Mia: Shaken Not Stirred

The true life stories of a NYC female.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

National Puerto Rican Day Parade

During the month of May Puerto Rican flags start popping up all over the city in an overt expression of nationalism in anticipation of the 2nd Sunday in June when the National Puerto Rican Day Parade takes place. Puerto Ricans are a very proud race of people. No matter how many generations removed they might be from Borinquen (Puerto Rico) when asked they will always say they are Boricuas. My father is a full blooded Boricua to question his patriotic pride is to basically take your life into your hands. He is also the strong silent type when he speaks it comes from his heart and the results can either make you want to piddle in your pants or hug him.

My dad was putting anti-freeze in my car when he was approached my one of our younger neighbors, the neighborhood smart ass. The young man took notice that the car did not have a Puerto Rican flag on it. He called out to my father as he approached him, “Hey there’s no flag on the car. Just because you look white doesn’t mean you have to pretend. What’s the matter William you’re not proud to be a Boricua?” and laughed. It was a joke gone bad. My father looked up from what he was doing, and stepped away from the car tilting his head at the guy. My mother winced. “Excuse me what did you just say?” my father asked. The young man repeated what he had just said and laughed again. My dad’s eyes narrowed and he pinned the man on the spot with the "death stare". He hiked up his pants, took a deep breath and walked over to the guy. On a side note here why do men hike up their pants when they get mad, do their testicles get heavier and droop more than normal with the extra surge of hormones produced from the emotion of anger? I'm just asking...inquiring minds wanna know.

My dad towered over the guy; he leaned down and pinched the Puerto Rican flag logo on the man’s t-shirt in between his fingers. A few people standing around them hissed and shook their heads.“Listen” my dad said, “unlike you I don’t flash Boricua pride once a year. I’m a proud Boricua 24-07, 365 days of the year. My dad then straightened up and pounded his chest cave man style, “Boricua de pura cepa (genuine) y de Aquadilla ( his family’s home town) pa que lo sepas.(just so you know) ” The man stood dumbstruck while everyone else hooted and clapped, “Asi mismo Willie! (that’s the way)!” someone shouted. My mom walked over to my dad and hugged him, “Are you happy now? You made the Puerto Rican go all cave mannish." she said to the young man. "Do you know how hard it is to calm down a pissed off Puerto Rican?” Everyone including the neighbor and my father burst out in laughter.

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