What's it about?
Daphne: bar owner, sister, and now mother.
What'd I experience?
I am about as maternal as a brick, so naturally I am surprised to have been emotionally affected motherly love. Not only that but I was revisited by an old friend of mine from a previous show, no one probably remembers Ms.Empanada Loca (Daphne Rubin-Vega). Yup, she was in Daphne’s Dive except this time she seemed to be doing a lot better than last time I saw her. Another plus was that ‘Poussey’ (Samira Wiley) from Orange Is The New Black was in this, which I would have noticed if I actually took they time to google people’s real names, but I mean Poussey is pretty hard to erase. I think this has been one of the few English speaking show’s I’ve gone to with such a diverse cast, the best part was how blatantly loud and proud it is.
Daphne (Vanessa Aspillaga) is a late 30 something single af bar owner - a badass chick. Daphne is pretty much the exact person I’ve always envisioned my mum in her before motherhood days. From the moment Daphne pulled out her aloe plant and ate a chunk straight from the vine followed by the rant about all the vitamins and amino somethings that nasty thing was magically curing, I was like “Mum?” She was a definite tomboy, decked out in a plaid shirt, jeans and some sneakers with a bottle of tequila in one hand and mouth of a sailor. Given that she was raised in a latin household I felt like I knew the type of person Daphne was going to be. Strong, independent, and stubborn as hell. Since I was raised in a latin home and still am - because latin mothers never stop - it was easy to fall in love with Daphne and her family.
Inez, Daphne’s sister, was every single (or divorced) aunt I have wrapped in designer clothes. The polar opposite of Daphne, she was the pretty sister; the one who gets married first, buys a house first, probably gets divorced first. Enter Acosta, Inez’s husband and local hero to North Philly, for cleaning up the place from crime and unemployment. While Inez is loud and constantly wanting to give everyone a makeover, Acosta was much more relaxed. Then there was Jenn, oh god Jenn! The most excited activist I had ever seen. Jenn was crazy in the best way possible, having come from strict parents it was beautiful seeing how free spirited and full of life she was. She was bright in her full blown rainbow costumes, preaching to the masses of Philly about love and peace. Then there was Pablo who I am still wishing is based on a real human, because I am pretty sure I am in love with a fictional character... again. He was broke as can be and an artist that made collages and paintings out of sea glass and trash, because he couldn’t afford a single tube of paint. That and he spoke Spanish. Perfect guy that no one should take to their mum. Along with Rey, a resident biker, who I am going to pretend is my grandfather. Who doesn’t want a biker grandpa?
I am annoyingly analytical to a fault so looking for structure in everything is a habit, now Daphne's Dive is told in order, it just isn’t all wrapped up in a neat bow with a perfect story. People have flaws and there are moments that I wonder why were even shown, but that’s life. It focused more on making me see what it was like being a part of Daphne’s family. Time and time before when stories try to do that I find it hard to connect and not think of what they could have done. I have no clue what or why Daphne and her family were able to make me feel like I was at some family reunion, but it did and it was freaking awesome. Ruby, Daphne’s adopted daughter, was a representation of what family really is. She wasn’t blood related, she didn’t look like Daphne or anyone in the family, she didn’t even speak Spanish, but she was never denied unconditional love by anyone. A lot of what Ruby would say about not fitting into her family were thoughts I have often about my own. I’m not adopted, but I could not look more different than my family. While I am pale (casper pale) my mum and brother are beautifully tan and while I speak broken Spanish they speak it like it’s in their blood. Even with moments of doubt, just like Ruby I was always responded with love. There was never a need for me to have to look like my mum or brother for them to love me anymore than they do. Ruby was just like that, and as she grew she began to pick up more and more of what it was to be a member of a latin family. By the time she was 20 she was already dancing that merengue like she was born with the rhythm. Speaking of dancing there were countless throwbacks to the ‘Spanish playlist’, anyone who has attended Spanish parties knows that once you go to at least two parties there are a set of songs that are always played. I’ve gone to hundreds of parties and still do not know the title or artists, but as soon as those songs come on I am singing every single lyric. When I was younger I'd often think of the superficial things that stood between my family and I, but slowly as I’ve matured I find I have begun to appreciate the dedication and love given to me day by day, realizing that the way I look has nothing to do with being a part of a family. I think that just like Ruby it took being around them long enough to realize I was already a part of the family.
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