A hypothetical/daily situation between Marty and myself might go like this:
Marty: Can you get me a glass of water?
Me: Can I watch Million Dollar Listing?
Marty: That is the worst show in the history of Television.
Me (in my best Uma Thurman impression): Well, well, well, it looks like we have ourselves a Mexican standoff, then, don’t we?
But by the time I’m done my sexy sentence, Marty has already gotten his glass of water and is sitting back on the couch, watching Pawn Stars.
Marty: Do you even know what a Mexican standoff is?
Me: A tradeoff…? (I say this with a barely perceptible inflection towards the end, because I may be right, in which case, I want it to sound like I knew all along. But if it’s completely far off, I want to make it sound like I was asking so I don't look like an idiot).
Marty: (blank stare) Maybe you should look phrases up before you use them publicly.
So now, partially because I’m a little bit mad that I don’t know what’s going on with Chad/Madison/Josh on the TV, and partially because I want to use the phrase Mexican Standoff correctly for years to come (fyi, I’m Chinese, but I like to pretend I’m Latina. Has nothing to do with this story, but just for future reference, I like Latino things.), I leave the living room and hop on the Google train.
This is what Wikipedia tells me:
A Mexican standoff is a slang term defined as a stalemate or impasse.
“Stalemate”? “Impasse”? Like, what are you even talking about WikiStupidia? After numerous Mexican runarounds on the internets, I finally gather that it means an equal opportunity confrontation.
I’ve never been in one of those things. The reason for this is I change sides all the time. I'm the type of girl that would give up your name, address, and birthdate (for good measure) to avoid an unpleasant line of questioning. "Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold up, now. What do you mean, 'I have to go with you'? Maybe we got off on the wrong foot. His name is Martin Cyr..No, spelled with a C. Yep, just like that. He lives at my place and will be home in about an hour so you can get him then. Can you just give me like 15 minutes to get my stuff please? Yeah, sure I can call you when I'm out. Hey, what are friends for, right?"
I’ll give you a classic example of the old Switch Sides.
When Steph (I told you about her) and I were 15 or so, and allowed to leave school property at lunch, we used to hang out across the street on the grass lot by the gas station.
Steph, being the less timid of the two of us (if you can believe it), would ask adult strangers to please go into the gas station and buy packs of cigarettes, while I stood with her and tried to look cool, with some of our other friends.
Obviously, no respected adult in our white-picketed community would do this, but every once in a while some self-deprecating loner would walk by, eager for the attentions of pretty, young ladies.
On this particular day, we caught the attention of two portly trucker types. They can't believe our outrageous boldness, and we all have a good laugh together. We're friends!
"Sure, what kind?" The fatter of the two asks. We're in!
"Oh my God, you guys are so totally THE BEST!" We gush.
The very second our friends walk out of the gas station, and are about to hand over the goods to Steph, they are intercepted by a young, well-dressed couple.
"Stop it right there." The woman says, pulling out her police badge.
Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.
The guys are immediately pulled aside and given a stern talking to, right in the view of at least 100 sets of impressionable eyes.
Even in our young mindsets, we know whose side we have to take if we want to get out of this situation alive. We eavesdrop to the best of our ability, but basically these dudes are being charged big time.
The woman comes over and protectively coos over us as if we're the victims, and we are just soaking it all up, agreeing with everything she says and looking at our two former friends with wide-eyed innocence as if they're the stain on our otherwise perfect society.
Finally, the police/young couple/our only source of protection leaves, and we are left standing with the two guys. Instead of looking like two huge friendly teddy bear types like we had previously thought, the guys are looking like they want to sell us for meat. Not the slutty kind; the eatin' kind.
"Look," one of them says. "I know you were just scared back there, but the truth is, we're in this together. So it's only fair that we split the cost of this fine. Do you think you guys can come up with $500?"
$500?!?! That's like my whole life. The most expensive thing I own is No Doubt's Tragic Kingdom CD. CDs cost like 20 bucks back in the day.
But before I have to start even mentally selling off my prized possessions, Steph retorts, "Fuck. That. We're not paying you shit, assholes. You guys shouldn't have bought us those smokes. You heard what that cop said. That's illegal; we're only 14!"
Aaahh.. from the mouths of babes.