1. Privacy doesn’t exist.
My grandmother’s bathroom has become a reunion spot for the women in my house. We will literally go into the bathroom do what we gotta do all while talking to one another. It’s a nice getaway from the men.
2. You will get things thrown at you often.
As a child you will develop excellent reflexes.
3. Who needs a doctor when you have Vicks VapoRub?
It is the answer to almost all medical problems in a Cuban household. They will put it under your nose, on your chest, on your back, and on your feet. It’s not easy sleeping when you feel all sticky and gross. Don’t even try to argue with your mom, aunt, and/or grandma. That will only make it worse. They are not against holding you down.
4. I’ve learned that when someone in my family says “I’m almost there,” that means they haven’t even left.
You can go make yourself a five-course meal while you wait.
5. You will hear the phrase “Me cago en tu madre” several times.
It means “I shit on your mom.” It’s not a phrase that translates well and it’s often confusing because 9 times out of 10, it’s your mom saying it to you.
6. Rice and beans is your life.
You can’t really understand how some people don’t eat that every night.
7. If you don’t do well in school your life will be threatened.
While your parents won’t actually kill you they will make your life hell if you fail. Angry Cuban women are scary.
8. People around you will think you and your family are always mad and yelling at each other, but you’re really just having a somewhat civilized conversation.
9. You know a good amount of Celia Cruz songs.
10. You have a strong bond with your family.
You can’t imagine not being close to your grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and parents. You will develop insiders that don’t really make sense to anyone else. It’s weird, but it works.