I Never Had a Quinces- A Narrative
By: Sophia Baker
PTS Falconer Staff
October 20, 2017
I’d never been one for attention.
I don’t think of it as virtue so much an inconvenience, because, you see, I’m Mexican,and that’s not how I’m supposed to be. Hear me out; I’m not about to stereotype an entire country (I hate people who do that), however, my family, is indeed, a very stereotypical Mexican family.
I have lots of cousins, sons and daughters of crazy tias and tios. All of them do enjoy eating tacos de canasta, tamales, and posole, and yes, they wear sombreros during our Independence Day celebration, which is not on May fifth, by the way. Parties are regular occasions, and if not, then we’re having a big get-together, even though money could’ve been better spent elsewhere.
I remember hating it.
Who wants to listen to Daddy Yankee, Enrique Iglesias, and old school Shakira every two Saturdays? Who wants to deal with your mom saying ‘Saluda!’ nagging you to kiss and hug hello everyone in the vicinity?
It truly was an inconvenience.
And then we moved here and we couldn’t do that anymore.
Ironically, it was then that I smiled at the thought of my primos throwing dodge balls at each other inside the house. I laugh when I remember trying to be grown up like my older primas, or begging Winny to make me atole de cajeta every time she came over.
I miss everything now.
I was and will never be someone who functions in rowdy and crowded spaces. This contributed to my ultimate decision to not have a Quinces. Other factors included the fact that I had no family to celebrate it with. Family that had been making plans for said party since before I knew how to pronounce the full word (King-Sa-Ye-Rah)
One could argue that I could’ve had a Quinces with my immediate family, my friends, and possibly, other classmates, but if you’re this far into the narrative and have yet to catch on: I am not a very social person.
I remember this one time my parents threw a Posada not long after we moved here. It was a small compared to the ones we used to throw; just a couple of Palmer’s Mexican-American families. Two of those families had sons who happened to be in my grade. I couldn’t handle the idea of having them in my house. The fact that they were was so overwhelming to me that it caused me to run inside and not come back out. I may or may not have cried that night.
Arguably not my finest moment.
But that’s irrelevant.
The point is that to this day I still think about how I did not have a Quinces.
Not because I wanted this big party or the fancy ball gown. But because it was something that I’d only get to experience once.
And I didn’t.
I’ll never know what it’s like to look back and think my dress was ugly. I’ll never know what dances I would’ve danced or what songs they would’ve played (hopefully not Daddy Yankee, Enrique Iglesias, or old school Shakira.) I’ll never know if those two boys and their brothers would’ve been my Chambelanes, the court of boys that escort you throughout the event.
I missed out. I let that birthday go uncelebrated.
And I’m making the same decision this year.
If you’re reading this on October 21st, then yes, today is my birthday; I turned 17 today. And I’m not celebrating because my mom is not here. I’m not going to go into detail of why, but here’s how that makes me feel.
I feel the same way I did two years ago, when everyone I love was stuck in Mexico, and we were stuck here, and no one had a Quinces that year because it was not worth it. There was no party, no attempt to publicize my birthday. When asked why my reply was always the same; “It doesn’t feel like my birthday.”
Because it didn’t; this year it doesn’t either.
What’s a Quinces without your family? What’s a birthday without your mom?
I’m going to look back on not having a Quinciañera for forever because it’s something my sisters will get to have. And I’ll watch them from my seat at the family table, the one with the dumbest center-piece, knowing full well that I passed up the opportunity.
But I stand by that choice.
My Quinces is a part of my life that I’ll never get back; a part of my story that I’ll never get to write.
But that story would’ve been incomplete without my family, the same way my birthday’s incomplete this year without my mom.
I never had a Quinces, and I’ll feel the longing for that one birthday forever.
But I will never regret my choice.