Sunday, August 10, 2008


I felt much like I did this day as I worked an event on Center Street. It was a Quinceañera for two daughters (cousins I believe) and boy did these Mexicans know how to throw a party. The hall was absolutely packed with family, friends, music, dancing, food, smiles, hugs, screaming, cheering, and 3 caterers in stiff looking ties and black aprons.

When I got the party order and looked over the supplies I would need to gather before the party started, my eyes stopped on the duration of the party. 5 to 10:30. Seriously? Could they really find things to do for five and a half hours?

The night felt like one continuous melody of laughter. I walked away with a renewed respect for their absolute love of life. It was like they couldn't get enough of it, even in the concentrated doses they seemed to be downing with their tacos. Everything was saturated with celebration. The night of dancing begun with a formal waltz; all the girls in similar, white, prom-type gowns, the boys in single file, their right hand holding gently the fingers of their dance partner. They walked out together, and just as synchronized - like it was part of the dance - the grandmothers got out their video cameras and the beep of the record button chimed with the music. They twirled together, dresses as outstretched as their arms, and the music fit neatly between the partners, aiding their feet in rhythmic movement.

A part of me was jealous, once again, that I didn't feel like I had a culture, a place, a people to relate to. Sometimes it's easy to get lost in the melting pot (or "tossed salad for all you politically correct fanatics out there) of American. It's like my family left their identity on the shores of Europe before they ventured off to foreign lands.

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