This last weekend I helped a mom host a baby shower for her daughter. She had never thrown one before, so I obliged, having thrown a few, and attended more than a few.
Keep in mind, I will give extra gifts to the expecting mom if she leaves me off the party list. I genuinely do not enjoy these types of parties. Give me a few friends, a quiet place and good food and that’s what I call a party. I truly am not offended by not being invented if of course it wasn’t out of malice, in which case, you’re just going to get boring gifts – so there.
But I get her stress at trying to figure out the scheduling and invitations, and all that goes into one so I said of course.
Here is where things get more interesting…
Ok, the family is Mexican. As in, straight up from Mexico. And if you’ve spent even one event with a family of Mexican’s you already know, they’re going to be late. And not like, 15 minutes late. No, they’re going to be 1-2 hours late. Usually two. So when I was helping her get out the invites, I suggested giving them a two hour difference on their invitations, and she whole heartedly agreed specifically because we only had the room for two hours.
However, in all the chaos of the baby arriving very early, she forgot this step.
The baby shower turned into a “Welcome Baby” party, and the absolutely adorable 5 lb baby girl was adored by all! Of course, mom arrived an hour late and new mom arrived an hour and a half late. And all the guests arrived 15 minutes after that. Leaving us with 15 minutes to swoon over yummy baby scent. Thank you to the venue allowing us the room even after our time, since there were no more parties booked after us – that was awesome!
I have a friend from Nigeria who is notorious for being 30 minutes late every where she goes. During her cancer treatment, our bible study took turns taking her to her appointments. Which in turn, also had the added benefit of getting her there on time. “I’m on African time” she’d say in her thick musical accent.
When we have parties with some friends out this way who are from various places south of the border, and a few of us North American’s, they will accordingly invite us all at different times. We’ve had a good laugh over this –
White folks show up 15 minutes early.
Asians show up exactly on the dot.
Black folks show up about 30 minutes late.
Latinos show up 1-3 hours late.
For the first year we knew them we never met their family because we always left for church on Saturday night before their families even made it! But once we got the schedules figured out, and we switched churches, those were the most amazing parties!
The same was definitely true for the baby shower. Once the waiting was over, for those of us who showed up 15 minutes early… or somewhere in between, meeting all their friends, trying out new foods, getting to hear their stories of how they know each other and them teaching about what their culture does with new babies, it was an excellent time.
Every culture, and family, learns different customs. It would be so boring to ignore them. The more people I meet, the more interesting the world becomes.
I was glad to be reminded of “African” time from my Mexican mom’s. And see that time, is relative.