I am reaching with this blog in the most ridiculous way possible. I can tell even as I begin writing...
We have family traditions. Even though we are just a scrape of a family, here on the border, hundreds of miles from my family in the US, hundreds of miles from my husband's family in Mexico. We are still a family. Every Tuesday we have "Midweek Movie Night." The tradition probably came from the fact that Redbox has new releases every Tuesday. Yes, in a country where pirated movies are sold on every corner and cost less than an item from the 99 Cents Only store, we still splurge for a rental once a week.
This week I couldn't find an action movie that had Spanish subtitles and Gordo hadn't seen, so we opted to watch Cast Away on Megashare. Surely you remember it. Motherfucking Wilson. I'm still mad at Tom Hanks for not swimming after him.
Towards the end, Chuck is at his welcome home party and the guests are dispersing. He walks about the hotel room, noticing the catered seafood that has gone to waste. He grabs a lighter and flicks it on and off repeatedly, noticing the lack of effort it takes to light the flame. Everything is so easy. He falls asleep next to the bedside lamp, again turning it on and off, no doubt marveling at the concept of electricity. When he goes to Kelly's house a few scenes later and she gives him his car keys back, he fondles the key chain and recognizes his old pocket knife, quite the contrast from the ice skate blades that he utilized on the island. In the final scenes, he chugs water lazily from an Ozarka bottle, again, symbolizing the ease of the modern world. The ease of a normal life. It got me thinking.
Just as I should never compare our lives to the lives of prisoners I certainly shouldn't compare it to that of a damned cast away. But you know me. I just can't help myself. When you live the life of an undocumented immigrant's wife, you marvel at the ease of life outside your situation. You think about what life used to be like. You wonder what other couples worry about. What they go through. Their daily struggles. Why they argue. What they're sad about. Why they're so often unhappy with their lives. If they are allowed to live together in the US, what more is there? What is the source of the unhappiness?
If immigration didn't play such a huge role in our lives, where would we be? Why would we be upset? Why would we struggle? I feel like our biggest arguments are always over money. If one of us wasn't forced to work at a maquila in Mexico for a few bucks a day, would we still have that struggle? I can't remember arguing about money when we were in Gilbert. Neither of us have much in the way of a higher education, but our two US salaries were plenty. We're pretty simple people. If we were to have that again? At this point, I can't imagine what it would be like. I suppose all I could complain about would be his incessant snoring or obsession with pawn shop television shows. Maybe his irritating laugh? His tall tales? I don't know.
It all seems so trivial.
Then again I hear my friends and family who don't have an undocumented spouse, who don't have the same hurdles to jump. I hear their relationship issues. I feel like I get it. I don't mean to discredit their problems, albeit different from my own. I just struggle with my perspective of what a "normal life" really is. I wonder if other people in my situation have this same struggle? Will those who haven't been scorned by USCIS ever understand me? I wonder how I am ever supposed to feel normal again? After all of this? Or is what I'm feeling now normal? Was I in a trance before? I don't know. I guess the grass is always greener on the other side.
I don't feel liked I'm trapped on a deserted island. But I wonder what life would be like for Ray and I if we are ever "rescued" from this situation? I can't wrap my head around it.