Recently I watched an interview with Lucie Arnaz and when asked what was the best advice her mother, Lucille Ball, gave her it was “Love Lucie first”. The advice struck me as odd to put yourself above others in all situations, particularly coming from one’s mother.
It made me ask folks the following days what advice they got from their parents with a wide variety of answers. I’m too hesitant to ask my own adult kids as I often wonder if they even remember me being their sole caregiver for their first two decades of life. Then someone asked me what advice I got from my parents and I was stumped. My parents weren’t the talk-y sort, though Dad was the jokey sort.
For Mom all I could come up with was “Always buy a doll with the same coloring as the girl receiving the doll.” And I always have. To this day I still give away doll cakes where the Barbie looks, at least in hair and skin tone if not cup size, like the recipient.
For my father it was “Always leave them laughing”. The logic being you’ll get invited back.
Today as I left the house scouring my pocket for change for diet coke (breakfast of champions) I found I had a US penny which is really odd given I hadn’t been stateside in months.
Later that day I was giving away chocolate bars to two boys plus some older Mexican female pals in a painting class. The Mexican chocolate was way richer than Hershey’s (my hometown). It got me to explain the history behind Mr. Hershey’s success of making cheap chocolate kisses for a penny. (Peso for a Beso, or Penny for a Kiss, is still a Hershey marketing campaign here.)
Well, I didn’t know the word for penny in Spanish so I guessed and said penny in way that made it sound like the Spanish word for penis. Well, a penis for a kiss made both the boys and older lasses laugh.
My pal explained the joke to me so I accused her of having a dirty mind and fished the penny out of my pocket to illustrate my point of what my penny actually was. When it was time for me to leave she offered to return my penny to which I responded, in Spanish, “My penis/penny is just for you.”
She turned every shade of red as the children and seniors burst into guffaws. That is leaving them laughing and knowing I’ll be invited back to painting class with or without chocolates!
By Joseph Toone
Joseph Toone is the Historical Society’s short-story award winning author of the SMA Secrets book series. All books in the series are Amazon bestsellers in Mexican Travel and Holidays. Toone is SMA’s expert and TripAdvisor’s top ranked historical tour guide telling the stories behind what we do in today’s SMA. Visit HistoryAndCultureWalkin