Juan Diaz Expounds on a Guide on Dating for Teenage Boys
The story “How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl or Halfie” by Juan Diaz, is a basic teenage boys guide to dating. This short story is a typical every boys dream. Within the character, and the setting and the descriptive detail, the author creates a basic survival guide for dating, “Shower, comb, dress. Sit on the couch and watch TV; if she’s an outsider her father will be bringing her or maybe her mother” (97).
In life, every young male begins his journey with women and dating and Diaz opens his story with an older male, name Yunior, which is the main and only character. He gives instructions on how to organize and clean his house to look his best with high standers of the girl he will be having over to his home, “Take down any embarrassing photos of you and your family in the campo (countryside), especially the ones with half naked kids dragging a goat on a leash; and the photos of you and your afro”(97), “Make sure the bathroom is presentable, and put the basket of trash inside the cabinet and spray with Lysol”(97).
The setting is significant to the story because the tips on dating are based on the characters lifestyle, but there are tips for everyone else as well. Even though it wasn’t stated within the story, Yunior clearly comes from the “ghetto” or poor background, “Clear the government cheese from the refrigerator and hide it behind the milk or above the stove in the cabinet” (97). Hands down, this part of the story is very powerful in a way that it shows how a young man has to hide who he is and where he comes from in an effort to seem appealing to women, and speaks about what one has to go through all in name of the chase.
The title of the story “How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl or Halfie” plays a very important part in understanding the story. Diaz continues the story with the necessary steps a young man must follow to get an actual date with a woman depending on her race and background. The young man says that for each type of girl you must present yourself differently and not offend her or her parent’s if you have any hopes on impressing her. “The directions were in your best handwriting, so her parents won’t think you’re an idiot” (98).
We receive some insight into which type of woman the young man wants to date “The white ones are the ones you want the most, aren’t they…” (98). we also discover that the young man is Dominican “You’ll wonder how she feels about Dominicans but don’t ask” (99). Regardless of the young man’s desires, the narrator seems determined to dating girls of different ethnicities. If the girl’s from around the way, take her to El Cibao for dinner. Order everything in your busted-up Spanish. Let her correct you if she’s Latina and amaze her if she’s black. If she’s not from around the way, Wendy’s will do (98).
Finally, the he talks about being intimate with women of various ethnicities. Yunior even begins conversation specifically geared to coerce a young woman into being agreeable to sex and learns how to respond to a woman’s comments to “sound smooth” (99) and what he needs to expect after he has “been with her” (100). He is made aware that any friendship that the man previously had with the woman will never be the same and that “You will not know what to say” (100). Diaz image of a woman who has just done something she knows she will later regret. While the narration up until this point has been playful and upbeat in its nature, it begins to take on a careless disposition of a man who has achieved a goal at the cost of others “During the next hour the phone will ring. You will be tempted to pick it up. Don’t. Watch the shows you want to watch, without a family around to debate you” and must begin to distance himself from the object of his conquest (100).
Diaz introduces the world to the secret life of men in his story “How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie” and tells us the thoughts of young men. At first you’ll think this is a story of a teen as he becomes a man and his struggles on finding a date, but in its roots it is about the struggles of various races to socialize, even within a country as diverse as America. As the young man in the story enters adulthood he is faced with what he wants versus what he can have, and learns that while he wants a girl based on her ethnicity and looks, he does not want to be judged by his own.