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For 18 years, I heard them argue about my father's salary, which wasn't enough to afford my mom the lifestyle she wanted.

Eventually, those fights tore their marriage apart.

Since Antonio had a hectic work schedule, text messages flew back and forth between us when we couldn't be together. And when he touched my nose — a feature I always disliked — and told me he loved it, I knew I was falling for him.

Antonio was turning around my perception of Mexican guys, but I could still hear my father's voice.

After living in Manhattan for a decade, I had dated casually but hadn't met anyone who fit my husband model.

But my husband embodied excitement and opportunity, and he embraced my culture, learning Spanish.

Ultimately we weren't compatible, and our marriage ended after two years. I moved to the predominantly Dominican area of Washington Heights, where meeting my white prince seemed unlikely.

On a trip to Berkeley, California, in the summer of 2010, a friend treated me to lunch at a vegan Mexican restaurant.

As the handsome chef-owner took our order, he said he recognized me from back home.

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