Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Gorda, Flaca, Prieta, Ciega...What's In A Name?

The Alamillo family (including my mother) gives everyone some sort of nickname. My brother Max is notorious for pointing out that the person resembles a cartoon from our childhood. "Doesn't that guy look like the crossed eye kitten that Sylvester the cat teaches to catch mice. Remember, he was always going fffft, fffft?" And in truth, he did.

Let's see...Max was flaco, Richard was negro, Lucy was gurumis. I don't remember what a gurumis is. I will have to ask mom and get back to you on the definition. Yours truly was gorda. How messed up is that? Started me off early with the self loathing of my body. The crazy thing was that these names were given to us with lots of love.

Boyfriends and girlfriends were fair game in our family. My brother had a girlfriend that we called Peppermint Patty. She had the blunt cut, freckles and the sandals. The only thing missing was a sidekick to call her "sir".

My husband got the name "mil usos" (a thousand uses). Get your mind out of the gutter people. This name was given to him by my mother because he is such a handy man. He can tune up a car, unclog a sink, fix a toilet and plant a garden. You name it, he does it. About the only thing he can not do is caulk tile and take me on a date (I am still waiting). Either way, I love my mil usos. His family has given me a nickname as well. They like calling me "la gata" because they swear I was a crazy chuca in high school. Not really people. I was a good girl.

And now we have carried on the tradition by giving our kids their nicknames. My oldest daughter has always been referred to as an old soul. We swear she has roamed this earth before because the look in her eyes tell you so. Her nickname is "mai-mai" and cabezona (not for the size of her head but the fact that this girl is stubborn). Maite is the viking. This name was given to her by our good friend Denise. My father calls her "chispa" (spark). She can be yelling one minute and then turn around with a smile and say she loves you. Both of these names are appropriate since I find myself debating with a six year old on a daily basis. Why can't she understand that no is no? Because while she lives under my roof, she will live by my rules (oh wait, that is the other blog posting about using your mothers sayings). Gael is known by my father as the "vaquero" (cowboy). He finally got his grandson and swears he wants to take him to Mexico and return him when he is 18. I keep telling my father that it is my daughters who will wipe the drool off his chin when he is an old man. Gael's other name is "duende". Those goblins/elfs who come into your home unseen and wreck havoc on your belongings. Yup, that is my little man cub. He has the killer smile that will let him get away with anything.

I am sure you have names given to you by your family. Some of my good friends are flaca, tatu, stinky, chismosa, trollop and nopalero. My sister in law lovingly greets me on the phone with "que honda pinche india." I know she loves me.

Nicknames give us a clue of what they are made of. Which of their characteristics stand out strong. Only those closest to us know our nicknames. It is a treasured secret amongst the familia.

So what is your nickname? Share. Andale, you know you have one.

No comments:

Post a Comment