1. Having to cheek kiss EVERY SINGLE PERSON in the room at family get-togethers.
Mom: “Did you say hello to your tia?
Mom: “I didn’t see you say hello.”
2. Trying to take PERFECT family photos is damn near impossible.
3. When your aunt tries networking for you.
“I work for the person who works for that one guy who’s friends with that one lady who’s friends with Kim Kardashian. You should ask him for a job.”
4. When you had a birthday party, your aunts would bring TONS of rice, mainly due to lack of communication.
Red rice, white rice, spicy rice, spicy red rice, SO. MUCH. ARROZ.
5. The kitchen was impossible to navigate because all the tias were using it to cook their last minute dishes.
iMijo! I just need your oven for the next two hours.
6. You have thirty people trying to shove your face into a birthday cake.
7. All your tias telling you that you look fat, yet they’ll keep serving you more food because they care about you.
8. And when you actually lose weight, your entire family will think you’re sick.
Tia: Mijo, you’re not eating. What’s wrong?
9. That uncle who offers you a beer every time you see him.
Tio: iMijo! ¿Una chela?
Me: No, tio. I already have one.
Tio: Have another.
10. When you hear a knock on the door and the first thing you do is hide because it’s probably your uncle’s entire family “passing by.”
Tio: “We were on our way back from church and we saw your light on.”
12. You will never be alone at a party. Ever. Doesn’t matter how hard you try, solitude is not an option.
13. That awkward moment when your mom passes the phone to you and tells you to talk to your aunt in Mexico who you’ve never met.
14. During Christmas Eve, EVERYONE brings their Baby Jesus to the nacimiento.
15. When your entire family was summoned to help out with the buñuelos.
16. When your younger cousins don’t give two shits about family traditions.
Tia: Are you guys going to pray?
Cousins: What is “pray”?
17. That awkward moment when your non-English speaking tio joins in on a conversation you’re having with your non-Spanish speaking cousin.
Should I switch the conversation to Spanish even though my cousin can’t speak it or keep talking in English even though my tio can’t speak it? Life is hard.
18. The brutality that was el bolo at a baptism.
Nickels. Nickels EVERYWHERE.
19. That awkward moment when you and your uncle – who you only speak to in group settings – are waiting for the bathroom.
“So… uh… How’s the family?”
21. That one uncle who REALLY wants everyone to know he’s doing well for himself.
22. The nerve-wracking experience of introducing your white S.O. to your entire family.
Tia: Is she Catholic?
Me: No, she’s atheist.
23. You never need to hire a handyman because a family member ALWAYS knows somebody.
24. The ridiculously long waltz at Quinceañeras where they call up every family member to dance with the birthday girl.
25. The older aunts and uncles who remind you of how easy you have it.
“Back in my day, your granddad had his own way of showing us affection.”