growing up mexican pt. 2 — cleanin’ & misbehavin’

here is the majestic continuation of my growing-up-mexican rant. it’s mainly about two things that i remember experiencing throughout my childhood … which you will find out about if you keep reading. hopefully this will cheer up your monday blues, like it did for me. if not, just look at the damn gifs.

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the first is a beast in and of itself. the most-hated time of the week, and you know this happened every single week: cleaning saturdays. even just thinking about this phenomenon puts me in a bad mood because i can’t help but be reminiscent of my childhood days, where i’d actually hate saturdays because it meant me and my younger sister were going to spend most of the day cleaning.

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it didn’t matter if your mom had cleaned the house just two days before, if it was saturday, you were cleaning. what even is sleeping in? where can i buy some of those? better yet, do they come in bundles? saturday cleaning included and was not limited to sweeping, mopping, dusting, moving furniture around, throwing out old toys, taking out old clothes to donate to your siblings or other younger relatives, vacuuming, doing laundry and the list of cleaning shenanigans could go on infinitely.

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all of these insane items on the cleaning list had to be done exactly the way your mother liked them to be done, aka perfect, or else … and you didn’t want to find out what “or else” meant. (i’m not even sure why i’m speaking about saturday cleaning in past tense, when it probably still happens this way.)

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cleaning saturdays weren’t cleaning saturdays if there wasn’t a whole lot of music playing throughout the whole thing. this was actually good news for you, because momentarily it would put your mom in a good mood and she wouldn’t say things like, “si así limpias tu cuarto, así has de traer los calzones,” (if that’s how you clean your room, i can only imagine what  your underwear looks like) and there were other more-graphically worded derivatives of that phrase that included your mexican behind.

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this also meant that as a kid, you probably knew lots of songs that weren’t from your generation but rather from your mom’s. i spent countless saturdays listening to songs like “saturday night fever,” “ymca,” “i will survive,” etc., to the point where i knew donna summer’s “last dance” by heart. by “knowing the song,” i really mean i’d mimic what i’d hear in gibberish because i spoke no english at the time; i still felt fabulous singing them, so get off me. i rocked gibberish singing and i know a couple of you would’ve appreciated my gibberish-rendition of dido’s “thank you,” but that’s besides the point.

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obedience and respect are rather big values in mexican culture, perhaps even in hispanic/latino cultures overall, especially when it came to the little-shit/elder relationships. talking back to an elder, especially if it was your parents, was considered a deathly sin by many. if you talked back to your mom in public, in your friends’ eyes you might as well have “thug life” tattooed to your chest, you brave little shit, you. but in your mother’s eyes … god bless you, child, because she was coming for you.

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that little stunt would earn you either one “cachetada” or at least three “nalgadas,” at least! (a slap to the face/a spanking respectively) not to mention the whole ordeal would go down in public, right in front of your friends and all other witnessing eyes. i must confess i had my fair share of those, i mean the words just flow out of my mouth on their own. (i love you, mom)

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then we have the infallible “a la 1 … a las 2 …” the counting up moment occurred when you were being a little shit and your mom had already told you to stop acting up but you were a thug, so you didn’t listen the first time. she’d then go on to say something like, “ya me hartaste. si a las tres no le paras a tus chingaderas, vas a ver como te va a ir,” then she’d start counting up from one.

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in essence, you had three very-long seconds to quit your thug shit before you got a mexican ass-whopping. some countdowns didn’t even need an introductory phrase, instead tu mama would go straight to the counting and you’d know shit was about to go down. it was an armageddon-shit-storm if your mother ever actually counted up to three.

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my mom counted up to three … several times. i’m not proud of my misbehaving times but i know the tough and firm upbringing i had is the reason why I’m not a complete shithead. so all in all, gracias mamá y papá. ❤

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that’s all for now, dudes!
to be continued …
-v

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