Tag Archives: childhood

Pick Up the Needle, Press Pause, or Turn the Radio Off

25 Apr
 There is a huge double standard in Hispanic culture.  While my male cousins were allowed, and even encouraged, to go out and sow their wild oats, we girls were told horror stories of a young girl who got pregnant by writing a boy’s name on her notebook.  Wuelita would often warn us girls of the dangers of sex:

 Jo nooo, jo can half a baby if joo look at a pee pee.  Neber look at a pee pee.  If joo see juan, joo run away.

My dad (Papi) had three girls- his penance for his wild oats sowing days.  Papi’s biggest fear was that some day some hormone charged, sex on the brain, gets a boner when the wind blows, Latin Lothario was going to swoop in and devirginize one of his daughters. 

Papi, you have nothing to worry about with this guy. I promise.

When I was a Freshman in high school, after one particularly emotional cryfest of an argument with Papi about why he wasn’t allowing me to go to prom with a Senior, Papi decided it was time for us girls to understand where he was coming from.  Apparently, the sex talks given by Mami and Wuelita weren’t stern enough.  So, he sat my sisters and I down at the kitchen table for his own “talk”.

My sisters and I could tell what was coming, and we immediately started giggling.  This was going to be very painful…for Papi.  We were excited.

We pinched each other under the table to stifle our laughs as Papi paced back and forth, back and forth.  He went to the fridge, grabbed a beer, and slammed it.  More pacing.  More giggles.  One more beer.  He was ready:

Girls, it doesn’t matter what boys say.  They just want one thing.  They want to get in your pants.

*Pinch, pinch, pinch*

A boy will tell you you’re beautiful, but what he’s really thinking is that he wants to see you naked.  If he tells you he loves you, it means he’s getting impatient.

*Hysterical giggle fit lasts long enough for Papi have another beer.*


Boys are always thinking about sex.  That’s all they want and they’ll say and do anything to get it.  They are liars and cheaters.

By my count, Papi was well on his way to finishing a six-pack.  His eyes were glassy, and he was talking more freely.

Basically, girls, what it comes down to is that I want you to be smarter than those boys.  I don’t want any boys to think of you as just……..p!$$y holes.

He said p!$$y holes.

What followed was a laughing fit so loud, so consuming, so out of control that the only thing I heard in the several minutes that followed was the sound of the screen door slamming shut.  It took us half an hour to realize Papi had left the room.  We had stomach cramps from laughing so hard.  Our faces hurt from the laughter.  Our poor dad.  He didn’t stand a chance. 

When I recounted this tale to my husband years later his only response was a knowing, “Your dad spoke the truth.” 


Papi- 1/Devirginizing Sex-Crazed P-hole Lovers- 3 (Sorry, Dad)


Lost in Translation

21 Apr

My next door neighbors growing up were a sweet old couple named Ines and Charlie.  They didn’t have kids of their own, but I always felt they would have made wonderful grandparents.

My parents have thick Spanish accents so when they say “Ines” you hear “Anus”.  So, until I was about 8 years old I thought our neighbors were Anus and Charlie. 

My sisters and I tried to correct my parents pronunciation, but after a while we gave up.  Besides, what kid wouldn’t love a neighbor named “Anus”, especially when it meant hearing stuff like this:

Anus made you girls some cookies.  I know how much you love Anus cookies! (Yummmm?)

You girls smell like you’ve been at Anus’s.   (Charlie smoked pipes.)

One of you girls should weed Anus’s garden for her. (No thanks.)

Did your father mow Anus’s lawn?  It’s getting pretty thick. Why are you laughing? (Obvious.)

I need you take this soup to Anus.  She isn’t feeling well and has been throwing up all day. (Anus puking.  *Pause for visual*)

I don’t think Anus should be driving, anymore.  (Why? Is her stink eye getting bad?)

 Anus passed away not too long ago, and I miss her.  I miss sweet, sweet, Anus.

R.I.P. Anus Ines.


Bully Beatdown (In My Head).

10 Mar

See Farkas, here? 


He looks exactly like the bully that used to terrorize my neighborhood park when I was growing up.  He was sooooo naughty!  He never combed his hair, always had on a dirty t-shirt, and was usually sporting a faint red kool-aid mustache. 

He lived a few houses down from the park which means we could usually hear him coming:


That was our warning that we needed to quit whatever kid game we were playing and get the hell out of dodge.  Sometimes, we would take our chances in hopes that he was just passing by on his way to the penny candy store.   Even then, he would usually stop across the street and start verbally assaulting some poor kid. 


Sometimes, he would sneak up on us.  We wouldn’t know he was there until rocks started flying at our heads.  Other times, he would saunter in without making a sound, make his way up the jungle gym, and stare at us for a few minutes.  Then, he would pee down the slide.

It’s been many years since I’ve seen that kid.  I thought I had forgotten all about him.  Until last night. 

I was at the grocery store talking myself into buying a bag of a Doritos (Maybe I should get the baked one?  But they don’t taste as good.  If I eat 15 chips a day, the bag will last forever.  SOLD!) when I heard a low, raspy voice behind me:

 SHIT!  Where’s the Diet Pepsi?!  They don’t have any f-in Diet Pepsi?!

I KNEW THAT VOICE!  In an instant I saw every childhood memory I have about the park play in my head.  I saw flashes of the bully screaming at his mom, the bully punching a kid in the face for beating him in a bike race, the bully stealing the aluminum cans we were going to cash in for candy money, the bully laughing as he peed down the slide.  It all flashed before my eyes in a matter of seconds. 

You guys, I’m pretty sure it was him.  I don’t know for sure, though, because I was too sacred to turn around.  But, next time?  Next time I’m so going to confront him.