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My Cross-Cultural Marriage Confession


I have a confession to make. Not the one mentioned in the title. This is the pre-confession: Before I met Billy, I didn't like avocado.

I'm not exactly sure what my deal was. The concept of guacamole was the culprit. The slimy texture was a turnoff, and it was green to boot, so I honestly think I'd never tried it. But Billy makes a mean guac, and it was important to him that I try it.

So I did. And it turned out our marriage was totally a good decision.

But I was never into guac, and by extension, avocados. Now I'm all about those bad boys.

However, I'm still not super into the way Billy serves an avocado. He basically cuts it in half and then kinda squeezes it like a lemon while all the avocado smooshes out.

Averting Disaster


So one night, we were having some friends over for dinner, and we wanted to make avocado available as like a topping. You know what I'm saying. But when I saw Billy reach to prepare the avocados, I was all, "No. You cannot get the avocados ready!"

He laughed and was like, "What is happening?"

"You just can't," I confirmed. "You will push it all out into a pile of avocado guts." He's looking at me like I'm crazy. "White people don't eat avocado like that."

He burst out laughing, handed me the avocado, and said, "Okay. How do white people eat avocado?"

I tried to explain. You know... cubes in salad... slices on sandwiches. He just kept laughing at me.

"Fine, you do it," he told me.

So I sliced and I scooped and I imagined myself in the kitchen of a country club. Didn't matter. Once I was finished with the avocado, all I could do was present my haphazard pile of green and laugh. "This," I told him, "is how white people eat avocado."


All in all, our conversation was good-natured and full of amusement, but I have thought about it many times since. What was my deal exactly? Was I worried Billy would embarrass me? Was I really concerned our actually very culturally savvy friends wouldn't be able to understand how to eat avocado not in cubes?

The Truth


My confession is that sometimes I worry too much about Billy "fitting in." Not because I care necessarily, but because I already know some of the ways he feels like an outsider. I know some of the questions he get tired of being asked.

So if I can jump in and dice avocado to prevent any possible moments of being reminded "you do things differently," I instinctively try. In my own crazy ways, I want to help him navigate my cultural world without feeling unsure.

As I tried to explain all this to him, he again looked at me like I'm a crazy person. Of course, poorly slicing avocados doesn't help an immigrant feel more at home.

But I'm certain that if we were living in Latin America and he thought I might be about to embarrass myself, he'd try to intervene. Because he loves me. Because we come from two different cultures, and if we can help the other navigate a little more smoothly, we want to help.

I can tell you one thing, though. Should you come to my house for dinner, regardless of your race, I will not be on avocado prep.

Image credit: Jon Ardern

2 comments

  1. Melissa10:50 AM

    My first exposure to avocados was in high school, when we moved to Chile, and I knew them only as "palta," which was a condiment of smashed avocado smeared onto the biggest layered sandwich I've yet to see, and which I described as akin to tart, slimy mushrooms. YUCK. But somewhere along the way, I lost my adolescent food aversions to mushrooms AND avocado, and some good guacamole is pretty much a food group in our home. All that to say, I loved this post, and I'm positive that whoever sat around the avocado that night had a great time, whether it's "their" food, or not. 🎉

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  2. "Some good guacamole is pretty much a food group in our home." Yes and yes. I'm glad we both came around! And you also make a mean guacamole! ;)

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