As I sat there drinking my margaritas and eating an absurd amount of chips and salsa I asked my fellow celebrators what exactly Cinco de Mayo is. Some of them thought it was the celebration of Mexico’s Independence, others thought it was a celebration of culture. But most everyone thought we needed more tortillas.
I’m a curious woman (and still slightly buzzed from my margaritas), so I thought I would figure out what I was actually celebrating this evening. (Besides the safe return of the runaway bride, of course.)
It turns out that celebrating the runaway bride might have made more sense than what I was actually celebrating. According to a very reliable research source (aka, the first webpage that came up on Google) Cinco de Mayo “commemorates the victory of the Mexicans over the French army at The Battle Of Puebla in 1862. It is not, as many people think, Mexico's Independence Day, which is actually September 16.” Huh?
Do you suppose people in other countries get together on like April 23rd and celebrate the United States’ Independence by eating McDonalds and drinking slurpees? (Are slurpees an American-made product? They are nothing but thick sugar syrup and ice and they come in XXL and It’s Not Physically Possible to Drink This Much Size. I can’t imagine any other country inventing them.)
I wonder if the true Hispanics are offended by the fact that, in the name of their history, we sit in a restaurant and eat food that couldn’t pass for Mexican food in East Asia while singing Happy Happy Cinco Cinco de Mayo to You! and watching tortillas come out of a machine that actually has the words “El Machino” painted above it. (Cause everyone knows that a Spanish word can be found by simply adding an “o” to the end of an English word.)
And I wonder if Americans are offended by the fact that we pay $10 for a margarita and wear silly hats while being forced to eat flan because we really think it’s a holiday of significance beyond “Stupid Americans Need Another Excuse to Drink and Have a Parade Day”.
All of this wondering is killing my buzz. I’m going down to the bus station to get ready for “Runaway Bride Day”. Or “Ocho de Crazy”, as I like to call it. Put a blanket over your head to shield your face, grab the search dogs and hurry on down. The flan is going quick.