Sunday, June 16, 2024

But what does it meme? Christmas is here…

If you’re on a quest to understand Mexican humor – or at least to find the best Mexican memes to share with your friends – we’ve got you covered! Here’s this week’s curated collection with a translation, background, any relevance to current events, and hopefully, a good chuckle.

Meme translation: *January 1st* “Afternoon, do you have any bread?” “Yes, but it’s from last year!” “Me:” “the baker:”

What does it meme? In many places in Mexico, bread is bought at one’s neighborhood bakery. This means that you likely count the baker as, if not a friend, at least an acquaintance…someone you’d wave to on the street and likely make a bit of friendly banter with. To be sure, these kinds of short interactions are why I believe Mexico deals much less with a society-wide loneliness problem: you basically have to see and interact with other people to get anything done!

So if you happen to stroll into your local panadería at the start of the year, you are now armed with a joke.

Meme translation: “This kid came for bread and my parents made him decorate the bakery hahaha!”

What does it meme? Speaking of panaderías – and most local shops, for that matter – lots of them put up decorations for the holidays. And because Mexico is a country where particularly older adults feel pretty okay asking younger people to do things for them (and have a reasonable expectation that they will), it’s possible a trip to a local establishment could get you roped into some impromptu decorating! 

Meme translation: “How I’ve always wanted to look during winter.” “How I always wind up looking.”

What does it meme? It’s true: every year I do my best to look like a cool and breezy blonde version of Anne Hathaway. But most of the time – at least in my house – I look like the dude below. Why inside, you ask?

Why? Because there’s no indoor climate control, of course! 55 degrees outside is 55 degrees inside, with most dwellings sealed from the outside about as well as a treehouse is. So if you’re friolenta (cold-natured) like me, you’re probably bundled up under several layers for most of the winter. (I also recommend finding sunny spots in your house and sitting there to warm up like a napping cat.)

Meme translation: “Me alone at the company Christmas party because I’m the owner, the employee, and the everything.”

What does it meme? Ah, the lament of the freelancer. This was me for years, though thankfully this year I’ve finally got a full-time job! 

The couple weeks before Christmas can be a lonely time for freelancers in Mexico as we watch our traditional employee friends and family members attend lavish Christmas parties (usually called “posadas,” though they’re not the traditional religious kind) put on by the companies they work for, complete with three-course meal and so many raffled gifts that a good half of people walk away with something.

The woman pasted into the scene above, by the way, is Peruvian TV star Laura Bozzo, who was especially famous in the late 80s and 90s for having a Jerry Springer-type talk show. That particular expression of hers is just priceless, and has made for great meme fodder for a while now.

Meme translation: “Ready for Christmas” “Merry Crisis”

What does it meme? Is it just me, or has the theme worldwide in humor this year been a kind of resigned nihilism?

“Crisis” is the same word in English and Spanish, and pretty much everyone knows the phrase “Merry Christmas” in English. If you’re going to have a crisis, you might as well try to enjoy it, I suppose!

Meme translation: “When you re-read a romantic book that you loved as a teenager.”

What does it meme? Oh, how our notions of romance change through the years! This meme format has been used for quite a few things, but this is one of my favorites. It makes me think very particularly about a book so many of my high school students in Querétaro were carrying around in the mid-aughts, Twilight (in Spanish it’s called Crepúsculo), one of the few competitors with their Blackberries for their attention during free time. “Oh, you have to read it Ms. Sarah, it’s so good!” my students would tell me.

I never did read it, though it was impossible not to absorb the basic storyline via osmosis. An immortal, ancient being who “falls in love” with some high school chick? Yikes.

 

Meme translation: “Now that I have kids, I finally understand that scene in Return of the Jedi when Yoda is so tired of answering Luke’s questions that he just dies.”

What does it meme? This one is dedicated to the parents out there whose kids are suddenly out of school for a very long Christmas vacation and are looking to be entertained even though their parents (you) are still working.

 

All we want for Christmas is a nap, amiright?

Sarah DeVries is a writer and translator based in Xalapa, Veracruz. She can be reached through her website, sarahedevries.substack.com.

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