Friday, August 04, 2006

For all the beautiful Cuban-American girls out there.

What is a Cubanita (CUBAN GIRL...)?

It's getting diamonds pierced in your ears after five days of birth wearing Royal Violets cologne every day until age 15, (and secretly still do)

Throwing a fifteenth birthday party that costs your parents more than your first car.

It's loving Marti and hating Castro. Lighting candles at Mass for "La Caridad del Cobre"; and having to kiss every Cuban cheek like you're related.

It's looking European, but feeling Caribbean; and seething inside while smiling politely when someone asks if you're Puerto Rican.

It's meals at every party; parties for every occasion. It's serving your skinny uncle piles of "lechón" on "Nochebuena" while your three hundred pound aunt drinks crema de vie.

It's having turkey with white rice and black beans, and flan with a slice of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving.

It's eating the "cuban" birthday cake wishing you had Carvel;

It's the "Little white boxes" at birthday parties filled with 1 pastelito de carne and another of guayaba, 1 tamal, 2 croquetas, a bocadito and maybe a toy!

It's learning to dance merengue and salsa (before Salsa Lovers) from your papi or tio or abuelito and knowing the difference between a guajira and a guaracha.

It's being able to sing The Star Spangled Banner and hum the Cuban National Anthem. (Some of us actually had to memorize the words!)

It's knowing at least two lines of the Guantanamera's lyrics.

It's having cafe con leche for breakfast, a sandwich cubano for lunch, and masitas de puerco, arroz blanco y garbanzos or chicharos for dinner and a arroz con leche or boniatillo, for dessert. And after that a "Cafecito Cubano".

It's loving the hot, humid air of Miami; and drinking cortaditos in the Versailles or la Carreta or Larios.

It's eating guayaba, cream cheese and crackers or mamey or frutabomba (que alla en Oriente es Ja Ja) shakes as snacks between meals.

It's knowing that "this never happened in Cuba"; even if you've never been there and everything in Cuba was better, even the fruits taste better.

It's dealing with chaperonas;

It's a certain sexiness in the way she walks and the twinkle in the eyes of any Cuban woman;

It's talking too fast in English and running your words together in Spanish.

It's being born and raised in a free country and being madly in love with a restless island you've never even seen... (Our grandparents would be proud)

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