As Latino males (but more specifically, Mexican males), it’s a little awkward and too cheesy to express our love, affection, and even appreciation to family and friends while sober. Yes it’s an overgeneralization, but an overgeneralization that makes cultural sense (for example: machismo) and one that I can attest to from my personal experience. If you’re a Latino male and disagree, lay off the booze and we’ll see if the same corny words come out. I doubt it. It doesn’t mean you don’t feel those cheesy lovey-dovey emotions and affection towards family and friends, but vocalizing it can be tough. That is, of course, in comparison to our male Anglo counterparts.
Even expressing it to our parents can take a lot of thought and courage. That’s why we resort to expressing it by doing things for them. Yes, there is that obligatory “los quiero mucho” when saying goodbye at the end of a phone call, but it’s more out of respect and kind of like putting “sincerely yours” at the end of a personal letter before signing it. But even then, when we do express those lovey-dovey words to family we do it to fit in and not to come off as stone cold assholes. Try it with friends and things can get awkward real quick, especially when you do it with another Latino dude.
Sometimes (or more like most of the time), as men, we’re too lazy to combat the mocking and jokes that will come from friends hearing us express our platonic love and affection towards them. The rules of the game don’t permit it and I’m programmed to dish out the first joke. Maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Whether you look at it from a creationist or evolutionary standpoint, dudes always behaved like dudes. Cain killed his bro and neanderthals wacked each other with sticks. I guess I’ll sticks with the jokes for now 🙂