Chisme is Spanish for gossip and, in my opinion, a much more satisfying word to throw around. CHEEES-may. Let that “EES” linger for a second longer than necessary.  Keep those teeth together. Give a little spark, a little sharpness to your “CH.” CH-EEEEES-may. CHISME. Chisme.

Try it with me, “What’s the chisme? ¿Qué pasó? Spill it, brother. Spill it now. “

Okay, you sound pretty good. You now have permission to throw some chisme around like a bag of trick-or-treat candy.   Be proud:  you are now ready to unwrap your fun size Snickers and read about my mother and her dedication to the Chisme Zone.

Go ahead and drink up some of that chisme.

My mother loves chisme like a fat kid loves cake.   She is the queen of wanting to know what is happening and when it happened. But, truly, the best part – and there is no doubt that this is *the* best part – is the subsequent and seemingly endless speculation about what will happen next and with whom it should be discussed. There are so many variables to consider. So many different scenarios. Sheesh, the innumerable timeframes.

She’ll speculate like mad, and God help you if there is some information missing from the story.   You can bet your bottom dollar that…the sun will come out tomorrow…AND…she will simply fill in those gaps with something that she “just happens to know.”


Little Orphan Annie is nervous:  “Oh, shit, what are those chismosas saying about me now?”

Let the record show that pure facts are not purely necessary.  There will be a progression at 9am from, “I’m not sure about…insert possibly crucial detail here…” to the mid-afternoon declaration of, “I have no doubt that…” and the crucial detail has miraculously appeared. Or it has been fabricated.   In the Chisme Zone, a sprightly mix of facts and fabrication will work just as nicely.  Weave them together and – look! – you’ve got a damn good story to pass along.

Life lesson: Keep that chisme intact, people.   No holes allowed.

After getting the scoop and working through the necessary analyses, my mother will immediately want to move into the Chisme Zone. However, there are important questions to consider.

Are you ready for the first question?


The First Sacred Question is: “Who will we tell about this?”  

My mother loves to take a simple little story – example: my sister’s bladder falling out of her vagina – and she will spend an extraordinary amount of time discussing which relatives should be made aware of this situation. With each, there are specific pros and cons.

In the preliminary phases, we speculate on how it will go if we were to share the Gravity Bladder chisme with different parts of the family.

For example, we anticipate that Cousin Julie will gleefully take that chisme and make inappropriate jokes about it for the next ten years.  And, really, who could blame her?  Yes, it was years ago, but we’re still howling with laughter about elevators that go up to the Pelvic Floor, oops, Second Floor.  Still getting the giggles.  I’m all about this life, by the way.

It is likely that Cousin Marie will suggest that it is Jesus’ plan to have an internal organ come out between your legs.  Because: Leviticus.   And because: Doubly Blessed and Highly Favored. Come hold my hands and feel that Holy Spirit with me now. Oh, Laaaawwwwd, no.

Uncle Asshole will….wait, never mind. None of us talk to him. Duh.

Sidebar:   If anyone were to ask me to whom we should tell about my sister’s Crisis of the Naughty Bits, I would say, “Why would we talk to anyone about this? No one needs to know.” (Except for this blog post. Oops! Shhhh. Let’s just keep that between us.)



The Second Crucial Question is, “And what will we tell them?”

Much like a two-pound box of the Fannie May Colonial, there is a multitudinous array of choices to be made with the chisme. One needs to ponder how many Trinidads…er…details should be eaten…er…included in the telling?

So. If one were to go back to the Gravitational Bladder Situation, it would roll along like this:

Should we give the basic info, but leave out the juicy details?

KT had some post-pregnancy physical complications, but she’s doing better now. Just a few issues from the delivery.


Should we say something vague, yet tantalizing, that will leave them asking for more?

KT had a baby and that experience has left her hurting for a long, long time.


Should we ice out those bee-atches and tell them nothing?

If KT wanted for you to know about why she was in the hospital, you would have heard by now.


Or, do we go double or nothing and make sure it’s a fair swap? As in, you must tell us an equally juicy story in exchange for this gem I’m holding here. Quid pro quo, buster.

I would love to tell you about the day that KT almost got a hysterectomy, but first, I really need to hear all about who that strange woman was that I saw walking naked through our neighbor’s house. What’s up with that? You first.


In case anyone is asking, the BAH (Beloved, Aforementioned Husband) and I are not good at gossiping yet.  We are not worthy of the Chisme Zone.


Here’s the BAH’s life in the Zero Question Zone instead:

BAH: “My mom was telling me the latest about Andy’s workman’s comp case. He keeps running into problems with the city.  And he called that lawyer on tv, which kind of screwed up his case. And his surgery may or may not be scheduled.”

Me: Oh, really? Why?

BAH: —

Me: Turning to look at him directly, thinking that he didn’t hear me the first time.  Why are there problems?  What else did she say about this?

BAH: —

Me: Did you at least ask her about the surgery?

BAH: Well, no. I figured I’d just hear whatever was important. I wasn’t going to ask any extra questions about it.

Me: —


Here’s my life in the Go Away I’m Reading/Writing/Getting Potato Chip crumbs on the Trib/Obsessing Over Politics Zone:

I try to get to my school at 6:00 am so that I can work in peace and not have to talk to anyone. I shut my door and write lesson plans, and then I teach and spend the day with other people’s children. I talk and listen and interact the entire day with adolescents and I love every moment. But I do not want to talk to adults.

So…This story that you want to know about?   I do not want to talk to you about it. I am talked out. I would like to read the newspaper instead because there is nothing left for you.

Pouting and passive aggressiveness ensues.

Aargh, you’re a whiny one, aren’t you?  Okay…maybe, maybe…I’ll make an effort.

And the conversation may start okay, but then it may lose focus. And then it may slip down that dark alleyway of Small Talk. And then I’ll be ready to put my head in the oven. Adolescents don’t do Small Talk, which is why I talk to adolescents. Not you.  You’re too adulty.   And I’m sure as hell not going to share some long-ass story with you.  This is exhausting.

But (but!) if I change my mind and do decide to tell you about something, I’ll tell you by writing about it instead.   If I really like you, I may even text you. But don’t get too excited. I will lose interest and put my phone down after awhile.


I need a nap.   There has been entirely too much talking here.


Thanks for reading, friends.