Sunday, May 10, 2015

My Mom's Best Catchphrases

Happy Mother's Day!  Today is a very special day.  It's one of the biggest holidays I can think of and it celebrates someone that can't be celebrated in just one day: the mother.  So of course I had to come out with this special edition of Infinite Wisdom.  If you are fortunate enough to call your mother, grandmother or anyone who assumed that role in your life, I implore you to do so.  So before I get started I'm dedicating this to my two grandmothers and of course my mom, Claudia Zucel Rodriguez.  My mother has never stopped being there for me, she has never stopped supporting me, and she has struggled so much to ensure I lived a happy life.  No disrespect to anyone's mother, but I don't think anyone could have done a better job of raising me than my mom did.  She was a mother at the age of 19 and took care of me on my own until she married my dad.  She gave birth to my little sister, whom I adore so much.  My mom understood me, or at the very least attempted to understand me when I felt no one could.  I wasn't the easiest kid to raise, and so the fact that my mom was able to do that, and raise a daughter, and finish college, and work full time, and take my grandma in is just a testament of what kind of woman she is.  I respect her in so many ways and no amount of words I say out loud or right will ever be able to convey just how much I look up to her.  She wasn't perfect.  We had a lot of difficult moments.  But every time things looked bleak she found a way to make things right.  I love my mom.  I wish I could be back home to celebrate this day with her, but this will have to do for now.  So before I continue with this blog, I just want to tell you, Ma, that I thank you for all the sacrifices you have made for me and for just being yourself.  Happy Mother's Day!

My mom always thought that our family belonged on a sitcom.  A lot of people say that about their families.  But our family was borderline ridiculous at times.  We got in crazy scenarios and the situations that we got into were some stuff you couldn't make up.  But the thing that really convinces me that I'm a supporting actor in my family's hit sitcom is the fact that everyone seems to have a catchphrase.  First of all, normal people don't have catchphrases.  They just don't.  My dad says, "Ti!" instead of saying "Si" like a normal person.  He also says "Don't call it a comeback" a lot which was stolen from LL Cool J.  (My dad says a lot of lines from old rap songs.)  "Q-vo!" is something he yells out when he proves someone wrong.  My grandma says "Perro mas perro!" when my dog something bad.  But my mom has a whole pallet of catchphrases to choose from.  She has a Batman-like utility belt of one-liners.  She can practically hold an entire conversation of her catchphrases.  Here are some of my favorite lines my mom says on the reg.  (Note: I never thought I would write a Mother's Day blog post that was borderline NSFW, but unfortunately it was unavoidable.)

A lot of the stuff my mom does is non-verbal, which is usually substituting profane language.  My mom likes to flip me off by running the back of her hand against her throat repeatedly.  In all honestly I started this war years ago and it just caught fire.  My mom also likes to applaud sarcastically by clapping like a sea lion with loose wrists.  Often she accompanies that by saying, "Mira come me applaudan."  When she doesn't care what someone has to say she'll take her index finger and make a tornado motion.  Sometimes she'll gesture that finger upward to tell you to stick it up your... let's move on.

Una Patada
An oldie, but a goody.  When I was a young lad and my sister was still a toddler my mom used to yell this when we misbehaved.  It was basically a threat to kick our butts.  I'm safe now.  I live in LA.

No Papa
Don't know how this one started.  I just remember being picked up from school and asking my mom for something and she saying, "No papa!".  I don't know if she was trying to sound Cuban or something, but she kept saying it for a while.  Anytime a simple "No" would have sufficed she felt inclined to add the "papa".  I'm safe now.  I'm in LA.

Leave Britney Alone!
This line actually stems from a viral video we all saw on the Soup.  Basically a guy name Chris Crocker posted a video online begging people to stop criticizing Britney Spears.  (This is around the time she was trying to make her comeback.)  My mom now says that anytime we criticize her.  (We do it more often than we're proud of.)  I would have thought this line would have died out by now.  And I can hear her yelling, "Leave Britney alone" as she reads this.

Pideme Algo
This is one of my favorites and it's one I actually use with my girlfriend.  Basically this translates to, "Ask me for something".  After doing something mean to my mom or not helping her with something my mom would say this line.  In essence, "Ask me for something and see if I'll help you."


Thanks for the Support...
The full line is "Thanks for the support, asshole."  The line originally came from Eminem's hit single "My Name Is" from The Slim Shady LP.  (My family has a tendency of stealing rap lines.)  It stemmed from the time I was going to meet my biological dad for the first time in years.  I was nervous and I asked my mom what I should say to him.  Her response was, "Thanks for the support, asshole."  Now my mom will say that sarcastically to anyone she feels hasn't helped her.  It's a good line.  I said it to my college's financial aid office when they kept losing my financial aid documents.  (CSU Dominguez Hills problems.)  Thanks Eminem.

Our first acronym and you guessed it, profanity is involved.  But this isn't a children's blog so here's what it stands for: Eat Shit and Die.  (Whoa!  Shit got dark!)  Not really.  My mom says the acronym out of modesty (I think?) and it's not as vicious as it sounds.  I'm safe now.  I live in LA.

Don't Worry About It
I don't know why this is even a thing, but it is.  The first time I heard my mom say it she picked me up from school.  This isn't even a nice, sweet story of a mother reassuring her son either.  It's a sad story of neglect and deceit.  My mom picked me up from school and I thought we were on our way home.  However, we got on the freeway and it became apparent we were headed somewhere else.  I asked my mom where we were going.  "Don't worry about it."  I was confused and when we got on another freeway I asked my mom again.  Her answer was the same.  I thought maybe it was a surprise party, which would have made no sense.  I asked my mom and her answer didn't change.  I saw the Kaiser building and I asked my mom if I had an appointment.  She said, "Don't worry about it."  Finally we parked at Kaiser.  I did have an appointment.  My mom's reason for not telling me?  She didn't have one.  I'm safe now.  I live in LA.

I don't remember the first time my mom said it.  But she says it more often than I can count.  Usually it's after she's talking about gentrification, the government or something else that affects us.  Sometimes she's talking about other people.  It's very versatile, I'll give her that.  I even use it when I talk about my college.

Hombre Sucio
Hombre could be replaces my nino or nina.  Sometimes vieja to talk about my grandma.  Even perro if she wanted to throw Toby under the bus.  Basically anytime somebody did something dirty she would hit us with that line.  But hombre sucio came up the most often though.

Hijo de la Fregada
This is really my mom being modest.  She's cleaned up the language over the years.  This is probably the nicest variation of her line.  Trust me, it could be a lot worse.  But I don't know how to spell the other words she uses.  But most importantly I don't have it in my heart to repeat those words.  (It's mostly the spelling thing.)  I'm safe now.  I live in LA.

Tiemblo, Tiemblo
My mom is very sarcastic.  That's where I get it from.  Say somebody warns my mom of some consequences, this is what they'll get in response.  I guess it would be like someone saying, "I'm shaking in my boots."  My mom also sometimes does a shaking motion with her hands.

We'll Get Through This
In all seriousness, this is a story of a mother reassuring her family.  We've gone through a lot.  We've struggled.  We've been so unsure of the future.  Things have often looked bleak for us.  But in each of those moments my mom has been a rock in the family.  When I hear her utter those reassuring words, I leave my trust in her.  And we've always managed to survive as a family.  I guess that's the best part of my mom.  Yes, she's fun to be with and a lot of the funniest moments in my lifetime have been at her expense.  But when the storm comes and all we have is the family, my mom is one of the strongest people you can meet.

Thank you for reading this special Mother's Day blog.  I hope you call your mother day and celebrate.  before I sign off I just want to congratulate some of my friends on graduating college.  Smoke, you did it.  You're one of the smartest people I know and you're on your way to do big things.  Omar, you've been one of my best friends since the 6th grade.  I wish I could be there to see you graduate, but alas I can't.  Chin, you're my boy.  You and Omar have always looked out for me, especially on my visits to SB.  Really proud of you.  Liz Vera, part of the original V crew at DH housing.  You've been such a good friend of mine at DH and I wish you nothing but the best.  That's it for congrats. If I forgot anyone just know that I'm proud of your accomplishments.  Stay Guapo out there!

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