How I found out Papi had Instagram

My Dad (Papi) was born in Cuba. I (Yackie) was born in the U.S. We get tripped up sometimes:

Papi: “J. Lo keeps emailing me.”

Me: “Emailing you? Papi, I don’t think J. Lo emails you.”

Papi: “Si, Yackie. She sends me pictures.”

Me: “Did you download Instagram.”

Papi: “Insta-que? No! Es pictures. Como Kodak.”

Me: ” Yeah, Papi. You definitely downloaded Instagram.”

Mucho Comedy Mondays: When Your Mom Tries to Recap the Golden Globes

I need a translator for my mom when award season comes around (she calls me Mama)

Mami: “Mama, I love Gus. He was so sweet at the Golden Globes.”

Me: “Ma, who is Gus?”

Mami: “Mama,  Raz Gaslin. He thanked his wife for raising his daughters. He’s so sweet.”

Me: “Oh. You mean Ryan Gosling.”

Mami: “Yes, that’s what I said.”

Raz Gaslin, if you’re out there, my mom appreciates you.

Mucho Comedy Mondays: When You Ask Your Dad to be in Your Webseries

I’m writing a web series about being the child of immigrant parents, and asked my Dad (Papi, a real life immigrant) to play the Dad in the series. This is how our conversation went:

Me: “Papi, I want you to be in my web series. You have to play yourself.”

Papi: “On camera?”

Me: “Si, Papi.”

Papi: “I turn around and a camera is filming behind me? Like those shows on Bravo? No, Yackie. No. Ask your mom. She likes Bravo.”


Mucho Comedy Mondays: “Mama, I read your blog. Are you lonely?”

Moms. Gotta love them. Her full-time job is to worry about me and remind me my eyebrows need to be shaped. Not only did she create an account to comment on my blog (Mama, I signed up for a blog!), but she read every post and liked each one. To my delight, I officially have a stalker on Word Press. A snippet from our phone conversation (she calls me Mama):

“Mama, I looked up your blog. Mamita I’m so proud of you, you’re so funny. I read every single one. But mama I called your sister. Hay – Mama, I had to. I asked her if she read your blog. What’d I say? Oh mama, I don’t know – something like “Trace, do you think she’s lonely?” Mama I can’t help it- I feel bad. Wouldn’t you feel bad too if I wrote on the internet I was sad then- yes, I know mama. We all have bad days. But if you read I was sad on the internet you would be worried too and tell me ‘Hey Ma, I just read you were sad.’ You would call me t- Hay mama, I just worry. I know, I know it’s life. But you would come to me if you were sad, right? Okay, okay I just want you to be happy. Your sister said you quote her too.”

End of scene.

“Mama, what’s the link to your blog?”

Yep. She found me. The woman who gave birth to me and reminds me to wash my hands after I use the bathroom officially found yours truly on the internet. Our phone conversation went something like this:

“Mama, everyone is reading your blog but me. Send me the link, please – oh! And that picture you took with the baby. Send me that one too – you guys are so cute. Mama the picture, you know which one but- no, send it to me now before you forget! Yes, mama you- yes you do forget. Send it to me now, pleaseeee. Wait. You’re walking home now? A este hora? Mama it’s 7:30 and you’re walking home – I know, mamita. I know you’re careful.  Hay mama it’s just so dangerous -I – I don’t worry about you, it’s – MAMA HOLD ON! Your sister is calling – MAMA? MAMA? You there? MAMA? Hay, I couldn’t switch the call. I hate this phone. It’s broken again…it doesn’t let me switch. No that’s not true. That’s not true- this doesn’t happen with every phone- MAMA did you get home yet? Mama call me when you get home. Let me go – MAMA! So you can focus on your walking. Okay mamita, don’t get defensive – Okay, okay just send me the blog.  Don’t forget. Okay, okay love you. Hay Mamita, it’d be so much easier if you accepted my friend request on Facebook.”

I love you, Ma. Welcome to the party.

A weekend stay at the Parent Chateau

I love going home and staying at the Parent Chateau. Not only do I gain five pounds in 48 hours, but I revert about 15 years. It’s amazing. When I arrive I am a full-fledged adult, and about an hour in I’ve lost the ability to do my laundry,  feed myself on time and closing the bedroom door is met with a knock and a panicked, “Mama, is everything okay?”

Home. Home sweet home.

It’s a magical castle where goodies appear out of nowhere! I ask for a clementine and to my surprise a bowl of clementines with Hershey kisses appears next to me. If I go to my upper quarters for more than an hour, when I return downstairs my dirty clothes are not only clean and folded but a stash of groceries have manifested:

“But Ma, I don’t use that much olive oil.”

“Hay mama, they come in a three-pack. Now you have extra.”

I look through the magic bags of food. To my surprise there is a blender.

“Ma, is this a blender? I don’t need-”

“Mama, you  love smoothies. Now you can make them at home.”

You don’t drink smoothies, but you always go with the flow in the magic castle.

The hardest part is speaking in the magic castle. When you speak you are guaranteed to be interrupted or asked to play translator:

“Mama that’s great- you should really get a haircut.”

“I’m so glad work is good – Mama, what’s that movie with Scarlett Johansson? I saw it but I forget the name of it. It’s from 2014. Yes you do. You remember. We spoke that day I saw it.”

When you go to check out of the castle, the bell-hop (Papi) helps you pack your bags. You arrived with one and after two days you leave with five. They offer you a limo service: “Mama, you want us drive you back?” You politely decline and insist on public transportation. You haul your laundry bag, three cases of olive oil into the trunk of the limo. When you go to sit in the passenger seat, you discover you grew a pair of love handles over the weekend. “Fantastic,” you say to yourself. This always happens – it’s a 24 hour buffet at the magic castle.

Home. Home sweet home.




Yackie don’t put me on Youtube…

I asked my Dad (Papi) today if he would be willing to contribute weekly to my blog. Dedicate a post a week to talk to him about growing up in Cuba, life, etc and write about it. This is how the conversation went:

Jackie: “Papi, you know I have a blog right? I write it in it every day”

Papi: “El blood. Ahora que, Yackie?” (A blog. What now, Jackie?)

Jackie: “Papi, my blog. I told you about it. Can I write about you once a week? Your experience growing up in Cuba, about life -”

Papi: “No, Yackie. No. Don’t put me on Youtube.”