I’d like to share some reasons why living together with a new spouse is an adventure. In this case Ryan was outside of his country, which led to some new and interesting experiences.
Meeting family: Ryan has met almost my entire family and I feel very good about that. I remember how nervous I felt introducing presenting my husband to them–not because I was ashamed of him, but because I wanted them to get to know this amazing guy and to not think of him as “the American” or any other nationality: just Ryan. Thankfully they accepted him without a second thought. The best part is that he was able to communicate with them in Spanish and especially joke with them. Between parties, birthdays and piñatas he met the Mendoza and the Torres sides of the family. It seemed as if they’d known each other for years. I loved when my aunts called him sobrino (nephew). He received tons of attention from everybody. Oh, and tons of kisses!!! That’s the way we express or love.
Sharing the tiny space where we lived could be really funny at times. Let’s start with some information: Height – my husband is 6′ 1″ (1.82cm) and I’m 5’4″ (1.53 cm). Weight – we aren’t even going there. That’s top-secret. ;) Ha ha ha! You can tell by the numbers that my husband is very tall compared to me. In my last post I described our Kitchen as as tiny… the bathroom was worse. It was not designed for someone as tall as Ryan. The size was perfect for me, but the wall was so close to the toilet that Ryan’s legs wouldn’t fit while sitting down, so he had to sit sideways! This still makes us laugh. I promised I would not post pictures of this…
Sports: I noticed that a lot of people think that because someone is from Latin America–in my case, Mexico–that person should automatically like soccer… as if we are born wearing the family’s favorite team’s jersey or kicking soccer balls around our cribs. I’m not sure why? If you ask me my favorite sport, I’ll say, “I don’t like soccer. I love basketball”!! Growing up I played basketball every afternoon. I watched NBA games and witnessed magic happen on the court. My husband? He loves soccer–and believe it or not his favorite soccer team is from Mexico. Yes, Mexico!!! And it’s not even one of the most popular or recognized teams like the Chivas or the America, it’s the Atlas. I didn’t believe him until I saw the big flag, the jersey and how he bonded with my aunt and cousins going to Jalisco Stadium to attend soccer games. I went once and, admittedly, it was pretty cool. But once was enough for me. While we lived in Guadalajara, people would always invite him to attend soccer matches.
Ryan’s car: In Mexico the way people drive is very crazy. Some people might think that makes driving a mess, but it just means you need to learn how to be aggressive and fast. A lot of people drive very well, like my dad. But others… my poor husband had 3 accidents in just one year!!!! And in every case it was not his fault. I remember Ryan’s frustration. “That’s a stop sign! Why don’t they stop?” Good question. He felt bad for how beat up his car was, but in the end the cool thing was he learned to drive in tiny spaces. For example, an avenue designed for three lanes but used as four. The light turned green and the guy in front of you isn’t moving? Throw your car in reverse, push your way past him, and go! Blinkers don’t inform people you’re changing lanes, they tell people to speed up and close the gap. The horn is a multi-use communication device that should be used extensively. And, most importantly … drive fast, fast, fast. (For your information he still has that car and he still loves it.)
Ryan was studying and adapting himself to live in Mexico. I knew he missed his family very badly. I understand that more now than ever. So I did my best to make him happy even though his family was many miles away. If you think about it independently of our families we were a new family: The Uhrey Mendoza’s. Like so many others we were trying to be happy and strong.
2. Cathedral of GDL
3. Some of the Mendoza Family