My dueña (landlady) was born December 25. She says this makes Christmas extra special and the festivities go on for several days. Ruth is an excellent cook, a regal women who goes all out for her guests. When she invites me to a fiesta I know it will be special.
This year she invited her tenants to celebrate with a Christmas Day breakfast. There are only two tenants. I live in the top apartment in the back of the garden and Amy lives below me. Ruth added to the invitation list by inviting Amy’s parents, who are visiting over the holidays. In total there were six of us.
Typically Mexicans don’t respect time and arrive when they arrive. Ruth is different, when she says nine o’clock that is what she means. The dishes are on the dining room table, the coffee is hot, the baked goods are fresh out of the oven.
I arrived at the allotted time. Amy and her parents did not. We waited a few minutes. Then Ruth crossed the garden and knocked on Amy’s door. Ruth returned without Amy or her parents and suggested since there would only be three of us we eat in the kitchen instead of the dining room.
“Did you prepare enough for six people?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said. She had invited Amy and her parents on Thursday, and they had accepted the invitation and then forgotten. Amy is a missionary, a born again Christian here to do good works with strings attached. The Jesus I know would not be impressed with Amy’s behaviour.
“Ellos estan antipatitcos, (They are not unkind) ” I said to mother Ruth and daughter Ruth.
Then asked daughter Ruth, who speaks English fluently, “What is the word for rude?”
I then used the more accurate word, “Ellos estan rudos.”