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A Queer Mother’s Day Story

09 May Posted by in LESBIAN HUMOR, Monica Palacios | Comments Off on A Queer Mother’s Day Story
A Queer Mother’s Day Story
It’s Mother’s Day once again and I really miss my mom. And now, a little story:
One afternoon my mother informed me: “There’s a new McDonalds’s opening up in a couple of months and they’re hiring right now.”
“I don’t care,” I responded.
“Como que you don’t care?! Your sister is going to take you down there right now so you can fill out an application. Go brush your teeth.”
“I don’t want to work at McDonald’s. It’s dumb.”
“You need a job so you can contribute to this household plus you can bring me a Filet-O-Fish sandwich after your shifts. I love those things. Oh, and they have good coffee.”
Secretly, I did want to work at McDonald’s. My family ate there a lot. We loved it. And in 1975 this particular new McDonald’s that was 4 miles from my house was going to have the first golden arches drive-thru in San Jose. I filled out an application and got called in for an interview the following week. As a sophomore in high school, I was definitely in need of some steady cash but I wasn’t thrilled about contributing to the household. I mean, that’s why my dad had a job. Dang! At the interview, the personable manager asked me several questions about myself and revealed that I had a nice voice and she wanted to hire me to work the drive-thru. I told her I would prefer to flip burgers in the back with the dudes. “We need you up front sounding good and looking sharp,” she confirmed.
She asked me to repeat after her and I did: “Good afternoon. Welcome to McDonald’s. May I take your order?” Yeah—I sounded like a pro. I didn’t mind wearing the ridiculous uniform that was pure polyester: yellow capri pants with a yellow and white polo top with a zipper instead of buttons and a cute yellow cabbie hat. The restaurant opened up and the drive-thru was a hit. I had a lot of fun working the microphone. “Would you like a hot apple pie with your meal….How about some large fries with that?…..Are you single?”
Greeting customers with my voice using the mic made me feel like I had a talk show….with burgers and fries. A few weeks later I finally got my first paycheck. It was a whopping $87 bucks. At $2.10 an hour, I was living the dream. The following day, I got ready to go to the bank to cash my check when my mom asked me to take her grocery shopping. My mother never learned to drive because as she put it: “Pa’ que, I have you guys to drive me around.”
We go grocery shopping, we’re at the check-out counter, the clerk rings up our items and my mom says: “We’re using half of your check to pay for these groceries.”
I was appalled and gave her a scowl to which she replied: “You’re the one that wants to be an adult.”
I gave her a meaner look.
“Keep it up, your face is going to stay that way. After this, let’s go get a Filet-O-Fish, your treat.
# # # # #
Don’t miss this reading of Monica Palacios’ new play I KISSED CHAVELA VARGAS on May 16th!

A story about a mother, daughter and granddaughter struggle with their relationships with one another and with life, I Kissed Chavela Vargas is a memory play with music that revolves around three generations of Chicanas. A performance piece about performing, aging, healing, female sexuality and about grace. Mother, daughter and granddaughter struggle with their relationships with one another and with life. They sing, they dance, they fight and ultimately they find love.

Directed by Sylvia Cervantes Blush

Featuring Marga Gomez, Cristina Frías, Diana Burbano*, Shanelle Darlene*

Musical Director/ Stage Directions Moises Vázquez*

Stage Manager/ Technical Direction Santi Samáno*

Post talkback moderated by Founding Artistic Director Sara Guerrero*

Co-produced by Monica Palacios and Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble

*Breath of Fire Ensemble

The playwright, Monica Palacios creates performance and written work featuring the Latinx LGBTQ experience. Monica was selected for the Nancy Dean Lesbian Playwriting Award 2021 sponsored by Open Meadows Foundation. Palacios is featured in the new queer documentary: STAND UP STAND OUT: The Making Of A Comedy Movement, (winner of Best Documentary Santa Fe Film Festival 2021) about the Valencia Rose Cabaret, the first gay comedy club in the nation in San Francisco during the1980s, director David Pavlosky. Monica is featured in the series, Shades of Us, by CUNY TV (2021). Palacios was chosen as the Lucille Geier Lakes Writer-in-Residence at Smith College Spring 2019. Palacios has received numerous awards, most recently from the City of Los Angeles as a Latinx LGBTQ Trailblazer 2017. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa declared October 12, 2012 “Monica Palacios Day” honoring Monica’s 30 year career as a pioneering Chicana lesbian writer/performer. Monica received a Postdoctoral Rockefeller Fellowship from UC Santa Barbara where she wrote, directed, produced her play Sweet Peace. Monica has taught at: Smith College, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, UC Riverside, Holyoke Community College, Loyola Marymount University, California State University Long Beach, California State University Los Angeles, Claremont College, Pomona College and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

Find out more about Monica at



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