My dad Hector Feliciano, born in Guayanilla, Puerto Rico, left for the states in his late teens to early twenties. He lived with a group of other bachelors and friends who were from his hometown in Bridgeport, Connecticut. By this time my mother Migdalia, had been living in Bridgeport, Connecticut from the age of five. They met, got together, and had me in 19.. well you get the idea.
Along with my two sisters Milta and Veronica, we came up with our all time favorite and as teenagers, sometimes annoying, Hectorisms.
“Hay que usar el sentido comun” “You have to use your common sense” : This applied to everything from washing dishes to choosing the right partner. Boy did he get eyes rolling when he said this to my sisters and I.
“That’s not very nice” : Till this day he uses this when we say something that is mean to each other or even to him.
“No seas ordinaria” : Which means don’t be uncouth. This phrase was used when we were not lady like in front of him.
“Come on Lucilla” : His phrase when he got annoyed with us if we did not rush to give him a hammer while he was working on one of his home projects. As we got older we made sure to skip out of the house when we heard of a new remodeling project.
“Te digo las cosas antes de que pasen” “I tell you things before they happen”: One of our all time favorite lines when many of our older teenage friends were facing adult dilemmas. During prom season, newspaper clippings would go on the fridge if a teen got into an accident. He would tell us this phrase so we could avoid mistakes that we would regret. But we always came back with the all American phrase, “Kids need to learn by making mistakes” To which he replied, “I don’t believe in that phrase.”
“Fijate, Lucilla”: two words followed by the longest explanation ever about any topic.
“Como, donde y cuando” “When, where, and at the appropriate time”: In reference to telling adult jokes. Till this day he won’t say anything that is inappropriate in front of us.
I am his first born and last daughter to give birth, many of the things he has said over the years, resonate with me now that I am a parent.
Even though we have fought over the years, we are like two peas in a pod. I am lucky to still have him around telling his corny jokes. One of the things my dad said to me about a year ago and I promised never to forget was, “When you look at the stars and see the three kings (Orion’s Belt), I want you to remember me.” I sure will Pop.
What one-liners do you remember your dad telling you?