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Puro Alas

2013 June 23
by pam artiaga

I was thinking about Ginny Weasley and Fleur Delacour and why they can’t seem to get along — in the books (who knows, maybe they’ve become best buds 19 years later) — when I realized that it’s because they are both very headstrong people. They were bound to clash from time to time.

That reminded me of my father’s expression “puro alas”, which translates to “all aces” in English. In most card games, and in all but one of those that my father taught me, the Ace is the highest card and a battle against two Aces always results in an impasse.

One time, he used the aforementioned expression in a fit of dismay to describe us, his children. (Although at that time, it was only my two sisters who were ‘clashing’, it wasn’t fair that he used that sweeping statement to describe¬†all of his children.) Another time, he used it to describe my mother and her sisters. He seemed more resigned than anything else to that one.

My poor, long-suffering father (and his fellow husbands). In the deck of cards, they are Kings, but Kings can rarely — if ever — beat the Aces.

Our family is run by a matriarchy. And now I’m reminded of the top matriarch of all, my (very recently) late grandmother. Most of her grandchildren has at one point or another called her “Lola Queen”. May she rest in peace.

I don’t want to end this post on a depressing note, so I’ll just go back to my mother and her sisters. They are the epitome of a group of “all aces” and are probably the reason why my father came up with that phrase. You should hear them when they get together to discuss things. It’s like a pride of lions. Or tigers, because that’s what their children call them behind their backs. But tigers are solitary animals and don’t live in groups, so I’ll go with lions. In any case,¬†quite scary.

Also, “puro alas” is such a clever expression and a fun phrase to say. I’d like to be able to use it someday.

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