Matilde y el martillo

Mi tío Samuel y mi tía Matilde

My tía Matilde was quite a character. Once when we were visiting in México, we stayed with my abuelita who was blind. All our relatives would always visit abuelita, especially when we came from Chicago. Matilde was still single at the time, so she lived with my abuelita.

While we were there, my mother decided to fix up my abuelita’s place a little. That meant everyone there had to work, vacation or not! We cleaned and painted, and when my mother saw the freshly painted walls she decided to hang up some family pictures. Only one problem. My abuelita didn’t have a hammer. So, my mother sent tía Matilde to get a hammer from a friend’s house.

That sounds easy enough, no? Well, not to a Mexicana. Somehow the simplest errands become complicated quests. Tía Matilde sets of on the simple errand of bringing back a hammer so my mother could hang up some pictures. My aunt should have returned in ten to fifteen minutes tops. Well, a half hour went by and tía Matilde didn’t return.

My mother looked down the street and saw no sign of her sister. An hour passed, then another, and still no sign of tía Matilde. My mother sent me to the friend’s house to see if Matilde ever went there. No, they hadn’t seen her all day. No one really worried about her because in México sometimes people get distracted and forget their original mission, in this case, the quest for the hammer.

Tía Matilde finally returned about three hours later! My abuelita and my mother started interrogating her. “Where did you go? What took you so long?”

Well, she met this certain Samuel. He was standing on the corner playing the guitar and he started serenading her. They went for a walk and before she knew it, three hours had passed. Then, she remembered about the hammer! She returned, finally, but without the hammer!

My abuelita and mother were mad at tía Matilde, but they also couldn’t help laughing at the whole situation. By the way, Matilde and Samuel eventually married and had six children.

Impressing others

My proudest victory!

Avoid those who judge you by their own limitations.

I have learned this the hard way. Everyone judges us. And everyone expects us to please them. If he or she can’t do something, he or she assumes that I can’t do it either.

When I was younger, I never attempted to do things that people around me thought I couldn’t do. And why did they think I couldn’t do these things in the first place? Because they couldn’t do them. Either they tried and failed, or, worse yet, they never even bothered trying because it seemed impossible to accomplish for them.

So when I was ten, my parents and friends told me I couldn’t play the guitar. That was because none of them could play the guitar! My mother actually bought me a guitar for my tenth birthday, after much begging on my part. I was determined to prove everyone wrong! Unfortunately, I succumbed to all the negative criticism and gave up trying to play the guitar. I let everyone else judge me by their own limitations! Just because they couldn’t play the guitar, that automatically meant that I couldn’t play the guitar.

Most people demand that you please them in some shape, way, or form. As I got older, I learned to block out all this negative criticism to evaluate for myself what exactly were my own abilities. By the way, I still can’t play the guitar to this day. But I’ve learned that people who are impressed by shiny objects are not worth impressing at all.