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I was a party girl.
Every Saturday, I had my hair done (colitas o trenzas), donned a frilly dress with matching socks and chonis, and slipped on a pair of black or white patent leather shoes (purchased in Tijuana, scuffed up by me, shined by dad).
I’d follow my beautifully made up and dressed mom and dapper dad out to our car with the other siblings.
We’d arrive at the party where my parents would proceed to greet their dozens of friends and family. We kids dutifully followed, as it would be rude not to greet our aunts/uncles/padrinos/madrinas.
I went to dozens of parties as a kid. There were weddings, anniversaries, quinceañeras, bautizos, and fundraiser bailes. I can’t forget the parties where my dad played as a musician with los Marcianos. Yup, I went to those too.
I liked the parties. There was food, cake, and plastic champagne flutes. After the brindis us kids would collect the plastic cups from the tables. We’ll pull apart the base of the champagne flute and use it as a makeshift spinning top. Sometimes, we’d leave the copa in tact and build towers.
When not stealing copas, we’d play tag, steal extra bolillos from the kitchen and run around the dance floor.
I always made time to stop on the dance floor. I imitated what I saw around me: hips shaking to the beat of a cumbia; feet stomping furiously to the music from the super loud tamborazo; and tacones and botas intertwined as men and women danced closely.
Sometimes I’d dance with my friends and sometimes I’d cut in to dance with my mom or another tía. I’d grab her hands and dance with her. Later I’d be old enough to dance with Papá Chepe. I rarely danced with dad as he was usually playing with the band.
Most of the times, I just danced in a circle on my own as I hummed along, “no te metes con mi cucú!”
When I got tired, I went back to our table and pushed two chairs together. I’d barely wake up as dad carried me out to the car and drove the family home.
Even party girls need rest.