I love numerous things Mexican. The food. The ‘ritas. The language. One of my favorite family vacation memories involved leaving our resort to find a grocery store only to be the few primarily-English speakers there. My Spanish needed a brush up – we had trouble finding the deli turkey (pavo) and the frozen strawberries (because they came in cartons, not bags. Who knew?). Of course, my ever-chatty father wanted to talk the ear off of the taxi driver and I’m left to try to translate. Not helpful.
So as I drove by our local favorite Mexican eatery on Monday, I noticed the place was quite decked out, patio and all, likely from the crowd on Sunday’s holiday. I wondered if everyone in the restaurant got Monday off as they likely staffed 100% on Sunday. Which made me really think.
A Mexican restaurant, with a workforce of a largely authentic population, worked twice as hard on a holiday that bears no significance for the average American. Case in point: I believe the holiday celebrates independence day. Mexico’s independence from what country? My guess is Spain, but only because of the language ties. This isn’t from lack of education; I’d chalk it up to “I didn’t care enough to remember.”
But yet I’d care enough to get a chicken fajita taco with fresh guacamole and a margarita every year?
I’d care enough to have a person – who would truly spend the day celebrating – give up the day off so that I can be served?
Something’s wrong with this picture.
I understand the economics of it. I get that this is the biggest day of the year for the businesses, so what choice does an owner really have in the matter? So I guess what bothers me most is that it took me 32 years to realize that I’m being a jerk by stealing someone else’s holiday
This year we stayed home for the Cinco, mostly because it was a Sunday and I’d just have Margarita Envy. We made tacos (and fresh guac) to pseudo-celebrate, and I guess that’s okay. Perhaps we’ll make this the more standard custom. If I love me my Mexican food and culture, perhaps I ought to let significant holidays be celebrated the way I enjoy mine, with a paid day off and a party with family and friends. Not whiny customers.