My only regret in life is that I wasn’t born in Chicago. That’s right I was born in a place far, far away from Chicago. Chicago is merely my adopted city. I love my fair city so much that I wonder how it is at all possible that I could have been born anywhere else. Mexicans place great importance on their place of birth, for obvious reasons. Many Mexicans proudly claim to have been born in Chicago regardless of the truth! However, whenever I meet other Mexicans, I feebly state, “I wasn’t born in Chicago.” Then, they say, “You were born in Mexico?” This is when I have to break the bad news to them: “I was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.” I always get the same look of disbelief from Mexicans and non-Mexicans alike. I mean, how many Mexicans do you know who have been born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey? I mean, other than me, how many? In fact, other than me, I never met another Mexican who was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. People often wonder why, so I tell them, “When my parents came to the United States, they took a wrong turn at the Rio Grande!” However, even though I was born in the USA, I was conceived in Mexico. I wanted my children to be not only American, but also born in Chicago. I remember having arguments with my wife about her choice of hospitals. I insisted that my sons would be born in Chicago. Luckily, I found a doctor that my wife liked and so my sons were born at Mercy Hospital in Chicago. Why was this so important to me? Well, I’ll tell you why. I really don’t know! I just thought it would be easier for my sons to say they were born in Chicago. And since I loved Chicago so much, this would be my way of giving a little something back to Chicago. Now whenever we drive on I-55 to the lakefront and we drive past Mercy Hospital, I tell them to wave to their hospital. This is always the highlight of our outing for me!