I’m in a little competition with the wives of my husband’s co-workers … except nobody knows it but me.
His co-workers from Mexico like to give my husband, the only Salvadoran among them, a hard time. The ribbing is out of affection, but sometimes my husband, (who they’ve nicknamed “Pupusa”), tells me the stories and I feel an instinctive need to help him look good the next day.
My husband says a lot of the silliness and teasing happens at lunch time. First they made fun of him because his banana is always smaller than their bananas, (and yes, while they are talking about fruit, they’re also implying what you think they are.) … I offered to send a plantain in my husband’s lunch box, but he declined.
Then his co-workers noted that he eats rice almost every day, so when my husband tried to grow a beard and mustache, they called him “Fu Manchu” because it made him look more Asian with his ojos chinos. (He later shaved, but he always ends up doing that.)
None of this bothers my husband, who comes from a family of people that like to “joke hard” as he says. The only thing he has mentioned that bothers me, is that the other guys bring such good food for lunch all the time. They bring seafood, beef, chicken, homemade salsa, tortillas, frijoles, caldos … always something different, always an entire meal worthy of la última cena.
I really can’t compete with the other wives. We can’t afford to buy the ingredients to make such varied banquets within the same week, (his co-workers’s families live together and share expenses as well as a dinner table.)
Nevertheless, each week I try to make something new and worthy of envy. Last night it was “Arroz a la Tumbada“, a regional dish from the co-workers home of Veracruz, Mexico. Take that, co-workers-wives-who-don’t- know-me-very-well-and-have-no-idea-a-random-gringa-is-jealous-of-you.