Mia Alexis Lama
Croquetas & Culture Shocks: when a Cuban girl and a gringo fall in love ❤️
A few months ago, I got a text from a dear family friend asking if Nick and I were available to do a photoshoot for Vicky Bakery. We had no idea what it would entail since we'd never done anything like that but we were on board. This was even before our two engagement photoshoots. In fact, it was mine and Nick's very first photoshoot together #goals. It's very us, ngl, to have our relationship professionally documented for the first time while eating croquetas, pastelitos, and pan con bistecs.
The photographer and social media coordinator sent over some inspiration boards for outfits and Nick and I headed to Target(I'll take literally any excuse to buy Nick new clothes). The day of the photoshoot, we arrived on Main Street in Miami Lakes and it was a pretty cloudy day. As long as it didn't rain, cloud cover is actually really good for daytime photography. I don't know what we were expecting but we were so excitedly surprised when we realized we'd get to be eating through the whole shoot(especially Nick). I was most excited about sipping on the iced cafe con leche. I think Nick's favorite was probably the pan con bistec.
I can't recall how long the shoot ended up being but we did get caught in the rain and we did leave absolutely stuffed and with a box full of Cuban baked goods. Later, Nick was pressing me to find more gigs like that. He was completely enamored with the idea of being a food model. He did a pretty darn good job, if I do say so myself. Check out the pics below!
FUN FACT: Nick had never so much as tried a croqueta before he met me! Now he insists that we eat tostones and arroz con frijoles with every meal.
When we first started dating, it took a while for us to adjust to the different family dynamics due to our different cultures. My family had birthdays, brunches, barbecues, and just general gatherings every single weekend and several days sprinkled into the week. That was understandably a lot for Nick to get used to. His immediate family consists of his two grandparents, his parents, and his three siblings. What I consider to be my immediate family would take up half this page, not only because my parents have remarried but because I have tias, tios, the blessing of many more grandparents than average, great grandparents, and cousins.
Aside from the exponential number of activities his calendar suddenly consisted of, our way of communicating with our families is also very different. Not only does my family frequently speak fluent Spanglish, sprinkling in Spanish words that don't quite translate well to English and English words that don't quite translate well to Spanish, but we, as Cubans, also notoriously speak at an elevated volume. Now, I hate a stereotype as much as the next gal but this one is simply fact. I'm sure there are Cubans that are more soft spoken and Americans who are louder than a blow horn but my family can get loud. What else? We interrupt the crap out of each other. Not in a rude way- it's just how we have conversations! Nick has not yet become accustomed to either of those qualities.
Some things he's very willingly become accustomed to are the traditional Cuban dishes. Nick practically drools over my Cuban picadillo recipe, can no longer eat his rice without a banana and/or frijoles, and orders tostones where and whenever possible. He'd down croquetas like water if they weren't so unhealthy (he's gotta draw the line somewhere) and actually does down batidos de mamey like water.
One other thing is how much I love to dance at family parties compared to him. I will literally dance to any song and refuse to sit down until I'm in the car heading home. Thankfully, he's not impartial to sitting and watching. 😉 He does get up and join me here and there with his classic "sway and step" while I'm doing a full on merengue and I love him for it.
So those are just a few ways our two very different cultures have blended and I'm sure there are many many more. If you're in a blended relationship or marriage, I'd love to hear some ways your cultures butted heads or came together perfectly in the comments below! Thanks for reading :)