Read Related: Keeping Secrets from Our MothersPerhaps predictably, the good girl also desired the bad boy. They married a few years later, although Papi was still unworthy in my grandfather’s eyes. Three years later, Papi proved him right, as he was unfaithful many times over and had a nasty temper besides! And so Mami was a single good girl once again. She remained single, caring for her two daughters and son, just like she had for her siblings. And she complained of men often. “Los hombres no sirven!” she would snap while watching an infidelity special on Cristina. “Mami, it’s a television show. Relax,” I’d say, rolling my eyes. But she never did. Mami never dated or had any men over. Her lifestyle was that of a good girl and it would be no different for her daughters.
Mami was a good girl from Los Naranjos in the Dominican Republic. She was the second of nine children, which means my abuela and abuelo were very, uh, loving. Being second in command, mami had many responsibilities growing up, including wiping baby butts, pelando platanos and washing pounds of clothes in los rios.Then, Mami met Papi. As the story goes, he zoomed past her on his motorcycle and was immediately smitten by the young woman who sat on the porch. Her father (my grandfather) was against the union from the start. My father was an arrogant bad boy, claiming, “Esa mujer va ser mia!” just like a line from a telenovela.