Monday, September 28, 2009

My First Baby Shower

Being a red-blooded American man, I'd never been to a baby shower before.

But, this is Mexico, and things are different. (Red-blooded Mexican hombres don't go to baby showers either.)

A week ago, Rosa, our friend down the road, invited us to the baby shower for her daughter Patricia. Patricia, also known as Pati, is one of the three lovely daughters we've met. (That's Pati, on the left, in a picture taken 3 years ago.) There are four attractive daughters. We haven't met any of the several sons.

The day was dreary and overcast, and a light rain was beginning as we drove down to the gate to the family property. We discovered we could drive in along a gravelled track closer to the house.

The rain put an end to the brief attempt at outdoor festivities, so we carried the tables and chairs indoors once again.

The house is humble, but it was filled with warmth and merriment. Preparations were underway to decorate the brick walled rooms with balloons. We were given handfuls of confetti with which to shower Pati, in a "surprise" welcome.

We were also given miniature party favors such as a baby rattle and a baby carriage to pin to our clothes. It gradually dawned on me that a game was underway, in which if you cross your feet or arms, the person noticing your blunder gets to claim your party favor.  It wasn't long that I lost mine to María de la Luz. She smiled with satisfaction.

Another, less subtle but more active game involved transferring a lime with a plastic spoon clenched in your teeth. This was very lively and ending with the semifinalists in a playoff involving how fast they could consume Coca Cola from a small baby bottle. (Fortunately, I'd been eliminated early on, so could not even come close to qualifying for the playoff.)

After the hilarious playoff between the finalists, another contest began: how fast could you diaper the grown "babies" lying on the blanket? My wife, Doña Cuevas, is a good sport, and volunteered to be a "baby".
In the end, the other "baby's" diaper fell off when she stood up, so my wife's team won.

Soon there was the opening of the many gifts, received with thanks by Pati and applause from the attendees.

We were then served a light meal of tostadas, one of Ensalada Rusa, the other of Carne Apache (we set ours of Carne Apache aside). There were refrescos and then cake and brownies, which I'd made.

At that point, night came upon us, and we drove back to "Centro" with several passengers, an Abuelita and her nietos. It was a good time, and just right to banish melancholy.


Leslie Harris (de Limon) said...

Glad you enjoyed your first Mexican Baby Shower! I'm curious as to what Carne Apache is and what are the ingredients to Ensalada Rusa. I've heard of Ensalada Rusa, but no one that I know, knows how to prepare it.

Felipe Zapata said...

Jeez, man, baby showers. What next? Having your eyebrows straightened?

Don Cuevas said...

Leslie, what we were served was basically diced potato salad and carrots in mayo.
The real Ensalada (or ensaladilla) Rusa also has peas, diced beets, ugh—I can't go on.
It's a top fave in Spain, where we avoided it as much as possible.

Now, as to you, Felipe:
I just had to publish your cynical, dour comment. What would we do without you?

Saludos cariñosos,
Don Cuevas

PS: Felipe, I attended in the hope that there would be lots of pretty girls and wimmen there, and I wasn't far wrong.

Patricia P said...

Don Cuevas,
I have been following your blog for some time now, and this is the first time I see an actual picture of you. Funny how we make up a person in our minds and it turns out to be the complete opposite. hehehe. I thought you were an old man with grey hair, a retired little grandpa living in Mexico. I'm so glad to see you are so young, so it gives me hope as to not be too old when I get to travel and live the good life. Muchos saludos a su familia.
I love to read your entries, and greatly enjoy the pictures.

Greetings from San Diego, CA

Don Cuevas said...

Dear Patricia,
Thanks for your kind words. Although I'm not a grandpa, I'm of grandpa age.
So far, I have only a few gray hairs.

As you no doubt have surmised, the photo is my "avatar", in reality a photo of "Diego El Cigala", born Diego Ramón Jiménez Salazar.
He is a famous Spanish Romani flamenco singer.

I'd seen a YouTube video of him and Bebo Valdés, performing "Veinte Años". . At the time, I'd no idea of who he was; just that he was cool

Before I "was" Diego, I "was" Anthony Quinn.

About travel: we actually traveled more before we moved to Mexico, on our periodic vacations. Now we just live here. It feels different, but it's fine.

Don Cuevas

PS: Our Blogger friend, "Felipe Zapata", used to "be" Sean Connery, but lately he has become a stylized hand.

Cada loco con su tema.

Patricia P said...

Don Cuevas,
now I feel like such a fool. I would never have had the slightest idea of who the person in that avatar is. He is a cool and suave looking gentleman. I'm sure you are somewhat like him, right? Anyway, nice to meet you and to hear that you and Mrs. Cuevas are enjoying beautiful Mexico.
I wish I was there.


Don Cuevas said...

Patricia, don't feel like a fool.

I'm so out of the stream of popular culture, I had no idea of who Diego El Cigala is until I researched him within the last month.

I don't look at all like him. I am the total opposite of cool.

Anoher blogger, the supposed "Constantino", of "On The Road To Pátzcuaro", first replaced his own photo with one of Alfonso Bedoya, the "Steenkin' badges" actor of "Treasure of the Sierra Madres, but since then replaced Alfonso with a picture of his Dad or someone.

We have a lot of fun here.

Don Cuevas

Don Cuevas said...

Leslie Limon, I forgot to tell you about Carne Apache.

Basically, it's chopped raw beef, marianted in fresh lime juice. The lime juice "cooks" it, as it does ceviche.

The Carne Apache is usually condimented with chopped tomatoes, onions, cilantro and chile. Typically, it's eaten on tostadas de maíz.

I consider it a risky food, as refrigeration is scarce and meat inspection is nigh non-existent here.

Patricia P; you inspired me to upgrade my avatar to a more guapo image.

Don Cuevas

Tancho said...

Huuumm, Interesting, very interesting. A baby shower? You can redeem yourself if you admit that you baked the cake?
You surprise me....all the time!

Don Cuevas said...

Const; as I wrote above, I baked the brownies but not the cake.

As to surprise; I surprise myself sometimes.

Don Cuevas

jennifer rose said...

*Enjoyed!* There is no greater torture than a baby shower -- in any culture. Well, I do think that Mexican ones take it to the extreme of tackiness. And once you get on the shower invitation list, you're going to have a hard time extricating yourself from future invitations. You're a marked man.

Don Cuevas said...

Jennifer, my wife will take part, but not I, in future baby showers.

(By the way, the proof of concept was a baby girl, and the very day after the shower! Mother and daughter are said to be doing well)

Don Cuevas