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Childhood memories are vivid, almost indescribable in their detail, and impossible to forget. A Christmas memory I have is that of a black velvet dress  a family friend gave to me for my seventh Christmas.
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Michael Jordan: Welcome to La Familia Cubana

Submitted by on January 10, 2012 – 5:20 pm16 Comments

yvette prieto and michael jordan engaged


So, NBA star Michael Jordan announced an engagement to Yvette Prieto, a pretty Cubanita model from Miami he’s been dating for three years

My first thought was, “Welcome to la Familia, Michael.”

My second was: “Ay, madre. Cubans! Does he know what he’s getting into?”

My gringo husband thought the same thing: “El Pobre!”

Now, a disclaimer. I know nothing about the lovely Yvette Prieto, nor do I know anything about her Cuban family. They could be completely sane and quiet as Midwestern Presbyterians, for all I know. But, I do know Cuban families, and the odds are que son de madre!

By the by, his ex-wife, Juanita, is Puerto Rican, so he may know some of this stuff. But, surely not all. Cubans, well…they’re a special category of crazy fab.

So, with that in mind, here, for Michael — or any other person in love with a Cuban or Cuban-American with mucha familia:

Tips For Marrying into A Cuban Family

  • Know Enough Spanish to Know When They’re Talking About You. Learn to say: “No Hablo, pero Entiendo.” (That one comes directly from my gringo, semi-fluent husband to you.)
  • Learn To Speak About The Bearded Dictator with the Same Venom You Reserved For The Detroit Pistons. Learn to use only dirty, nasty adjectives before his name, and after. And please, never, ever say: “Well, at least they have free health care.” (Te cortan la lengua!)
  •  If You Thought Arenas were Loud, You’ve Never Hung Out With Cubans during Any Gathering. Get used it.
  • Understand that Your Future Wife Isn’t Screaming at You or Her Relatives — She’s Speaking Cuban. Heaven help you if you accuse her of screaming when she doesn’t think she is. (Have you seen Gloria/Sofia Vergara on Modern Family? Yeah, like that.)
  •  You Know Nothing About Lechon. At least not in the Cuban relatives’ eyes. Admit that, know that, and all will be well. So, don’t even think of giving the men advice when they’re roasting a puero. Repeat after me: “I Know Nothing About Lechon.” OK. Good.
  • A bonus: Love on the Tias. All 27 of them. Even the ones that aren’t really Tias by blood. Tell them they smell good, que lindas estan, that they cook so rico, rico, rico. If the Tias are on your side, you’re golden. Forever. If not, you’ll get more grief than when you shot an air ball in L.A.
  • “Oh Lord, either ear plugs or learn to follow multiple conversations at once.”
  • “Let him find out for himself. No advice! LOL
  • He must now officially hide all his flip flops. Por que con la primera que se ponga gracioso, fuakata! He gets…wait for it…El Chanquletazo!”
Buena Suerte, mi’jo.

Call me, or my gringo husband, if you need any more tips or you need help figuring out la gente.

Oh, and Congratulations!


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