I love the humor and the fun sayings that come from the motherland. The majority of my family no longer live in Michoacán, México; we all grew up on The Ranch, land purchased by my grandparents on my Dad’s side of the family. These people are straight-up hilarious, not in the telling jokes kind of way, but they are the best storytellers ever and we constantly marvel at how these folks, our parents, in their 80’s can remember EVERY detail of their lives since they were little. What makes them so funny is that they don’t even realize that they ARE funny, they are being their 100% authentic selves, isn’t that the best way to be? My siblings and cousins can attest to the fact that one of my tías (aunts) will say something, como si nada, and the entire room is busting up with laughter.
What really gets me, though, are the random phrases and sayings that they throw out without even realizing it. Soooo fun. It’s life lessons from my aunts — Tia Wisdom.
Una Hora de Burro
I don’t even remember what we were talking about, but one day my Tía says to me, “ay mijita tú sabes, todos tenemos una hora de burro’. Whaaat? I completely lost it! “Una hora de burro” literally means “An hour of donkey or ass”. “Burro” is slang for “stupid”, meaning that, at one time or another, we have all done something dumb in our lives.
15 Minutos de Pendeja
The other one my Tía threw out was, “como decía mi mama, todos tenemos 15 minutos de pendeja”, that is, 15 minutes of stupid, how true is THIS one? We were talking about someone’s relationship I as I recall. How many of us have done something so stupid in the name of love? I know I have. As I write this, I gave my laptop a look that says “Okaaay?”.
These statements are so powerful, so true that, after you laugh, you’re often taken aback, you shut up, and feel the truth hit. But what I love about hearing phrases like “todos tenemos una hora de burro” or “todos tenemos 15 minutos de pendeja” is that they keep it real but they’re not cruel, it’s more like “we’ve all been there”, “I get it”, “it’s ok, you’re not the only one”. These kinds of statements totally mitigate the drama and I find myself saying things like, “y si”, “yep”, nodding my head in agreement hands up in the air. They’re like old school hashtags, right? Shutting it all down with perfect comic timing.
No one does BOOM statements like the old school, and everyone has tias, grandmothers, mothers, sisters, cousins, comadres, daughters, and friends who can be counted on to say the most random thing, often funny, at the perfect moment.
Spend time talking to the elders in the fam. You’ll always learn something, and you’ll likely hear it in the most unique way…love my tías and their Tia Wisdom, no one on earth like them.