Make Your Home Among Strangers

by

Jennine Capó Crucet

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Leidy Ramirez is Lizet’s older sister and Lourdes and Ricky’s daughter. A single mother to Dante, Leidy is practical, hardworking, and has never entertained dreams of achieving the things Lizet dreams of achieving: an education, independence, worldliness. Leidy longed so badly to settle down straight out of high school with her then-boyfriend Roly, that she stopped taking her birth control pills and became pregnant, but her plan backfired when Roly declared that he wanted nothing to do with the baby—or Leidy. Now, Leidy lives with Lourdes in an apartment in Little Havana and works at a hair salon. Clearly tired and stressed out by her life, Leidy takes her frustrations out on Lizet, whom she mocks for talking like a “white girl” and focusing on her studies instead of her family. It seems Leidy loves Lizet but is incapable of understanding or supporting the choices her sister has made—just as Lizet is ultimately incapable of understanding or supporting Leidy’s.

Leidy Ramirez Quotes in Make Your Home Among Strangers

The Make Your Home Among Strangers quotes below are all either spoken by Leidy Ramirez or refer to Leidy Ramirez. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Picador edition of Make Your Home Among Strangers published in 2015.
Chapter 16 Quotes

The fourth or fifth time [Leidy] accused me of acting white was the afternoon of my second day home, when I told her how, when I'd gone to pick up Dante from daycare, the girl ranked ninth in my graduating high school class was there, working as a teacher's helper and five months pregnant with her boyfriend-turned-fiancé’s kid. Without really thinking about it, I told Leidy that seeing that girl there was depressing. I think my exact words were, It just really bummed me out. She’d said, What the fuck is bum you out? Jesus, you sound so freaking white. […] I'd hurt her feelings without realizing it, which, based on my time at Rawlings, felt to me more white than anything else I’d done since being back […] My inability to get as upset as my mom about Ariel's possible deportation made me for the first time worry that Rawlings could change me in a way that was bad.

Related Characters: Lizet Ramirez (speaker), Leidy Ramirez, Dante
Related Symbols: Ariel Hernandez
Page Number: 147
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 20 Quotes

—You don't know shit about sacrifice. You don't know shit about shit!

—Zoila's right, you only care about Ariel because what else do you have going on?

She shoved me again and the room spun […]she was letting me fall. So I reached back instead and caught myself, slid my hands against the sandpaper of the wall, pressed my spine against it and sank to the ground, my butt hitting the floor too fast and too hard.

—You can go to whatever college for as long as you want, but about some things, you'll always be fucking stupid, she said.

She tossed the paper at me on the floor and said, You think you have problems? You, your sister, your idiot tía out there? You made your problems.

She turned her back to me and walked out of the room, screaming as she left, Nobody has any idea what Ariel and Caridaylis are going through right this second, but I do. I know what it means to lose so much. None of you know shit because you haven't sacrificed shit for anyone. Selfish pigs, that's what you and your sister are.

Related Characters: Lizet Ramirez (speaker), Lourdes Ramirez (Lizet’s Mother) (speaker), Leidy Ramirez, Caridaylis, Zoila
Related Symbols: Ariel Hernandez
Page Number: 201
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 22 Quotes

I didn't want to see myself anymore—I recognized it as exactly that, even at the beginning of it, when I couldn't name it: Lizet playing a part. I'd thought a shirt from Leidy's clubbing stash would cover me by not covering me, would turn me back into El, but I was separate from her now, aware I was putting her on, and that colored everything. Omar was grabbing my wrists to stop me from running away again.

Related Characters: Lizet Ramirez (speaker), Leidy Ramirez, Omar
Page Number: 223
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 23 Quotes

Mostly I was disappointed in Leidy and Omar for not recognizing what was really going on with Mami: she was becoming her own person finally, trying to learn who that even was via a newfound passion. So maybe she’d retrofitted the circumstances of her life to fit in to her new surroundings. So what? I of all people couldn't fault my mom for having the wherewithal to adapt her behavior, for being a creature thrust into a new environment and doing perhaps exactly what it took to survive there.

Page Number: 241-242
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 30 Quotes

I slapped my own chest and yelled, Why don't you watch the news and figure it out yourself like I did?

—That’s why you're mad at me? EI, what the fuck were you gonna do from up there?

I pointed at him and said, Exactly, Omar! That right there, what you just said? That's exactly why I'm here. To fucking do something since you and Leidy obviously didn't.

—Oh! Okay yeah, he yelled. So now you know how to handle everything, huh? You got it all figured out, don't you. You think you're so fucking smart.

He threw the car in reverse, shook his head as he turned the wheel. I'd made it halfway up the concrete leading to my dad's door when Omar lowered the passenger-side window and yelled my name, made me stop.

—Whose fault is it that you weren't here, huh? Maybe you need to think about that.

Related Characters: Lizet Ramirez (speaker), Omar (speaker), Leidy Ramirez, Lourdes Ramirez (Lizet’s Mother)
Related Symbols: Ariel Hernandez
Page Number: 310
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 36 Quotes

I already know what each would say should I ever have to tell them about an upcoming research trip to Cuba: my dad would talk about being a little disappointed in me, about the unfairness of me being able to travel to a country he can't enter, but he'd mostly not say anything, only leave me guessing at his meaning […]; my mother would bring out familiar words—betrayal, loyalty, traitor—words that have come to define our relationship no matter how much time passes but whose sting has faded and turned into something I can manage […].

To tell them would also mean inviting them along in a way. We still have family there. […] And when I tell them there'll be no time for that, that this is a work trip, that I'll mostly be on the water, in or under a boat, that what they want me to do takes me clear across an island I don't know: Oh, I see. You don't have time to take a piece of paper and a crayon to your grandmother's headstone? You don't have time to do that for me who will never see it? Oh, that's right, of course you don't. I should've remembered how busy you always are. I shouldn't have even asked.

Page Number: 385
Explanation and Analysis:
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Make Your Home Among Strangers PDF

Leidy Ramirez Character Timeline in Make Your Home Among Strangers

The timeline below shows where the character Leidy Ramirez appears in Make Your Home Among Strangers. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
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...of a story from when she was three years old: One day, her older sister, Leidy, was watching her briefly while their mother was in the backyard talking to a neighbor.... (full context)
Chapter 4
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...leaking through the door, Lizet announces her arrival, ruining the surprise she’d planned. Lizet’s sister, Leidy, opens the door and rudely asks what Lizet is doing home. (full context)
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Lizet ignores her sister’s brusque tone, spotting Leidy’s baby, Dante, crawling around on the floor inside. Lizet fawns over the baby, and then,... (full context)
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...focused on the breaking news about Ariel than anything her own daughter has to say. Leidy paces the room, bouncing Dante and trying to get him to fall asleep; she is... (full context)
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Lizet, Leidy, and baby Dante go into Leidy’s room. Lizet begins unpacking while Leidy folds laundry and... (full context)
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Leidy chides Lizet for not telling anyone she was coming home—it’s dangerous, she says, to not... (full context)
Chapter 5
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...house owned by Ariel’s U.S. relatives. Lizet spends the morning playing with Dante—she remembers how Leidy got pregnant in high school by intentionally skipping her birth control pills in an attempt... (full context)
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...not even her boyfriend, Omar. Lizet didn’t tell anyone she’d been accepted for weeks. Though Leidy didn’t much care, Lizet’s parents saw her choice to go to college as a “betrayal.”... (full context)
Chapter 6
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...her roommate Jillian and the rest of their floor’s amusement. That evening, Lizet had called Leidy and Lourdes to tell them about the snow—she’d wanted to call her father, too, but... (full context)
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Lizet wants to ask Leidy if she has heard from their father, but instead Leidy asks Lizet how she’s doing... (full context)
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Lizet asks Leidy if she wants to go drive by their old house, but Leidy says that it’s... (full context)
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...Miami, as his mother’s “ultimate sacrifice” to get him to the States must be honored. Leidy is excited that their mother is “famous,” and decides to head down to the rally... (full context)
Chapter 7
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...camera people have moved on from their mother. Lizet is surprised and almost disappointed that Leidy does not ask her to elaborate on the confession she made about struggling at school. (full context)
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...the delicious meal Lourdes has made, she considers confessing to both her mother and to Leidy the truth of the problems she’s been having at school, but the dinner conversation is... (full context)
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As the meal goes on, Leidy and Lourdes ask Lizet about school—what she’s been eating, what her hardest classes are. Lizet... (full context)
Chapter 9
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...and calls home to let her mother know she has made it home okay, but Leidy answers the phone. She tells Lizet that their mother is not yet back from the... (full context)
Chapter 12
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...protests going on in Little Havana, Lizet strains her eyes to see her mother or Leidy, but can never make them out. (full context)
Chapter 15
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...and bring it to the front of the apartment building, where Lizet greets Dante and Leidy with kisses. On the way up to the apartment, Lourdes talks nonstop, gossiping about her... (full context)
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The girls hear the sound of their mother’s bedroom door shutting. Leidy sits down on the couch with Lizet, and remarks on how “white” Lizet looks; she... (full context)
Chapter 16
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The previous day, Leidy called Lizet a “white girl” after she used a stilted phrase to describe the paint... (full context)
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...go. Lizet considers telling her cousins about her time at college so far, but remembers Leidy taunting her for acting “so freaking white,” and decides not to. She is worried that... (full context)
Chapter 17
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Lizet, Leidy, and Lourdes eat a light dinner in preparation for the “onslaught of food” that will... (full context)
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...talks about Ariel and Caridaylis as if they are close friends—when she mentioned this to Leidy the night before, Leidy confirmed that Lourdes was in fact friends with Caridaylis and many... (full context)
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...before, but Lizet confesses that she hasn’t really talked to Omar since she’s been home. Leidy reveals that Omar called the house three or four times earlier in the afternoon—each time,... (full context)
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Lizet takes the cordless phone into her and Leidy’s bedroom—but rather than calling Omar, she calls her father. When he picks up, she asks... (full context)
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...Omar, who loves her “so much.” As Lizet heads to the door, she walks past Leidy, who asks if Lizet is planning on breaking up with Omar. Lizet cheekily says that... (full context)
Chapter 18
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...ready to call him out for abandoning the family and not even giving Lizet and Leidy his new number or address; now, though, she feels an overwhelming tenderness towards him, and... (full context)
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...has something for her. He pulls three envelopes from his wallet—one for her, one for Leidy, and one for Dante. Lizet insists she doesn’t need the money, but Ricky assures her... (full context)
Chapter 19
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As soon as Lizet walks into the apartment, Leidy notices the envelope, even though she is busy changing Dante’s diaper. She teases Lizet, asking... (full context)
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Leidy asks where Ricky is living now, and Lizet is relieved to realize that her sister... (full context)
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Leidy hands her envelope back to Lizet, and says it has Lizet’s name on it. When... (full context)
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...room to read the note. In it, Ricky explains that he knows 50 dollars for Leidy and 50 dollars for Dante basically equals 100 dollars for Leidy. He apologizes for the... (full context)
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...some more cash. She heads back to the bedroom and watches from the doorway as Leidy carefully places the two bills in the back of her underwear drawer. Lizet knows that... (full context)
Chapter 20
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When Lizet, Lourdes, Leidy, and Dante arrive at Zoila’s house, Zoila is already half-drunk and greets them all loudly... (full context)
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...the backyard, where a pig is roasting. They greet the rest of their family, and Leidy passes Dante off to a cousin so that she can have a drink and enjoy... (full context)
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One of Lizet’s cousins asks her where Omar is, and Leidy interjects, revealing that Lizet has broken up with Omar. Lizet feels ill, and realizes she... (full context)
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...her back and walks out of the room, still screaming about how selfish Lizet and Leidy are—they have invented their own problems, whereas Ariel and Caridaylis are going through something real. (full context)
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...the dinner table. Her mother takes a seat at the opposite end from Lizet and Leidy; Lizet spends the whole meal telling anyone who will listen that Omar is busy at... (full context)
Chapter 21
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That night, once Lourdes and Leidy fall asleep, Lizet calls Omar on the kitchen phone. She is surprised at how good... (full context)
Chapter 22
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On New Year’s Eve, Lizet’s grades show up. Both Lourdes and Leidy are working, and Lizet is grateful to be alone so that she can open the... (full context)
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Later that evening, Leidy lends Lizet some outrageous club clothes. As Lizet gets ready, feeling as if she is... (full context)
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...too different from the girl she used to be—she hoped that by dressing up in Leidy’s club clothes, she could turn back into her old self, but she is “separate” now... (full context)
Chapter 23
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...Omar dropped her off last night.  She steps out of the shower and goes into Leidy’s room to get dressed—Leidy, who is bummed about having had to stay home with Dante... (full context)
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Lizet ignores Leidy’s warning, although she remembers how their mother was already exaggerating for the cameras at Thanksgiving,... (full context)
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...hear things are so out of hand. She sits down on the bed and asks Leidy why no one has called Lourdes out on her lies—Leidy thinks, though, that because they... (full context)
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...has told the woman about her—she is waiting for something to happen that will prove Leidy wrong. (full context)
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...to find that she actually empathizes with her mother. She is disappointed in Omar and Leidy for writing Lourdes off as crazy when it seems as if Lourdes is just trying... (full context)
Chapter 26
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...people as more students start to attend. Meanwhile, Lizet has trouble getting a hold of Leidy—they keep playing phone tag, and Leidy accuses Lizet of “scheduling shit like a white girl”... (full context)
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...Omar late almost every night. She’s been asking him to check in on Lourdes and Leidy and make sure Lourdes isn’t getting out of hand with the Ariel Hernandez business anymore—Omar... (full context)
Chapter 28
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Lizet is shocked to see her mother on the screen, as neither Leidy nor Omar have indicated in their phone calls that Lourdes was still involved with the... (full context)
Chapter 29
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...head-to-toe black in mourning for Ariel’s mother. One day, Lizet calls home and speaks to Leidy. When she asks how Lourdes is, Leidy replies that she’s “doing real good.” (full context)
Chapter 30
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In the morning, Ricky drives Lizet to Lourdes’s apartment. Leidy answers the door for her; Leidy seems both surprised and unsurprised to see Lizet. The... (full context)
Chapter 31
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Leidy tells Lizet that Lourdes has been spending all over her time over at Ariel’s house—she... (full context)
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Leidy also explains that Lourdes has been using up all of her sick and vacation days... (full context)
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Leidy hands Lizet a piece of mail that came for her recently—it is a large manila... (full context)
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When Leidy asks what the envelope is for and Lizet explains it’s for a summer internship, Leidy... (full context)
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Leidy, Lizet, and Dante head down the street towards Ariel’s. As they approach the house, they... (full context)
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Lizet rejoins Leidy away from the group; Leidy is crying. She tells Lizet that she has come down... (full context)
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...a shower and changes. As Lizet watches her mother hurry through the apartment, she realizes Leidy has overheard everything. Lizet wants to try to explain, but Leidy shuts her bedroom door... (full context)
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Lizet goes back into Leidy’s room and packs for the “sleepover” part of the vigil. She knows that this is... (full context)
Chapter 33
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Leidy is furious with Lizet for leaving Lourdes at Ariel’s. Lourdes does not come home later... (full context)
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The morning of Lizet’s flight, Leidy is still too mad at her to drive her to the airport, and Lourdes has... (full context)
Chapter 35
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...for three weeks when Ariel Hernandez is deported on a Wednesday in June. She and Leidy have been civil to one another in the time she’s been home—Leidy is dating someone... (full context)
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When Lizet gets back to the apartment, Leidy is coming out of the shower; Lizet spooks her, and she laughs. Seeing Lizet’s grim... (full context)
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...purpose of an internship in a lab is. The conversation is even more confused by Leidy’s constant screams that Lizet is just lying to get out of watching Dante all summer,... (full context)
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Lourdes tells Leidy that she needs to let Lizet go. She passive-aggressively states that if Lizet wants to... (full context)
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...turns and walks down the hallway; she goes into her room and locks the door. Leidy shakes Lizet by the shoulders and begs Lizet not to leave her alone with Lourdes... (full context)
Chapter 36
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Leidy and David live in Hialeah now, and Lourdes shares their duplex; Dante and their younger... (full context)
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...dorm and used the days before classes began to write letters to her mother and Leidy—something she’d never done before. She had written an apology to Ethan over the summer, and... (full context)
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Leidy told Lizet about that a rumor was going around that Al Gore had been the... (full context)