So I have been getting a few requests for me to tell the story of how Salsa Judy got her name. Now, if SJ herself knew I was telling this, she would be mad I am spreading the SJ legend because she doesn’t think the SJ name is as hilarious as the rest of us do. And I know if I posted her pic, she would KILL me. So just be content with the story.
First off, some background. SJ is not Mexican or of any Hispanic background at all. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, as Seinfeld would say. She could care less if anyone thought she was or wasn’t. Just wanted to make that part clear so I don’t get accused of being anti-anything.
Anyway—back to the story. The story starts when my brother was in college and living at home. I had just moved back to the area and was staying with SJ while DH sold our house in MN and could move as well. One lovely summer day, my brother’s not-so-sane friend, Skulls (a nickname she gave herself if that explains anything!) came to pick up Michael for work. SJ was out in our driveway, sweeping up leaves from this annoying tree we had. She hates to wear shoes, especially in the summertime and will often go barefoot. As she was working in the yard, she just had shorts and an old tshirt on. Skulls pulls into the driveway and Michael gets in. He said the conversation went like this:
SKULLS: Who is that Mexican lady in your driveway? Does she work for your family?
MICHAEL (shocked): No! That was my mother!
The next day Michael called me to tell me about it. I thought it was really funny, because in the past people had also assumed that SJ was African-American (she was dark and used to be a sun worshipper) South American, or Italian. But this was the first time anyone had asked if she was Mexican. Michael said “Should I tell her?” I said no because I figured she would be mad.
So the next day SJ and I and her friend met up after WW at Bruegger’s for sandwiches. I distinctly remember the day because we sat outside. We were talking and she said to me (with a look on her face) “Guess what Michael’s friend said about me?!”. I had to think for a moment to remember. Once I did, I just thought of the first thing I could find to put with her name. I snickered and said “I heard all about it (dramatic pause) SALSA JUDY!” Her friend and I started laughing. And right at that moment, the guys from our local landscaping place (who were Mexican) came into the parking lot with their truck. SJ’s friend said “Look Salsa Judy! There are your sons!” She laughed. Ironically, she ended up using that company to help her do a project and told those guys what Skulls had said. They called her ‘Mrs. Salsa Judy’ after that they thought it was so funny.
And for some reason the name stuck. I call her that all the time and friends and relatives call her that too. My BFF (who is Mexican) sent her Mexican coffee and a Spanish Peanuts card for Christmas that year. SJ loves coffee so she loved that! And SJ was never mad anyone assumed she was Mexican or not. She always had a stigma about looking different than her siblings when she was little. They were all blonde and she was dark with brown eyes. She looked like her maternal grandfather and her siblings used to tease her about it all the time, saying she was the mailman’s kid (he was African-American). So she was sensitive about it.
Now she just kinds of tolerates it. She said a few weeks ago that she wanted to have a girls’ margarita night at her house and I said “Isn’t that kind of ironic that Salsa Judy wants to have a margarita night?” LOL
If you are reading this and you know SJ, you know how entertaining she is and the funny stuff she does and says. (I will save the story of her purse catching on fire for another time.) I told SJ and Michael we should start a twitter tag #shitsalsajudysays. SJ doesn’t quite get Twitter and said “I don’t’ think you two are funny!” but after posting on Facebook I had agreement!
And as for Skulls—Michael said at least she contributed to society in one way—she named our mother Salsa Judy!
There you have it---may not be as funny if you don’t know SJ, but at least you know why we call her that now! :)