Column: This one time…

By Irene Muniz-Frias, News Correspondent

Comment on this column with your own story and the one that makes us laugh the hardest will be printed in the next Sex & Health issue of The Huntington News.

It was my friend Valerie’s birthday and we were celebrating at a club. Music was loud, drinks were flowing and everyone was, well, happy. Needless to say, the night was going as any birthday night should.

But soon after I hit the dance floor, with a sudden, abrupt movement, I hit something else:  a random guy. In the jaw– more specifically– with my elbow. In the “happy” state that I was, I grabbed his face, said I was sorry and gave him a peck on the lips.

Big mistake.

“You can hit me again, if you want,” he replied.

At the moment, I thought his gesture was cute, so we started talking. All the time I assumed he was an American, English-speaking guy. And to him I was an American, English-speaking girl.

For a second I turned around and he did the same. It was only then I heard him talking to a friend. In Spanish – the Puerto Rican Spanish I could recognize from 10 miles away.  Right then and there I confronted him in Spanish. I asked him where he was from, just in case alcohol was impairing my hearing, and he immediately responded, Puerto Rico.

I was shocked. Puerto Rico is small. So small in fact that someone I knew had to know him and vice versa. I wish that would’ve been the only case.

As we continued our very loud, obnoxious conversation, kissing several times, he told me his name and I froze. Why did it sound so familiar?

Well, his first name was the same as my ex-boyfriend’s and his last name was mine: Muniz. In a weird nightmarish dream his name could’ve easily been my kid’s name. I started to feel a bit dizzy, and not because of the alcohol. Muniz is not a common last name in Puerto Rico.

Do you have any idea how many ridiculous ideas popped into my head at that moment? Probably several hundred. Nevertheless, I avoided revealing my name by talking about something else and tried to enjoy the last hour of my night.  At 2 a.m., my friends grabbed me by the arm, I waved goodbye to Mr. Muniz and left.

The next morning, or should I say afternoon, I woke up to slowly realize what had happened the night before. After gaining strength, I called my dad. He was so excited to talk to me, but I only wanted to know one thing:  Did I or did I not hook up with a cousin last night?

The conversation proceeded slowly with the daily “How was your night?” “How is school?” and “We miss you.” Ashamed, stressed and overwhelmed I started the easiest way:

“Oh Dad, I was meaning to tell you, I met this guy the other day, whose last name is Muniz.”

In 10 seconds, or maybe less, he replied: “Oh yes, that is Uncle Tony’s big kid! You know, he is your third cousin.”

Oh yes, all the Gatorade and bacon I ate to ease the hangover came out.  I hung up the phone and screamed. I hooked up with my cousin last night. It was a fact.

I really wanted to cry, but what would change, right? How was it possible that my Puerto Rican cousin came to Boston, partied at the same place I did and proceeded to kiss me? The world really is small and obscene.

So girls … and boys, please be aware of your family members’ names and their historical relationship with you before randomly hooking up at bars or clubs. You might get a stunning surprise, and by stunning I mean awful.

P.S. Mr. Muniz currently goes to school with my boyfriend.

P.P.S. At that time we were just friends. Translation: He heard the cousin story.

P.P.P.S. My boyfriend wants to punch him.

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