Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cinco De Mayo!

Okay, here we are into the first week of May already and I have a funny story to tell you that...well, maybe I told it before but I'm telling it anyways! Infact, it has sort of become a little tradition of mine to share this silly story around this time of year.

Let me preface this story with a reminder that I am a caucasian girl who grew up in North Idaho where we didn't have the advantage of meeting too many people from other cultures. Pretty much everyone I knew was white, so although I was raised to embrace all nationalities, I was not culturally savvy!

With all that being said, when I was about 28 years old, my little brother got married down in the Los Angeles area. I flew down by myself because my family couldn't afford to have everyone attend. So I met up with my mom and dad and spent a few days in "Sunny California". This was my first trip to California as an adult and I was awestruck by all the flowering trees and swimming pools visible as we were flying into the airport. I even photographed a palm tree as I was leaving the airport because although I'd been to Disneyland as a small child, I didn't remember ever having seen a palm tree. (Imagine that now that I live in Hawaii!)

We all had a great time, the wedding was beautiful...yada yada yada.
Then on the flight home, I got on a small plane in Seattle that would take me back to Spokane's airport. It was a tiny plane...quite an experience in itself! After we got settled, the Captain announced "in honor of Cinco De Mayo, we will be passing out complimentary Dos Equis beer to anyone who would like one!" Well, this white girl had never heard of Cinco De Mayo before! My mind conjured up an image of some famous Mexican hero or perhaps a Presidente! Senor De Mayo! **I extend my hand for dear Cinco to gently kiss it as I bow in his honor...all in my mind**So as I was taking my complimentary beer in hand, I raised it and said "Here's to you Cinco!" Infact I may have even seen the bottom of two such brewskis before the short flight was over and probably toasted him again.

I don't recall who actually later told me about Cinco De Mayo....that it wasn't even a person at all! But I do remember the embarrassment I felt! And for some reason that embarrassment has brought me a little bit of joy, every year since then! I find myself quietly giggling at my own expense! Always this time of year, I begin to joke about "Cinco De Mayo must be coming up soon....but I can never remember what day! "

I have some fond memories as well. My dear friend Erica, who was born in Mexico, used to live a few miles from me here in Hawaii and She and her husband were known to throw some pretty great BBQs "around the 5th of May". Lance could whip up some mean margaritas with a little li hing mui on the rim! So on this 5th day of May....I am missing my friend, who moved to Seattle...where my whole Cinco experience began....20 some years ago.

***Just for the record....the day that I flew was NOT on May 5th. My brothers wedding was towards the end of even for the culturally challenged, there has to be an excuse in there somewhere!

a hi hou


Suzanne said...

Barb, You are not alone. It is quite common for sheltered little gals from the Pacific Northwest to make such gaffes. There was a story circulating in Sandpoint about 18 years ago about the little gal who, on her first airplane trip out to California of North Idaho, ended up seated next to an African American gentleman. Upon learning that she was from the Panhandle of Idaho, he asked: "Isn't the KKK there?". "Oh, yes!", replied the gal with great enthusiasm (thinking he was referring to the Kamloops and Kokanee fishing derby), "and whoever gets the biggest one wins a boat!"

Sasaki Creations said...

Oh No! When she found out what he meant she must have been so embarrassed! Poor thing! I used to work at Silverwood Theme Park and saw Richard Butler, the head of the Aryan Nations strut in there with his enterage. It was disgusting, the hate that he perpetrated. I have also seen the compound entrance with the machine gun armed guards! Hard to believe that some people in this country still feel so much hatred.