On February 5, in his apartment in Mexico City, Saul and his friends prepare for the long-awaited Super Bowl party.
Like many other Mexicans he is a hard-core Dallas Cowboys fan but regardless of what teams make it to the finals, he is always excited to celebrate the end of the National Football League season and wear the Cowboys jersey he bought during his last trip to Dallas.
The menu for the party consists of Domino’s pizza and chicken wings, a scene replicated in households across Mexico as the game begins.
On TV, the transmission of the game is kept in the original language. Saul and his friends work for an American company and are fully bilingual. They claim watching football in Spanish just does not have the same “feeling.”
Far to the north of Mexico City, in Dallas, Texas, Jennifer drives her black Chevrolet Silverado back home from work. She might not know it but as part of a complex production chain, her beautiful all-American pickup truck crossed the border multiple times before it was assembled in Guanajuato and finally sent to the dealership in Texas.
Jennifer works as a logistics coordinator for a trucking company in Dallas, she has never been to Mexico, but because of her job she feels very familiar with Mexico’s geography and weather.
Jennifer has always been proud of the French classes she took in college but now she is thinking that it would have been better to have learned Spanish, not only for her job, but because it could come in handy during her trip to Sayulita in the spring.
But the point here is not to tell a cheesy romantic story about how Jenifer and Saul coincidentally meet at the AT&T stadium and realize that even though they come from very different backgrounds, they have a lot in common and fall in love with each other (that would be kind of romantic, though).
Just like Jennifer and Saul, Mexicans and Americans have more in common that we think or we like to admit. The things we like, the way we think, the way we dress and even the way we behave are slowly merging. Speaking from my own experiences, every time I go to Tennessee to see my wife’s family, the pickup trucks, boots and cowboy hats make me feel I never left my home state of Chihuahua.
Our complex and not always peaceful interlaced history, woven together through centuries of migration and, to some extent, the fascination we have always had for each other, has created resilient ties that will go beyond any political rhetoric or economic indicators.
Every day, almost as a matter of inertia, and despite the denial of some, we move toward a more amalgamated North American culture.
The relationship between Mexico and the United States, just like love (or a fine brandy), has passed the test of time. We have gone through times of “cholera” before and survived. The spirit of this rapport has been nurtured slowly through time, and we are at a point of no return.
As trying as these times seem to be, Saul will keep organizing Super Bowl parties and Jennifer will keep improving her Spanish.
The next time you see a headline depicting the decline of the U.S.-Mexico relationship, remember that there is more that unites us than divides us, and our ties will inevitably continue to grow.
“. . . the heart’s memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good, and thanks to this artifice we manage to endure.” ― Gabriel García Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera.
Alvaro Amador Muniz hails from Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, is an honorary Tennessean and an avid basketball player currently living in Mexico City. He can be contacted at [email protected].