I turned off my phone

Tia Rosaura's Market of Food and LOVE from multimediadistrict on Vimeo.

In a desperate attempt to shut out all the noise of Valentine’s Day, I turned off my phone.

These days, it feels like the only way to be free, to concentrate, to be in the present moment is to literally turn off your brain…I mean, phone. Yes, they are one and the same.

When I leave the phone on, I am waiting for input. A reply to a text. A Tweet that will change my life. A Mint graph that will help me remember how much I have spent so far this month.

When the phone is off, I have no choice but to entertain myself; go into my imagination. Figure out how to fill the empty space. Suddenly, I am like a child. A suburban child.

The wealthiest beings on this planet must be suburban children. Their brains are completely protected by their parents so they can explore. They are our scientists.

But I am not a suburban child anymore. I am a grown woman. My material needs are met by my job. My emotional needs are met by my fleet of Femmebots. It’s my spirit that is hungry right now.

And I have an amazing amount of space to fill it during this long weekend.

And so, I shall.

First task: Re-edit and re-define Tia Rosaura

Who is she? She is a super-uber Latina full of Goya Products. She is a caricature of Latina-ness, not like Sofia Vergara – Tia Rosaura is not sexualized – she is probably more like the Latin Aunt Jemima, representing FOOD, FAMILIA…and everything traditional about Latin-ness. But unlike Mama Lupe, the tortilla mascot, Rosaura is a TIA. The other F she stands for goes against all tradition in Latin culture – she is a FEMINISTA. She is eccentric and has her own mind, so despite keeping the traditions of food and strong connections to la familia, she has no interest in being a wife or housewife, nor being a full-time mother. She is a Latina Feminista who believes in ritual, incense, peace, harmony, dance and her rose-colored glasses…not that she wants to be “blind” to the nasty realities of the world, but rather so she can get relief from it on occasion.

She appears in the story when the Boy asks the Femmebot if she wants kids. This triggers the Femmebot to another flashback, this time in the kitchen where Carlos is demanding children. Dr. Nutmeg tries to re-program the Femmebot with practical thoughts like, “the world is overpopulated” and “kids will create more garbage,” but Carlos’s arguments about family and blood are too strong to remove from the Femmebot’s cultural DNA, so Dr. Nutmeg does a search for “Latin Aunt Jemima” and first finds “Mama Lupe,” which won’t work because she’s a mom, and then she locates “Tia Rosaura.” Hey. I’m just turning my reality into a film.

I’ve spent so many hours trying to work this footage into the story. I can’t tell if it is too long and takes the viewer out of the Femmebot story too much, or if it helps the viewer understand better that Nutmeg is helping Femmebot find a more fun Latina identity that doesn’t require her to get married and have children.

Perhaps I am having trouble because I still do want a family. I feel so lonely right now. My inability to grasp reality has resulted in unintentional solitude. Actually – I could be hanging out with single and desperate girlfriends tonight, but I’d rather be alone than listen to them complain about their lack of husband and children. So boring.