Going home for the holidays is what I’ve looked forward to every year since I’ve been attending Florida State University. As a Mexican-American, I can expect that our holidays are filled with family, laughter and lots of alcohol. But it can also be very stressful, as any family celebration can be.
You’ll be constantly interrogated with questions, the same ones every year in fact. You’ll be surrounded by a lot of cousins and have that one family member that will always ask you to bring them another cerveza. Everyone will be in the kitchen cooking with no possible way of getting through, and there will be lots of dancing that you can’t possibly escape from. Tios will bring their American girlfriends along, and tias will be ready for chisme. Oh, and if you’re visiting someone and your mom says “Ya nos vamos,” that’s a lie. The events are endless and never boring.
Here is what to expect:
Spanish music playing on a Saturday morning
When you wake up to the sound of sweeping accompanied by a Juan Gabrielle or old Spanish songs playing the background, you know it’s time to get up and clean. Even if you’re sleeping, it doesn’t matter. Even if people are coming over to dirty the floor anyway, it doesn’t matter. Cleaning is basically a ritual practice.
"Saludaste a todos?"
When people start coming over you get, “Did you say hi to everyone?” It's the number one thing your mom says to you while giving you that look with her eyes. You can expect to hear that question repeated the entire time, checking to make sure you said hello to every single person. There’s no escaping it.
"Y tu novio? Tienes un boyfriend?"
It’s that time of the year when you get asked, “And your boyfriend?” or “Do you have a boyfriend?” No, I’m focusing on myself and my career. I don’t need a distraction.
"Estas flaka, estas comiendo?"
This means “You look skinny, are you eating?” No, I’m not because I’m in college and I’m broke. Or you could actually be gaining weight and you’ll still get this question. And then your abuela or tias will start cooking for you and force you to eat, whether you look skinny or not.
"What are you doing after you graduate?"
I honestly don’t know.
Someone will speak to you in Spanish
And you won’t know what to do. So, you’ll just smile and pretend like you know what they’re saying because your Spanish isn’t that good.
Vas a ver
If you get in trouble for any reason at all and you hear this from your mom, s*** is about to go down when everyone leaves.
“Gossip.” What’s great about this is that you can be minding your own business, sitting at the table eating your tamale, when you’ll overhear everything you’re not supposed to.
But at the end of the day, these are the things you have to look forward to because it’s family and you love them.
All Gifs courtesy of Giphy.