Today we spent much of the day at a birthday party for a little girl in El Chiquito’s class. The party was at a roller skating rink. Roller skating is one thing I, (a child of the 80’s!), am hands down better at than my kids. They had never been before today. In fact, they didn’t know what roller skating was when we received the party invitation. I had to explain that roller skates are like shoes with wheels. They still seemed uncertain until I showed them a Youtube video of people skating. (Kids today! I pull up a Youtube video at least once a week to show my children something “antique”.)
Anyway, I skated at the party for a few songs and only fell once, (when I tripped over El Niño Grande who was on the ground more than on his feet.) At one point Señor López and I left the niños clinging to the wall while we skated around holding hands.
The niños had fun at the party. The only family member not in attendance was Suegra and she was not happy about it. She asked to come, (why she would want to come to a little gringa’s birthday party when she doesn’t know the child, doesn’t speak English, doesn’t roller skate, hates pizza and can’t stand excessively sweet American-style birthday cake, I really have no clue.) Mr. López gently dissuaded her from going and she got the message that she wasn’t welcome.
This got me thinking about the differences between Anglo and Latino parties though, so I thought I would make a list. Maybe it will be helpful to someone. If not, perhaps at least amusing.
The Differences Between an Anglo kid’s Birthday party and a Latino kid’s Birthday party
#1. Who gets to come?
Anglo – Those whose names are written on the invitation.
Latino – Those whose names are written on the invitation, plus their uncles, cousins, and sometimes random neighbors who had nothing better to do that day.
#2. What time should we come?
Anglo – The time is right there on the invitation.
Latino – An hour late, or else the hosts won’t be ready when you arrive.
#3. Food Etiquette
Anglo – Eat only what is given to you. Don’t ask for seconds even if you’re really hungry.
Latino – Eat as much as you want and then ask for plates to take home leftovers for eating later or to bring to family members who didn’t feel like coming.
#4. Singing, dancing, music
Anglo – The only music heard is when the kids sing “Happy Birthday” at cake time. Dancing is rare, but when it happens, it is usually the “Hokey Pokey”.
Latino – WHAT?! I CAN’T HEAR YOU! THE MUSIC IS TOO LOUD! … Adults dance Perreo in front of the kids, no importa.
Anglo – Of course not! What’s wrong with you?! It’s a CHILDREN’S birthday party!
Latino– Claro que sí! … The cerveza is there in the cooler, hermano!
Anglo – A strict schedule of organized activities and games for the children.
Latino – Niños, go play in the street or something. Stop bothering the grown ups! We’ll do the piñata later! Hijole!
#7. What’re we eating?
Anglo – Probably pizza.
Latino – Steak, chicken, rice, beans, salad, tortillas, etc. Load your styrofoam plate up until it’s ready to crack under the weight.
#8. When does the party end?
Anglo – Refer to your invitation. Thank your hosts and excuse yourself on the dot. Clear out!
Latino – Party until everyone’s tired and/or Tio Eduardo passes out on the couch while watching a fútbol game.