a pail of adobo in his hand and in serious need of a warm coat, no sea breeze or monsoon could have prepared him for the San Francisco chill that greeted him in his new home. Before arriving, he had raised and supported his brothers and sisters by managing their small family farm in the Phillippines. With my grandmother working at his side as well in the States, my grandfather juggled three jobs while raising his children.

Born in California, my paternal grandmother shuttled across the Central Valley following the harvests as many Mexican migrant families do. She doesn’t count her adolescent days picking tomatoes and prunes as official jobs because every kid in her family and in the surrounding neighborhoods worked the fields. For my grandma, hop-picking was the perfect excuse to get out of the house and meet the young, military-rated 4F men who committed backbreaking labor on the hopyards…

Read the entire piece here.

Image from Jemboy’s World

“Tropical Island Fun with Barbie and Miko” January 26, 2009

The Barbie Travel Agent Set was a surprise gift from Santa who, ironically, had designs to usher and initiate me into Third Wave Feminism:

Image from The Henry Ford Museum, “Happy 50th Birthday, Barbie!” March 2009

2 Replies to “Spring 2012 starts with an homage to love, labor, family, and Mattel”

  1. Dear Rashaan,
    Thank you for “liking” my post “Delights of a Foggy Morning” on
    I just read “Barbie’s Gotta Work” (the whole essay). i have often thought about how different the world was for my immigrant parents and grandparents. And how do I reconcile my privileges and my struggles with theirs. The world is always changing. Really enjoyed your essay.

  2. Gabrielle,

    I found your site by accident when I was looking up dahlias, which are one of my favorite flowers. I love the images on your site and the focus of the changing of the seasons. Makes me wish I had some land and time to lend to gardening. I used to garden as a child because both my paternal grandmother and maternal grandfather were expert farmers.

    Thanks so much for stopping by to read the essay. I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

    I will keep checking in your site, for flora inspiration.

    Be well,

"Shyness is nice and shyness can stop you"

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