My Mexican holiday

WHEN I WED into a mob of Mexicans almost 14 years ago, I initially made an effort to assimilate. In time I discovered that I could not. I am of a different world, a foreign mindset.

New ImageThere are the endless hugs and kisses done to a silly degree that the word overkill doesn’t begin to describe it. I have learned to dodge those as often as possible.

And, of course, the fiestas. My new paisanos party hearty and at every opportunity. One occurs Christmas Eve, and my wife and I go different ways. This year was typical.

I spent Christmas Eve quietly at home with a smile on my face and peace in my heart. After a nice salad before the telly, I was in bed by 11, and I woke up Christmas Day refreshed.

She spent Christmas Eve downtown at her sister’s place — with about 20 relatives and friends from our mountaintop town, the nearby state capital and the city of Querétaro.

They whooped it up, karaoke and all, till 6 a.m. Then a contingent of 11 decamped to our Downtown Casita to conk out. Only a queen bed, a double and a cot are there.

So people slept on carpets, sofas, armchairs, etc. My wife was among them. At 10:30 a.m., she came home in a taxi, showered, napped an hour and headed back downtown.

tequilaThe mob was still there. She finally returned at 7 p.m.  last night. We ate our customary evening salads with Netflix. She lasted about 45 minutes before falling asleep in her chair.

Normally, they repeat the entire process a week later for New Year’s Eve.  All Night Long.  Simply amazing.

Christmas horror

THIS TALE OF terror is true. It was posted by me almost a decade ago on another edge of Mexican cyberspace.

But due to the passage of time, plus the fact that the audience has changed — new people have come in, and others have stormed out — I feel justified in repeating this Christmas grotesquerie.

We were newly arrived here at the Hacienda. If memory serves, it was our first holiday in the new home. We put up a huge Yuletide tree and invited a horde of Mexican relatives, which is the only kind of relative I have now, which saddens me deeply, but that’s another story.

A brother-in-law whom I dubbed the Eggman in those distant days (yet another unrelated yarn) was in charge of the festive meal. Mexicans do their Yuletide dining late on Christmas Eve, not on Christmas Day.

Due to the many people on the guest list, the Eggman purchased an entire sheep and ordered it catered and cooked.

headThis main dish arrived on the afternoon of the 24th. It looked like a brown meaty stew in a massive tub, and it required two people to tote it into the kitchen, placing it on the floor.

Flash forward a few hours, to 10 p.m. or so, music was playing, people were eating here, there, everywhere, because there were more folks than suitable seating.

I had ladled one serving of the stew into a bowl, and found it tasty. It went down nicely with Coca-Cola.

Returning to the  kitchen, bowl in hand, I bent down to the tub and submerged the ladle. At that moment, he rose to the surface from the murky depths. The sheep’s entire head, its dead eyes staring me squarely in the face.

I froze in place, dropped the ladle, turned quickly and decided I had eaten enough for one Holy Night.