No Deposit No Return by Jackie Villarreal Najera

Maria was my father’s first cousin. She lived with my great grandmother, “Ama Juanita.” Since my great grandmother did all the cooking, Maria never learned to cook. Besides not cooking, Maria just liked to go dancing. Her brothers had a band, called Los Seis Nacionales. They had recorded many records. Maria loved to go see them and go dancing. 

Maria had a boyfriend name Pablo. He was usually her partner when she danced. One day according to my dad, Pablo kidnapped Maria. Dad said to me, “Pablo stole her from her family in order to marry her.” He didn’t marry right her away though, Dad continued.  They lived together for about six weeks.

Then one day Pablo brought Maria back to her family. He said,  “She doesn’t know how to cook! Teach her!”   

So, Maria was returned to her family. Pablo said, “I will pick her up when she learns to cook.” Maria decided that she was not going to learn to cook. The family decided to try to teach her. She said,  “No way.” 

Since Maria had other guys who liked her, she forgot about Pablo. My Great grandmother told her,  “You’re flour from a different sack now, go back to Pablo.” Maria did go back to him. She never learned to cook.

 My dad over years would tease his cousin about being brought back home. She would laugh and tell dad “Stop it!” then she says, “Let’s go dancing!”

Every so often my dad would still tease her saying, “Maria why did he bring you back?”

Maria had children who knew how to cook. She remained married for twenty-to thirty years and then got a divorce.  

She later married a person who didn’t mind that she could not cook.






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