Surprise Family Visits

So it’s been a few days since I’ve written a post and I’m sure you’ve been wondering what Payazaro has been up to. Well, it really doesn’t matter because family will drop by and mess it all up. “Mess it all up” is wrongly put because that will hurt very sensitive people’s feelings, they… lets see… yes, they constantly remind me that life is filled with surprises and you must be able to adjust on any given notice.

Family can miss their previously agreed arrival or meeting time by a long shot (see my “Time in Mexico” post), but when it comes to showing up at your house at the most inopportune time, boy are they damn good and nail it right on the money. You see, there is no such thing as calling before you visit or giving you a heads up that they are about to bombard you with a pick up truck or old-school (but certainly classic) slug bug filled with four generations of family that is not only hungry, but ready to suck your energy dry. Which reminds me, if you think your family is good at fitting the whole neighborhood and their pets into a small car, that is yet another reason why you must visit me (surprise me, I dare you…) because we set the standard high on that one.

If there is anything that I have learned in Mexico, it’s the following: anticipate the unanticipated drop in visits by family. You can be taking a dooky, getting ready to go out, be hosting a shindig, it doesn’t matter because regardless of what you’re doing, it’s like if they’re mocking you by asking, “are you busy?” No uncle, I was not relaxing on the toilet at the privacy of my own home, and I certainly got all dressed up on a Saturday night just to sit on the computer and read the New York Times all by myself while drinking a corona, and my friends decided to just sit their and look pretty while they gladly embrace being ignored as I continue to sip and sip on my corona.

Oh, and you can’t confront them about it, they get butt-hurt. According to an uncle, I have been Americanized and “esa mierda no se vale aquí.” But did he tell me this to my face? Hell no. He told my momma who called me and told me. She thought it was hilarious. My momma understands that the way I grew up conditioned me to plan ahead whenever possible because something may come up that will throw my schedule off. As a matter of fact, since I was born, my dad has always set every clock in the house 10-20 minutes ahead because it supposedly helps him show up on time (and if you’re Latino, you know what I’m talking about). Anywho, it’s a different rhythm of time, space, and execution here in Mexico. You can’t plan too much ahead because you’ll make everybody else look bad.

The ultimate idea is this, no matter what, always take family in, greet them, make them feel at home and leave them the house keys if you have to. I understand that. But if family are people you can fully trust and be honest with them about what’s going on in your life, you would think you could at least promote honest dialogue while making your best intentions known. You can’t do that in Mexico without being mocked about your un-Mexicaness, and they know that’s a low blow for me. Oh well, I guess I’ll enjoy my un-Mexicaness the next time I watch an all-English movie with them without translating and ridicule them for their un-Americaness 🙂 In Mexico, you don’t get mad, you get even.

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