Most women will at some point in their lives feel pressure to get married and settled down. For most, that pressure may begin between the ages of 25-35. But when your abuela (grandmother) is from Argentina the pressure starts the day you get your first period.
My parents were pretty successful at holding her off, but by the time I got to High School she wasn’t playing around anymore. It didn’t help matters that I was a late bloomer. Here I was 15 years old and still no marriage prospects – disgraceful. This confounded my abuela who saw me as the world’s most beautifully perfect specimen.
Unfortunately the rest of the world saw me as an awkward girl with frizzy hair and glasses.
One of my favorite things to do when visiting her in Argentina was making the rounds to all the different shops (vegetable vendor, chicken vendor, etc.) It was the best way to get all of the neighborhood gossip. I liked going to the fish vendor the best because he had a super hot nephew who was coveted by all the girls in the neighborhood.
My one saving grace was that his uncle adored me because I was from the United States (those other girls couldn’t say that! Boo-ya).
In Argentina, it is customary to greet someone you know with a kiss on the cheek. My Abuela, who was in cahoots with the fish vendor, had felt that enough time had gone by that I should start greeting the nephew like a proper Argentinean.
On his uncle’s order, the nephew calmly walked around the counter to greet me, but being that I am shy and awkward I just sort of stood there for a minute, blushing and fighting back the panic that usually accompanies any situation involving a guy.
I managed to pull myself together and was about to take a step forward and pucker up when my abuela, frustrated that this was all taking too long, shoved me as hard as she could in the direction of the nephew, thereby flinging my tiny frame toward him.
Instead he stepped forward to catch me and my foot landed on his slippery rubber boot, sending me sliding down so that I kissed his chin and then hung in his arms with my face pressed against his rubber apron covered in fish guts.
I honestly don’t know how he was able to fight the urge to take me right then and there!