In Sandra Cisneros's "Never Marry a Mexican," the narrator, Clemencia, says "I'm amphibious. I'm a person who doesn't belong to any class" (71). Although she speaks of economic classes, her amphibious nature applies to her love life as well. Constantly in extremes, Clemencia flip-flops between virgin and whore, the all or nothing of love and sex. Somewhere in Clemencia's life, she decides she rather be the vamp than the wife. Her logic leads her one direction while her heart leads her another, creating a tug-o-war within herself. With Clemencia as a somewhat-unreliable narrator, a reader must stand back and look hard at what she says to see what influenced this war started within her, and how it spiraled out of control.
When her mother tells her to "never marry a Mexican," she means to tell her daughter not to marry a man who grew up in Mexico. Given the culture clash that the Mother experienced as a Mexican-American, she wishes for her daughter to marry someone more Americanized, someone who would offer her more freedom and be less traditional with regards to the "woman's place" in a marriage and home. However, this loaded statement takes on a different context and meaning for Clemencia, and comes back to haunt her throughout her life. She rejects Latino men and sleeps with married white men. By rejecting any idea of being with a man of color, she appears to be taking her mother's advice. But by sleeping with only married men, she takes her mother's statement and not only directs it towards herself, but she puts herself in positions where she will not have an opportunity to marry, therefore by her own doing she validates her mother's advice by becoming the person her mother speaks of--someone unworthy of marriage.
Clemencia believes that all men cheat, which leaves only two positions available for a straight woman in a man's life: either becoming the one who gets cheated on, or the one who he cheats with. "Borrowed. That's how I've had my men," Clemencia boasts. Clearly, Clemencia has pride and will not put herself in the "cheated on" position that will make her out to be a fool in her own mind, therefore she chooses the mistress-role. Her mother's advice becomes a prophecy to Clemencia that being Mexican means not being worthy of marriage, therefore she must not be worthy of marriage, and Clemencia sets herself up for rejection by sleeping with men least-likely to marry her. This behavior creates a cycle of distrust. She says she'll "never marry. Not any man. [She's] known men too intimately. [She's] witnessed their infidelities, and [she's] helped them to it … [She's] guilty of having caused deliberate pain to other women" (68). She continues by saying "marriage has failed me … Not a man exists who hasn't disappointed me, whom I could trust to love the way I've loved" (69). By sleeping with other women's men, Clemencia proves to herself that all men cheat on their women. Her destructive behavior validates her twisted thinking, just as her twisted thinking provokes destructive behavior, creating a cycle of mistrust and anger and creating a warped sense of satisfaction in the result of proving her thoughts and opinions against the idea of trustworthiness as "correct".