Last week, I celebrated Cinco de Mayo, the holiday that commemorates how Mexico freed itself of cheap beer and ugly sombreros by exporting it all to bars in the U.S. This wasn’t just any Cinco celebration; it was “PHILADELPHIA’S LARGEST SINGLES PARTY!” according to the many email invitations I received.
A friend and I were lured in by the promise of drink specials, prizes and free hors d’oeuvres. The last attraction seemed to be the most popular: every time some food appeared, a line formed and stragglers in the back were left with the garnishes. Lettuce and sour cream– yum! That was actually a more appealing option than some of the new products being promoted. (Even when mixed with good vodka, SkinnyWater tastes like liquified sugar-free gum, in my opinion. And, Nabisco, there’s a reason pretzels and crackers are two separate foods.)
It’s true that none of this has anything to do the holiday we were supposed to be celebrating, but I did have some Mexico-themed conversations. One guy, for example, had this input: “Mexico, it’s pretty different down there. When I got off the plane, I walked down stairs outside instead of them having one of those tunnels into the airport.” (Be fair, you’re thinking, the jetway was just the first of his interesting observations about the country. No, I swear. That was it.)
Luckily, my friend and I had a good excuse to leave him. The Cinco de Mayo (pronounced MAY-o, in this case) competition was starting. As if the embarrassment of coming to this party and wearing stickers that said “Kiss me, I’m single” weren’t enough, some attendees had volunteered to dig through vats of mayonnaise for 5-dollar bills. Ok, I make fun, but to be honest, when I saw some of them had won more than $100, I was a little sad that I hadn’t signed up.
The next event, the grand prize drawing, provided some small consolation. I won…a free order of chips and salsa! It only diminished the thrill a little bit when my friend said, “You know, if you go to Qdoba, they give those cards out for free.” Add in that no guy had the nerve or interest to take my sticker up on its offer, and it’s clear that next year I’ll be attending just to look for the cincos in the mayo.