At various moments in your childhood, certain things pop up that make you realize your family is a liiiiittle different from those of your non-Latino and non-immigrant friends. Which leads you to wonder if you could ever manage to have a non-latino S.O.
Until one day, it happens: You fall for a Jordan instead of a Joaquín, a Jessica instead of a Yessica.
First, you wonder how your boo will react to you family.
Does your abuela’s picadillo have the power to transcend ideology, language and culture? (Of course it does.)
But even more so, you
wonder worry about how your family will react to your boo.
Is your S.O.’s appetite big enough to warm their hearts? Are they strong enough to withstand your mom’s judgment and abuela’s chisme?
So you make bae go through a rigorous training process…
There’ll be name flashcards for all 152 cousins, as well as appetite-enhancement practices. #NoGrainLeftBehind
…complete with cheek-kissing drills.
And remember: practice makes perfect.
You open them up to a new world of food possibilities.
The heart wants what the heart wants. And now your boo wants you… to bring them more tostones rellenos.
And your heart melts the first time they order food in Spanish.
There’s just something sexy about a man or woman who knows what they want: carne asada.
At first, bae seems offended when they’re called “El Gring@.”
Until you have this conversation:
“Why don’t you just call me White?”
“Because Hispanics can be White.”
“Why don’t you just call me American?
“Because Hispanics can be American.”
“Why not just call me by my name?”
“Because that’s not how we show LOVE.”
But eventually they use it more than you do when chismiando.
And you don’t have the heart to say “…Um, that’s you too, babe.”
Whether your boo speaks Spanish or not, there’s still translating involved.
“Nom babe, my mom’s not ‘bringing a stick inside,’ she’s going to whoop someone’s a**.”
Finally, they’re ready for the first big milestone: THE WEDDING.
It’s the first time they really lets loose around your family, and they kinda love ’em more for it.
You’re proud when they start calling your family by their nicknames.
“Tia Lea” is now no longer “teeya leeya.”
…and even more proud when your family comes up with a brand new nickname for your S.O.
Sure, it might be “flac@”, or “fe@”, or worse, “flac@ fe@”, but you know it only means one thing: real love.
But the cutest is when they eventually tell strangers that they’re “basically” Hispanic.
The assimilation into culture and family is complete.
And then you realize you’d do the same for them.
Because at the end of the day, for Latinos, family is everything… no matter where they’re from.
Did you ever introduce a non-Latino boyfriend or girlfriend to your family? Let us know how it went!