GLORIA: […] the mother says “This is not your cat. It is my cat” and all the kids all her kids stare out at me and I know it’s mine but no one will say it’s mine and I think that’s something, that is really something, you just, you just have to claim things. I’m like a gypsy now. I learned my lesson, boy. I never looked at anything in my parent’s house the same ever again: who owns anything? It’s a joke. It’s a joke on all of us and the Indians and the gypsies. On all of us.
Gloria, a strong-willed woman who breaks from the expectations of her family and community, is also a self-proclaimed “gypsy.” To her, this means someone who lives by her own rules, who doesn’t wait for people to give her what she needs, who questions the cultural norms of ownership — a direct rejection of her family’s more wealthy, conservative ways.
Gloria taps into the modern mythology of gypsies — a non-unified group who prefer to be called Roma/Romani (Eastern European descent) or Travellers (Irish descent) — as a base for her personal philosophy. Today, the idea of the gypsy has been so thrust into pop culture that you can watch “reality” television shows like My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, American Gypsies, and Gypsy Sisters, but Gloria fell in love with the romantic ideal long before TLC got their hands on it.
While today the Travellers and Romani are subject to skepticism, distrust, and discrimination (especially within the European Union), Gloria models herself on her impressions of their approach to life. She is a highly moral person, but her moral universe is one of her own design — solidly framed in right and wrong, but perhaps not the same notions of right and wrong that those around her abide by. …A philosophy she thinks of as gypsy-like.