Tag Archives: Mami

Check Please!


I was out to lunch with my sister, mami, and mami’s in-laws. Since mom didn’t have cash, she asked me to have the waiter give us a separate check.

Me: Can you give us a separate check?
Him: Only because you’re so beautiful.
Me (to myself): I don’t care about your reasons so long as you’re making it happen.
Me (to him): Thank you!

Him (to MY MOTHER): Suegra, I just wanted to introduce myself. I actually thought you were her sister.
(For those non-Spanish speakers, “Suegra” means Mother-In-Law.)

And then he brought me Kevin for dessert…


The Gas Company


Friday night.

I had no plans.

Ok, that’s not true. I had BIG plans.
I had to go to the grocery store.
I had to fill my car with gas.
I had to read more of the “Game of Thrones” sequel: A Clash of Kings.

Like I said, BIG PLANS for my Friday night.

I got caught up at work, though. And found myself leaving at around 7:30pm which had me arriving a mi casa around 7:45pm.
(Why is this important? Because Mami had picked up Abuela at around 4, which means my house had been empty for around 4 hours.)

When I opened the door, the house smelled like someone had been cooking, but cooking something odd.

I shrugged and went to the kitchen to rinse my empty mug of café.

That’s when I smelled it: Gas.

I glanced at the stove. The burner was on, but there was no flame.

Off went the burner. On went the fan. Open went the doors and windows.

I figured I’d just run to the store and then I’d be fine.

My mistake was calling Mami just to double check…

Nothing like an over-protective Cuban mother freak-out to bring drama to a Friday night.

I called the Gas Company. They would send someone out, but could not give me a time frame. Awesome.

To the garage I went and practiced my timbales for an hour. And then read. And texted Mami every ten minutes so that she knew I was fine.

At 9:30 Mr. Gas Company shows up.

He was a strange little man. Very nice, but talked a lot. And fast.

He pulled out his gas detection device (I swear it looked like he got it from the movie Ghostbusters) and got to work.

After having me explain what happened, he mentioned that he couldn’t smell gas anymore. I agreed.

Next he had to check behind the stove… which meant we had to pull it out.

It turned out there was a ridiculously tiny leak that had “probably been there for years.”

And he fixed it within 30 seconds. And was all happy that it was a super easy job. His last job for the night and it was so simple.

As we were pushing the stove back into place, Mr. Gas Company noticed the oven bar was loose so he grabbed his screwdriver and tightened it.

Me: Wow! Thank you! It’s been loose for a while, but I only notice when I’m actually USING the oven and it’s too hot to fix.
Mr. Gas Company: I TOLD you I would impress you.

And he explained that the gas I had smelled would not have hurt me, but it was good that I called anyway, if only because it ended his night on a good note. He handed me “An informational pamphlet… I don’t know.”

The man was cracking me up. Definitely an odd bird… I don’t think he had Asperger’s only because he was able to make eye contact, but maybe at his age he had learned to make some eye contact. Who knows?

He thanked me what seemed like a thousand times and left.

6 minutes later, he knocked on my door.
Mr. Gas Company: Sorry to bother you again. I just wanted to let you know that the gas you smelled was natural gas and it just rises and dissipates so just leave a window open for a while and you should be fine. You have nothing to worry about. It’s just natural gas that rises. It rises and then it dissipates.”
Me: So I don’t have to worry about blowing up tonight?
Mr. Gas Company: Shhh. We don’t like to use that word. But really, it just rises and dissipates. Would it be alright if I saw your drum set?
Me: Sure!

So I showed him my timbales and explained how they were Cuban drums. And made a short little sound on them…
Mr. Gas Company: Shhh! I didn’t ask for a demonstration! I don’t want your neighbors to get upset with you on my account! Thank you though. They are very beautiful. Sorry for the imposition! Thank you! Have a great night!
Me: It’s Friday night. I’m sure my neighbors are fine. Thank you, Mr. Gas Company!

Meanwhile, my mother had not stopped texting me.

Her new stove had arrived, but they couldn’t install it yet.

Mami: When was the last time we texted STOVE pictures back and forth?? All good?
Me: RIGHT? Yeap! Aparentamente the gas I smelled wouldn’t hurt me.
Mami: I didn’t think so, but then I’d hate for those to be famous last words. “I don’t think the gas smell will hurt me….” KABOOM! I’m glad it’s over. Also, I’m going to call you KABOOM from now on.

Just another Friday night Kikitiando con KABOOM.

Glitter after 30


Mami: I don’t understand why we have to walk this far…

Me: I went the wrong way, but LOOK AT THOES SHOES!! I am SO coming back this weekend.

Mami: Which shoes? Not the glitter ones?

Me: YES! They’re so shiiiiiny!

Mami: Are you kidding? Who wears glitter shoes?

Me: I will. After this weekend.

Mami: San Apapusio, Baja!

Me: Mami, I have to take advantage of my age! I only have a couple good years of glitter wearing left! After 30? It’s over. It just becomes pathetic.*

Mami: Good point. But why do you have to be a glitter person at all?

Me: Do you know who I am?


*I don’t actually think it’s after 30 that glitter becomes pathetic or inappropriate. I think it is a case by case basis, but if you’re over 40 and still wearing glitter, you’re probably single for a reason.

Toma Chocolate, Paga lo que Debes


I grew up whistling to the flute of Orquesta Aragon.

I do it without even thinking about it.

I’m sure just about every Cuban does.

In fact, I specifically remember one moment where Mami and I were both whistling distractedly and my Dad suddenly asked, “MUST you whistle?!?” And I think the best part was when we both answered in the affirmative explaining that it was the only way to make the flute sound.

Poor Dad.

When I heard Orquesta Aragon was going to be playing at a popular club in L.A., I knew I had to go. Going alone to that kind of thing is something I’m definitely used to, but I thought I’d check and see if Mami wanted to come. She did. I told her we’d get seats, but that I might have to jump up and go dance from time to time.

It was all going quite well. I even knew a couple of people there, so I knew I’d get the chance to dance.

At one point, I was across the room standing with a dance buddy of mine and I mentioned that I was going to go and sit down, but that he could come find me later. For him to know where I was sitting, I pointed to Mami and then waved. Then he waved. Then she waved back. When I got back to my seat the first thing she asked me was, “Y quien es ese negrito?”

Ummm… well… he’s my dance buddy, Mami. I have seen him all over the place for years now… he’s fun to dance with.


I danced with another friend of mine and when I got back to my seat Mami asked, “Who was the midget?”

Oh… that’s just another guy I know from dancing… he’s a Marielito. Straight up Escoria.

I ran into my buddy, Ricardo Lemvo, and introduced him to Mami. He mentioned how he was a Bleeding Heart Liberal. Later, Mami asked how I knew “that communist idiot.”

It was definitely not the ideal way to introduce Mami into my dance world, pero I’m sure it left her no doubt that I still love chocolate just as much as I enjoy vanilla.

Y Aragon? They sound exactly the same as they have my whole life. It was so worth it.



My mom is an amazing woman. She’s very crafty. (Yes, she CAN get you to do something you didn’t want to do using some clever tricks, but that’s not quite what I meant.)

The year I was born, she made my Christmas stocking. It is a beautiful stocking with incredibly detailed cross-stitch work. It is just one of the many ways she has shown her patience and love. I love my stocking. Every year during Christmas time (now that I’m older) I wonder if, when I have a family of my own, she will give me mine for my own mantel or just make all news ones.

Every one in our family has a unique cross-stitched-by-Mom stocking. And each one of us has our own unique stocking holder.

I love my stocking, but I love my stocking holder MORE. It is a little kitten that looks just Figaro from Disney’s Pinocchio. When I was very little, that was my FAVORITE movie.

It should come as no surprise, then, that my very first kitten was a black and white one.

So, I grew up with the same little kitten holding up my stocking year after year and I loved it.

That’s when the unspeakable happened. I arrived at my mother’s house to find it decorated for Christmas . . . but there was an abomination on the mantel! My darling stocking holder. My kitten. My love. Was GONE.

In it’s place? A big silver snowflake. Cold. Color-less. Lacking personality. SO. NOT. ME.

I may or may not have thrown a slight fit . . .

Mami’s defense was simply that the cat kept falling off the mantel. It couldn’t hold my stocking up anymore. Funny, though, because she seems to have found a way to make it work ever since.

No, I have no idea what happened to the snowflake. It was never seen or heard from again. =D