EA is a student at USC majoring in Creative Writing. She is also a co-worker at the United University Church [UUC] working at the front desk. This story comes from her Mexican heritage.
Transcribed from Audio Recording:
Um also you know if like you give birth like there’s first few weeks after, um like your body is still super sensitive so like they always tell you like, or over there they tell you don’t go out in the cold, don’t like go out at night, like stay home with your baby, let your body recover. And then ‘cause if not tambien se te pone la boca chueca. [you also get a crooked mouth.] And like um and I didn’t well I guess I did believe it ‘cause like my grandma is telling me this stuff and she’s like, “Ya, ya.” And um one time we went to Mexico and this one girl she’s like super young, she got pregnant young, and she still wanted to go out and stuff like that so she went out and like I saw her! Her mouth was chueca, I was oh shoot! like this is real, this is real like…but I don’t know.
What do you think the focus on the mouth is about?
I don’t know but my grandma did tell me that for the um the pregnancy one that your whole face would kind of just… I don’t know the way I thought about it is like…you know when you do a pot of something you can shape it when it is hot, like but when ya se enfria yeah like yeah. That’s kind of what I thought like your body stays in the heat moment and if you got in the cold it’s gonna do something to your face. I don’t even know what I thought.
This was an interesting tale. There could be sexual connotations to having this warning, about not seeking out a mate so soon after having a child. Perhaps there are questions of fidelity and the importance of family and loyalty, and this phenomena as being a consequence of straying. The mouth by itself is symbolic and can refer to staying at home with your child as a caregiver and provider of food but it can also be euphemistic in the sense that if you go out, you will be punished for seeking out sexual partners. This is also a different version of how to gain a crooked mouth also told by the same source.