Growing up in a non-English speaking home, I was a rather average girl-nothing special and I liked it. Unfortunately, my Father unwittingly and single handedly ruined that for me. How did he do this? Well a small history lesson needs to be given in order to really understand.
Back in the 80’s, yes I am aging myself, there was a man that felt there was injustices in the world and set out to do something about it. Although his quest began years earlier, it wasn’t until the 80’s that I came into existence and it affected me. I grew up never having known what it was to eat a grape. I loved grape candy, but I didn’t know it was a fruit. This is because my father was fiercely loyal to César Chávez and his cause.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never hated the guy and it wasn’t until I was older that I knew he had ordered a boycott on grapes. I didn’t know what I was missing so it didn’t bother me.
It wasn’t until we went to the grocery store one day that I noticed they had grapes and begged my dad to buy some. He ignored me and I thought he was just being mean and didn’t want to buy them. As we’re leaving the store, someone handed my father a bumper sticker that read “NO GRAPES.” My father knew it was a César Chávez cause, and did his part by slapping that sticker on his Suburban’s bumper.
I remember my brothers and sisters, all much older than me, come into the house laughing hysterically. After asking what was so funny, I got the response of, “go check out Dad’s bumper.” I walk outside and looked at it confused since I couldn’t exactly read yet. Then my sister’s explained it to me. Apparently the sticker didn’t fit properly on his back pumper so my dad, being the crafty man that he is, took out a blade, and made it fit. The sticker that once read “NO GRAPES” now read “NO RAPES G.”
Now it wasn’t until around third grade when kids at my school noticed the bumper sticker and began to tease me. From that point on, I was the “no rapes girl.” As I got older, I learned to point it out to others before they used it to tease me. “Have you’ve seen that Suburban around town with the “NO RAPES G” bumper sticker? Yeah, that’s my dad!”
That bumper sticker single handedly ruined my childhood. Not only was I deprived of having known the joy of what a real grape taste like, but I now had to deal with teasing that directly affected that also; it was unfair and such an injustice. But I wouldn’t have it any other way; my dad is awesome, even if I don’t always understand why he does the things he does. Though the bumper sticker is gone now-he finally took it off about five years ago-the memory of it will live forever.