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11 Things Every Abuela Says In The Car That Drive (Hehe) You Crazy

In your ongoing quest to be a good kid, you’ll sometimes find yourself either giving your beloved abuelita a ride in your car, or acting as her copilot as she makes her way through these mean streets. And it pretty much never goes well:

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Credit: TBS

It’s rough, but we’ve all been there. And we all have PTSD from it.

Here are some typical things every abuela says when you drive in the car with her:

1. “You’re driving too fast.”

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Credit: Giphy

snail would be driving too fast for abuela’s taste.

2. “¡Ay dios mio!”

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Regardless of whether you’re just sitting tight at a red light or trying to make an intense left turn on green, your abuela’s stress factor is constantly through the roof. 

3. “This car is a mess, just like your room/home/desk/life.”

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Credit: NBC

Since when is keeping napkins and a change of shoes in your car “a mess”? (Good thing you cleaned out the 7,082 empty water bottles you had in there before she climbed in.)

4. “Vas a ver cuando lleguemos a la casa.”

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You know she isn’t joking around anymore regarding the speed limit. Yikes!

5. “What is that noise? Is it music?”

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In her defense, did you really expect your abuela to appreciate the new Shawn Mendes song as much as you do?

6. “When I was your age, we walked everywhere.

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God bless your abuela and her hard work all of her life, but if you have to hear the story about how she and her brothers and sisters had to walk miles and miles to school, you just might lose it.

7. “No, we have food at home.”

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Credit: Cheezburger.com

This is, of course, the answer you get when you ask if you can stop and get some drive-through food real quick.

8. “You don’t need the air conditioning on. Sweating is good for you.”

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Lord, give me strength.

9. “Te voy a dar un cachetazo.”

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YOU’RE ALMOST HOME. JUST HANG IN THERE. YOU CAN DO IT. YOU WILL BOTH COME OUT THE OTHER SIDE AS BETTER HUMANS.

10. “Just let them over!”

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Credit: Universal Pictures

You can’t sass her back because she’s your abuela and you love her, but she really doesn’t understand the idea that you can’t let everyone in front of you or else you’d get nowhere.

11. “Never again.”

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Despite all of your car-related differences, at least there are two things you can agree on: Traffic sucks, and you’ll always love each other no matter what.


READ: 11 Signs You *Are* Your Abuela

What are some hilarious things your abuela says? Let us know in the comments below!

This Abuelita Had To Wait 64 Years But She Finally Made Her Quinceañera Dreams Come True

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This Abuelita Had To Wait 64 Years But She Finally Made Her Quinceañera Dreams Come True

@tcsnoticias / Twitter

This abuelita always wanted to celebrate her quinces, and now at the age of 79, she finally did. Complete with the event’s classic necessities, a voluminous dress, tiered cake and chambelanes, this young-at-heart viejita made her dream come true. Gives new meaning to the phrase, ‘better late than never’ right?

The emotional story has social media shook—and naturally, it’s gone viral.

Facebook Yolanda Luna

The 79 year-old danced the traditional waltz with not-so-traditional chambelanes. Her dance partners were all her grandchildren. And what’s more; her own daughter planned the whole thing. 

“Lo más hermoso que te puede pasar en toda tu vida, es ver a tu mamá feliz”

Facebook Yolanda Luna

Okay so get the tissue ready. This woman knew that her mom’s life-long dream had been to have had celebrated her Quince años with a big party —and equally big dress. And although she’s not quite quince anymore, it’s never too late to make someone’s dream come true. So Yolanda Luna set out to make her mami happy.

79 year old Nina Silva is from La Plata, Argentina. 

Facebook Yolanda Luna

When she turned fifteen, her family wasn’t able to throw her the quinceañera party she always wanted, due to economic struggles, so she gave up hope of ever having one. But little did she know that she’d have to wait over 60 years to see her dream come true.

“Tu fiesta de quince años que no tuviste, hoy la estás viviendo como vos querías”

“The quince años party that you never had, you’re now experiencing the way you always wanted it,” read a post that Nina’s daughter Yolanda Luna posted on Facebook about the party. 

The abuelita wore a silver and pink dress, and completed the look with a silver tiara. 

Facebook Yolanda Luna

The party was made possible thanks to the help of family and friends. Many family members made food for the occasion, and everyone helped get the traditional cake. 

No quinceañera would be complete without the traditional waltz.

The quinceañera obviously had her dance, and in Nina’s case, the chambelanes who accompanied her in this dance were all her children and grandchildren —we’re not crying, you’re crying.

Her own children were perhaps happier than the quinceañera herself, who wouldn’t stop smiling all night long. 

Algunas fotos del cumple de mamá un orgullo para mi la mamá tan maravillosa q tengo a sus 79 años le cumplimos su sueño…

Posted by Soledad Luna on Sunday, January 12, 2020

The family hired a venue, a DJ and got the whole town to come together to celebrate their viejita. “A sus 79 años le cumplimos su sueño de tener su cumple de 15 que no pudo tener,“ wrote another one of Nina’s children, Soledad  Luna. “At 79 we made her dream come true.”

Turning 15 is considered a momentous occasion, as it is the moment that they symbolically become young women. 

While the quinceañera celebrations may have more in common with a wedding than a birthday party, they’re a traditional and enduringly popular rite of passage for many young Latinas. The Quinceañera, which literally translates to “the girl who is 15,” signifies a young girl’s transition in becoming a woman, and a lot of the traditions and elements of the party symbolize her transition and growth into womanhood. 

For many, a quinceañera is seen simply as an excuse for a blow-out party with family and friends 

The actual significance of the tradition is tied into both Catholic and pre-Hispanic culture. Many years ago, this celebration was rather more literal than symbolic; in pre-Hispanic times, 15 was considered the appropriate age to begin childbearing, and in the 20th century the right time to be married. Luckily, this no longer tends to be the case, but even so the quinceañera tradition has endured.

Nina’s celebration is proof that you don’t have to be fifteen to celebrate your Quinces. Get yourself a puffy dress and some chambelanes, because you’re never too old to celebrate womanhood.

How ‘Guantanamera’ Sung By Celia Cruz Helped Me To Better Understand My Abuelo’s Exile From Cuba

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How ‘Guantanamera’ Sung By Celia Cruz Helped Me To Better Understand My Abuelo’s Exile From Cuba

credit: Cuban passport image belonging to writer's mother / Photograph provided by Alexandria Portée / Flower design by Canva.com

My mother was six when she fled to the United States from Cuba with my abuela and her two siblings. After reuniting with my abuelo who fought against Fidel Castro in the Bay of Pigs War, they moved to Chicago, where they built a life for themselves completely from scratch, still gripping tenderly onto the heritage and cultures that connected them to families and friends back at home. In their efforts to keep and sustain our family’s Cuban heritage, my abuelos and my mother taught me and my siblings to love and cherish the many different and beautiful contributions that their island country has given to the world: cuisine, cafecito, Bacardí, music, and José Marti.

Naturally, as any proud Cuban-American, I have benevolently held onto all of these as my own personal tokens from an island I have never visited or known. I’m quick to boast about each of them as if they were conjured up by my own mother’s hard work in the kitchen. Still, none have Cuba’s treasures have made me feel quite so intimately linked to my family’s first home like the beloved Cuban song “Guantanamera.”

Like my abuelos and my mother’s stories of Cuba, “Guantanamera” is a song that has grown and adapted through its journey. I have heard the story of my abuelos’ wedding day more than a hundred times; the tale of how my mother cried when kids at her school called my abuelo —a Bay of Pigs prisoner who singlehandedly saved hundreds of lives after being captured by Castro — a criminal; the account of my abuela wringing her hands as she debated enrolling her children in Operation Peter Pan and how she later boarded a cargo ship holding onto only her children and memories of her life to meet my abuelo in the United States. Each anecdote is the same but is always slightly altered in some way depending on the storyteller’s mood and time that I plead for their retelling. Some days they’re drawn out, told with prideful smiles, but often they’re said quickly with an ache to forget the portal of bittersweet memories my questions have sent them through. So similarly goes the many different versions of “Guantanamera.”

It is widely accepted that the original lyrics of the song, considered to be Cuba’s unofficial anthem, were romantic in nature, but over time, the song has been interpreted as a political ode. Brought from the rural regions of the island and to airwaves by Cuban radio host Joseíto Fernández in the 1920s, the song quickly caught on among fans. Fernández performed it regularly on his show and, in the tradition of most folk music, improvised and changed verses based on the week’s events. Some days he sang about politics, and other days he purred lyrics that harped about azucar and its rising costs. Still, the song’s opening lines and chorus, “Guantanamera, guajira Guantanamera / Guantanamera, guajira Guantanamera,” always remained the same.

Cuban composer Julián Orbón adapted the “official” lyrics to the song using verses from Cuban freedom fighter José Martí’s poetry collection “Versos Sencillos.” Orbón’s version, the one most commonly recorded by music artists, used Marti’s lines about a “sincere man” who was from “where the palm trees grow (Yo soy un hombre sincero/ De donde crece la palma).

This adaptation, combined with other lyrics from Martí’s poems that express compassion for Cuba’s poor, is ultimately what turned “Guantanamera” into the country’s most recognized patriotic anthem. In the U.S. and internationally, the song has been interpreted and adopted as a rally for peace (in 2004, for instance, the Swedish government flipped it into an offbeat rap song to promote recycling) and performed by a wide range of artists. In 1966, the Sandpipers did a version that became an international hit, and in the years that followed, singers like Jimmy Buffett, Pitbull and even the Fugees recorded their own editions. My personal favorite is the one sung by Cuban-born singer Celía Cruz on her album “Bravo” in 1967.

My Spanish has never quite allowed me to communicate with my abuelo in his native language fluently, but “Guantanamera” has let me do so.

Most conversations with my abuelo come with a melding of his so-so English and my mediocre Spanish. Together, we’re able to find a common ground that allows us to make each other laugh, exchange “te quiero mucho muchos” and grants me the ability to learn about the family and life he was forced to leave behind. In worse case scenarios, my abuela, a retired Spanish teacher, or my mother will intervene to translate. But when it comes to “Guantanamera,” abuelo and I have never needed assistance. Together, we’ve sung the song, our separately known variants, not always familiar with the lines each other sings but always well aware that in those moments they fill us with a deep love for each other and the versions of Cuba we both know.

Recently, during a visit with my abuelos, we sat together in their snug living room listening to Celía Cruz’s illustrious take of “Guantanamera” as her throaty voice sang over flute trills and drums. Old pictures of primos and tias looked down at us from the walls as we first listened carefully to the lyrics.

There’s no knowing what will prompt one of the Cubans in my family to break out into song. My most playful tía will chorus a line to tell stories; my brother does it at the dinner table even though he knows he’ll be told it’s rude, and my mother does it when she wants you to be in a better mood. Like them, my abuelos and I couldn’t help ourselves as Celía’s lively low-range voice started the chorus. Not against the charms of “Guantanamera.” Soon enough, abuela, abuelo and I were all singing the different Spanish versions of the song we hold dear.

Truthfully, if ever there was a moment that I thought I could burst from feeling so whole, it was sitting there in their living room, watching as the burden of my abuelo’s struggles of exile, always easy to decipher in his quietly distracted stares, seemed almost completely forgotten as he sang with pure delight.

“Guantanamera” is a song that has had a rhythmic presence in my life for as long as I can remember.

Like the smell of aftershave on my abuelo’s worn blue guayabera and the cheekiness of my abuela’s wily grin, I could make out that song anywhere, even despite the many versions it holds. Including the one I’ve heard my abuelo hum while brushing his teeth and the one my mother tries to keep in tune to while singing along to Cruz as she drives in the car. Like the different impressions of the song, Cuba is a country that has been strongly woven into our different narratives. Still, while my relationship and experience with Cuba will never tug on the strings of my heart with the same pang as it does on my abuelos or my mother, “Guantanamera” reminds me that the island is much more of a home than a foreign place that my family’s exile might try to make me believe.