we are eating tamales!

Steal my groceries? I'll steal your mama's homemade tamales.

Buckle in kids, this is a long one, but well worth the ride. (TL;DR at the end)

This happened nearly 15 years ago, when I was in college renting a house with two other people. In order to understand the gravity of this situation you must first understand the dynamic between my female roommate (whom I’ll call Becky) and myself (also female). We had one guy roommate (I’ll call him Bob), and the three of us all worked together at a restaurant and lived in the same house for 2 years.

So the three of us were pretty close during that time, we shared a friend group, worked together, and had roomed together a year prior. However, to say Becky and I were friends would be a generous assessment of the true nature of our relationship. You see, Becky and I come from very different backgrounds and also have diametrically opposite personalities. She was from a lower socioeconomic group, a racial minority, and street-savvy. I am the WASPiest wasp of all wasps who ever wasped, come from middle class whiteville and am terribly naive. (I’ve learned a lot about my naiveté since then but I can still be a little dim to the true nature of people and have been hurt many times because of this.)

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Steal my groceries? I'll steal your mama's homemade tamales.

TL;DR Bratty roommate steals more than just my groceries; I steal her mom’s homemade tamales. She suddenly learns to respect my stuff.

Buckle in kids, this is a long one, but well worth the ride.

This happened nearly 15 years ago, when I was in college renting a house with two other people. In order to understand the gravity of this situation you must first understand the dynamic between my female roommate (whom I’ll call Becky) and myself (also female). We had one guy roommate (I’ll call him Bob), and the three of us all worked together at a restaurant and lived in the same house for 2 years.

So the three of us were pretty close during that time, we shared a friend group, worked together, and had roomed together a year prior. However, to say Becky and I were friends would be a generous assessment of the true nature of our relationship. You see, Becky and I come from very different backgrounds and also have diametrically opposite personalities. She was from a lower socioeconomic group, a racial minority, and street-savvy. I am the WASPiest wasp of all wasps who ever wasped, come from middle class whiteville and am terribly naive.  (I’ve learned a lot about my naiveté since then but I can still be a little dim to the true nature of people and have been hurt many times because of this.)

Becky, being the scrappy hood rat she was, liked taking advantage of people. We couldn’t leave a store without her stealing something and then later bragging about the “five-finger discount” she got.  She stole things from me and our other roommate, she manipulated people in our friend group to try and make me an outsider, she used me for my car, and she bullied me constantly by making snide remarks about being spoiled and telling anyone and everyone who would listen that my parents paid my rent. Yes, my parents paid my $300 share of the monthly rent because I was going to school full time and working a thankless waitressing job, the horror.

Okay so enough background. In the second year of our time in the house, Becky lost her job at the restaurant and decided not to work anymore. She also wasn’t going to school, didn’t have a car, and so she’d sit in her room all day smoking and drinking pepsi. About this time she got herself a boyfriend with a full time, well-paying job, so he was able to provide her with all the cigarettes and pepsi her little heart desired. One thing her boyfriend didn’t do, however, was reimburse me for the groceries she ate that I bought.

Every time I bought groceries, Becky would help herself to whatever I bought and sometimes sheepishly offer to pay me back. Which you already know she never did. Because how would she? She had no job and no money and I don’t like pepsi.

So this goes on for months, because in addition to being woefully naive, I was also a giant wuss who wouldn’t stand up for myself. (This has thankfully changed in my 30s. IDGAF about calling people out on their shit and am good at protecting myself from being used by the Beckys of the world, but back then I was a total doormat. I’d get angry with people, but I couldn’t stand up for myself). I would buy $80 worth of groceries for myself, Becky would proceed to slowly leech off my stash and I would run out before I had more grocery money. She never paid me or offered any exchange of goods or services for this food, and I never demanded them, and she knew I was too scared to stand up to her, so she kept this cycle up for a very long time.

Finally fed up with having my food eaten without reimbursement, and reaching the limit of my own door-matness, I proposed that we implement private shelves in the pantry and fridge, so as to avoid confusion about who was eating whose food. Becky scoffed at this idea, saying it would be too easy to misplace things and it could lead to fighting in the house, so we just shouldn’t do it.

Fearing Becky’s wrath, I backed down and started hiding food in my room, which was useless because Becky broke into my room and stole from my stash anyway.

Now comes the revenge part.

Becky’s mom made the most mouth-wateringly delicious homemade tamales you’ve ever tasted. Like, no foolin’. They were a rare treat that she only made a couple of times a year, and Becky rarely got to have any because her parents lived several hours away. So one weekend Becky’s parents come to town, and mama made tamales. Their tantalizing aroma filled our house the moment she walked through the door, and we all knew this was her dankest batch yet. Becky, being the kind of person who liked bragging about anything and everything she could hold over people’s heads to make herself feel important, boasted all weekend about how her mom brought homemade tamales and they were all for her and I couldn’t have any.

So one night, after Becky’s parents have gone back home, Bob and I go out for some drinks. We head back home and decide to do it right and invite a couple of friends over and drink a little more, and smoke a little more, til we’re both nice and toasted. And hungry.

Since Becky and her now near live-in boyfriend have eaten most of my food, and because they never bother to buy groceries themselves or reimburse me for mine, there’s barely any food in the house. But there are tamales.

So Bob and I, in our drunken reverie, help ourselves to homemade tamales. And we eat every.last.one. And they are delicious. They were, without a doubt, the best homemade tamales I’ve ever had. And that’s saying a lot because I’ve had a few.

Later that night, Becky emerges from her room, walks over to the fridge, opens the door, and after a moment asks, where are my tamales? Bob and I, full of tamale and booze and THC and not giving a fuck, tell her we ate them. Becky slams the refrigerator door shut, exclaims “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME”, stomps down the hall, slams the door to her room, and yells to her boyfriend “they fucking ate them!”.

You’re goddamn right.

A few days pass while Becky avoids me and is generally even more unpleasant than usual. Finally, one afternoon as I’m looking for food in the pantry, Becky and her bf come in with a few bags of groceries. As they’re unloading them she tells me she’s decided it would be a good idea if we had assigned shelves in the pantry and fridge to avoid any confusion about who’s eating what. She decided. Mmhmm, sure Becky.

And she never ate any of my groceries again.

And that, dear friends, is my tale of petty revenge. Thanks for reading :)

Female Mexican-American Teenager

I’m Michelle, a Chicana girl (though my grandfather is Italian), and I live by Chicago. My dad grew up in Michoacan, but I think my mom grew up nearby. I was raised here and I’ve only visited Mexico twice.

Food
I grew up with a mix of American and Mexican cuisine, since sometimes my dad, who slept during the day, would cook, and other times my mom would pick something up or let me cook . We often eat tacos of carne asada, rice, refried beans, pico de gallo, tamales, pozole (on special occasions when my aunts came over), etc. The rest of the time I have pasta, steak, hot dogs, pizza, fried chicken, etc. Almost all meals include tortillas. For the most part I enjoy food from both groups, but I didn’t like any kinds of sauce or toppings, except for cilantro or spaghetti sauce.

Beauty Standards/Clothing
I used to wear pretty girly clothing as a little kid, but I got sick of dresses and constricting clothing after a while. Once I began to manage myself, I rarely wore dresses, kept a loose, low ponytail at all times, and wore much less pink. My mom only got really annoyed when I insist that I don’t want to wear a dress to a formal thing, but she often tells me to tie my hair up more tightly. It was pretty annoying.

Language
My first language was Spanish, but it was almost completely replaced by English when I went into preschool. I can still understand Spanisn, and I can write in it a bit, but I can’t really speak it. The reason for this was that nearly all my relatives spoke it, so I picked up a bit from their gossip and debates. However, I didn’t want to risk looking like a fool, so I rarely even tried speaking to them. My Spanish grammar is okay, but I have a cruddy vocabulary and few opportunities to practice. My dad speaks to us in it half the time because his English isn’t the best, but it’s not enough. Honestly I just hope I can improve enough by myself so I can practice more with others, because I don’t want to be embarrassed.

Micro-aggressions
I don’t really get much of this, since I go to school in a pretty diverse area. However, my Mexican friend told me that I was the “whitest Mexican” that she knew, which really hurt. She’s still a good friend, though.

Dating and Relationships
I was never really into boys as much as other girls, but my mom still told me to wait before dating. I’m in high school and I still don’t really see the appeal.

Religion
I’m a Roman Catholic. I was baptized and raised as one, and my mom still makes me come to Mass on Sundays. My grandmas were/are really religious, but my dad isn’t really. I went to a Catholic elementary school, and still do for high school. Despite this, being a Catholic is my choice and I wouldn’t change for the world.

Identity Issues
I guess I don’t really think of myself as either American or Mexican, but as both. I just wish I could’ve learned more about my language and culture while I was young, but now it’s up to me. I sometimes fear that I’m not “Mexican enough”.

Academics
My parents really want me and my 4 siblings to get straight As in school, but I have like zero work ethic. My siblings and I are actually all above average intelligence, but it’s really hard to meet expectations. Any grade below a C could get you hit with the belt and sent to work. Still, it could be worse.
My knowledge of Spanish, though limited, actually helps during Latin class, and I placed in half the tests I took at a classics convention. I also really like geometry, algebra, science, and history.

Things I’m tired of seeing
Overly sexual Latinas- I get it, people can be sexual however they like. That doesn’t mean that every other Latina portrayed has to be some temptress.
Lazy Mexicans- While they exist, only a few I know are actually really lazy, and that’s only sometimes.

Well, that’s it I guess.

4

For people outside of Mexico a celebration like today is kind of odd and even morbid, but please let me tell you about it: the Day of the Dead is a party to celebrate the life of the dear people who passed away. We put on an altar that might (or might not) look like a rather spooky-but-colourful witchery thing, but it is there for the dead souls that are supposed to travel to the living realm on November 1st and 2nd. I find it rather funny the way Halloween is supposed to be about spooky souls coming back as ghost and scare the shit out of us, and the day of the dead is about common souls coming back and party hard and eat as much as they can as if they were alive. 

Here I share with you some photos of the altar at my home and a little explanation of how an altar is done:

First the altar have to be for someone (either if it’s just for home or if it’s for a contest, quite common in Mexico), so it can be dedicated to a single person or many people who are not longer here.

After you decide for who it is, you have to add all (or some) of these elements:

A cross: since this celebration is a mix of ancient native tradition and catholic ideas, and it represents the religion of the deceased person.

Flowers: nowadays we use cempasúchil flowers (a Mexican cousin of the carnation), but can be used any kind of flowers.

Candles: colourful for children or black or white for grownups. They mean the light that shine upon them (remember what the requiem says?).

A glass of water: not exactly a symbol, this water is supposed to be drunk by the dead who comes back to party, drink and eat.

A photograph of the deceased person or people. In my photo you can see my brother’s photo and my grandparents’.

Salt: as if this were Supernatural, it is a symbol of purification. 

Incense: it can be used the same one that is used at the church, or copal (which is a very aromatic kind or resin). It is supposed to attract the dead’ soul for it not to be lost.

Tablecloth: usually white, it can be any colour. In theory is as if you prepare the table as if someone you know would go to diner.

Papel picado: this cut-out paper is to decorate the altar as if it were a party.

Skulls: sugar skulls are a classic of this time of the year. You put them on the altar as a reminder what our destiny it (as a kind of memento mori), can be pure decoration or can be of sugar, amaranto or chocolate. People gives them as a present to friends and usually have the name of the receiver on the front (creepy and delicious at the same time XD).

Food and drink: you put the favourite food of the dead person. Anything they liked and they would eat if they returned. We put pizza and tamales and cocoa and a beer (you see, my brother ate practically anything so, we could put on absolutely anything you can think of). Here goes also the bread of the dead (pan de muerto), which is an orange bread with details that are supposed to be bones (yeah, we’re somehow morbid, but this bread is REALLY awesome).

Other objects: it can be all kinds of things that the dead person liked: a game, a toy a book… whatever that make you think of that person (my dad put my brother’s skateboard, I tell you that can be any thing).

With this instructions you can also put an altar for the dead next year wherever in the world you are :D And tell me, what do you think of this Mexican tradition?

hubcat99  asked:

Question since I don't know much about Mexico or Mexican traditions do you celebrate Christmas or Christmas plus a more traditional holiday? Hope this isn't offensive I was just curious :3

OK!

prepare yourself because this is going to be a very large description:


Here, some day before christmas, we have something called “posadas” its party were family, fiends or bouth if you want to (?) celebrates the travel of Maria and jospeh to Belén. 

Before to start the party, the guests form two groups. one stays inside the home and the other, stays outside. then they begin to sing this song. basically this song speaks about how María and Joseph convince a owner of a house to stay in his stable . After this the second group enter into the house and the party begin! we eat tamales, ponche and the little children broke a piñata.

Now, in the  Christmas Eve, the family gets togeder again and make.a prayer to thank God for being together another year. Then the youngets one of the family  puts the figure of the god child in a manger in representasion that God has born in our hearts.  After this, the celebration is like the same in other countries, we have the christmas dinner, we gave presents and all that.

… you know… responding this you hade make me really happy…. thank you.