Latino Thanksgiving

2013.11 pumpkin pie thanksgiving-72274_1280This is a repost, from 2001. I honestly don’t know where I got it at this point. I don’t think I ever knew. Read below and, being honest, own up to how many actually describe your family.

Top 25 Signs You are Having a Latino Thanksgiving Dinner:

25. Your tíos are drunk before giving thanks.
24. There’s a keg of beer and a cooler filled with ice and soda.
23. There are more dishes of food than people.
22. Your tíos do a grito after giving thanks.
21. Abuelita falls asleep at the table.
20. ‘Apa is doing a Bar-B-Que.
19. There are more than 3 turkeys.
18. There are 7 people in the kitchen, all cooking.
17. There’s dancing.
16. Everyone is talking so loud, you can’t even hear yourself think!
15. You are with the family at the campo/rancho.
14. They’re roasting a pig outside.
13. One of your tías is wearing sequence and tacones.
12. One of your tíos is wearing a cowboy hat.
11. There are limones on the table.
10. There’s pan dulce
9. There’s a smell of chicharrones and/or chuletas.
8. There’s potato salad.
7. There are tortillas but no rolls.
6. There’s salsa verde y roja pero no cranberry sauce.
5. There are tamales, cabrito and barbacoa next to the turkey.
4. There’s a bottle of Tapatilo on the table.
3. There’s at least one person named Maria, Carlos, Papo, Juan, Jose, Tony, Tito or Luis at the table.
2. All the men eat at the table first, then the kids, then the women.

And the #1 sign you are having a Latino Thanksgiving Dinner . . .

1. Dinner starts at 9pm, if you’re lucky!

I know I’m getting old

2013.11 spinster-156097_1280It happens to the best of us. One day you become a “ma’am.” You go from being the youngest in the group, to “normal,” to being the oldest. And, suddenly, you are the grown up in the room.

Yes, it’s even happened to me… though “grown up” might be a stretch. Here’s a list of ways you may know that you, too, are getting old:

The men in the “most eligible bachelors” list all look like children — and much too young to date. (Notice that I didn’t write “women.” Somehow, this doesn’t seem to happen to men — to them the 18-25 year olds always look old enough to date.)

You no longer qualify for any of the “under” awards (ie., 40 under 40, etc.). I got one like that just a month or so before I turned 40. And that was the last one of that, ever.

You only get invited to the “Young Professionals” groups as a speaker or mentor. And when you do get invited you look at the people in attendance wondering if you were ever that young.

The weather decides how you feel. I have an ankle that hurts when it’s cold, allergies that act up when it’s humid, and a head that hurts if the weather changes too fast.

The doctor has used the “a” word… “arthritis.” I have arthritis in my shoulders, and my back. So far, I’ve been lucky that I’m not in chronic pain, but it’s in my future.

You start having conversations about bodily functions. Yeah. This one is a little bit disconcerting. I never thought I would be one of those people who discussed… well, let’s leave some mystery here. Suffice it to say that I’ve entertained many a friend and family member with more information than they ever wanted to know about what keeps my body relatively healthy.

Your friends have started discussing plastic surgery as something they are actually going to do. I remember having conversations about cosmetic surgery like it was this silly thing other people did. Now I’m having to keep track of which friend got what done. And I’m wondering, in the privacy of this blog (with the dozen or so readers), whether I would want to have something done as well.

You never ask “am I too young for this?” Unless, of course, it’s about retirement or yearly checkups. And every once in a while you ask, “Am I too old for this?” (The answer to that should always be “no.”)

What would you add to the list?

The first choice (college) — the good news and the bad

My niece got into the school of her choice! It’s great news, really… until you realize that it will cost her an estimaetd $54,000 a year to go there. Yes, you read that correctly: fifty-four THOUSAND dollars. That’s a little more than $200,000 for a four-year degree… assuming she doesn’t have any extra expenses.

I’m happy for her, and scared. If she doesn’t get really close on the funding (through financial aid and scholarships) I don’t see how she’s going to be able to go. 

I don’t want to be the person to tell her that. I don’t want to be the sole voice of reason (and doom) in the chorus of well-wishers. I want to believe that we’re going to find a way to send her there. I want to believe that it will all work out.

But I’m me, and historical data doesn’t lend itself to my being hopeful about something this big.

Join me in holding your breath for the next six months…