As the title hints, I took the younger nephew to a birthday party yesterday. It was one of his classmate's 8th birthday. And for some reason they decided to host it at a gymnasium in Timbuktu, the other side of the city, so I waited at the party rather than make another 60 minute round trip. While twiddling my toes and becoming numb while the nerves vibrated up my spine up to the base of my skull from all the screaming, I remembered a few birthday parties in Mexico.
In Iowa, if the printed invitation says the party starts at 3:00, the party really starts at 3:00. And don't be late. In Mexico, if the word-of-mouth party invitation starts at 3:00, show up at 4:00. Or 5:00. Or midnight.
In Iowa, do not even consider bringing along an uninvited guest. In Mexico, bring along your sister, your best friend, her mother-in-law, and the 15 cousins from the next town over. The more the merrier.
In Iowa, alcohol is strictly verboten at a children's birthday party. In Mexico, alcohol consumption is encouraged.
In Iowa, food is centered around the children's tastes. Pizza, pop, hot dogs and cake. In Mexico, fajitas, tortillas, salchichas, with a load of peel the paint hot salsa is common. Even the kids eat the stuff. And a piñata. Does anyone else besides me think it is sadistic to beat the hell out of a papier-mâché princess or Sponge Bob?
In Iowa when the party invitation says the party is over at 5:00, you better be there on time to pick up the child. If you're 15 minutes late, Child Protective Services may be called to report an abandoned child. In Mexico, the party has just barely started.
Maybe I wouldn't be so cranky about yesterday's birthday party if the host would have offered me a piece of birthday cake. Or better yet, a beer.
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