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What not wear to a Quinceañera

When the daughter of a good friend of mine from college had her Quinceañera, many years ago, I was invited. For those of you who don't know what a Quinceañera is, it's a special party in the Hispanic Community to mark the 15th birthday of a girl. Of course, I'd heard of them, as I had lived in California and Arizona for a long time, but I'd never been to one. And the only information that I got was the location, and time, which was a summer afternoon.

Yeah, you guessed it, I'm a white guy, and I had no idea that it was a formal occasion. So I showed up in what I usually wore in those days, a Hawaiian shirt, shorts, and sneakers. It didn't take me long to realize that I was wearing the wrong thing.

Oh yeah, and then I promptly sat in the chair reserved for the matron of honor. I'm pretty sure that most of the people there were puzzled by by being there, but my friend considered me a honored guest, and worthy of his protection, and he found a chair for me. Of course, I couldn't go home and change, but I tried to blend into the background as much as possible.

By now you have probably guessed that the men there were all in shirt and ties, and the women in formal dresses. And if you've never been to a Quinceañera, I recommend it. This is how families used to be, and how most Hispanic families still are. And when you see the little girl, all grown up now, and dancing with her father, well, it's more magic than any Disney movie could ever be.

The little girl, who is all grown up now, has fond memories of her Quinceañera, including the weird guy in the video that you see every once in a while, in a Hawaiian shirt. I'm sure that she doesn't remember when she was a baby, how I used to steal her nose (you do that with your thumb), but she remembers her Quinceañera, and so do I. And I'd like to think that I didn't spoil it.

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