I have to admit I am not in a good mood today. Since my return from Mexico, I have had to deal with several pressing issues with no clear direction, answers or outcome. I feel like I am behind the eight ball to use a lovely cliché. Or to use a wonderful Mexican saying estoy pariendo chayotes!
Chayotes are a light green, pear shaped fruit with a single, large pit and edible flesh and skin (see picture above). They are similar to summer squash. Chayotes are native to Mexico and used in many types of salads and salsas. They have prickly skin similar to small thorns.
The verb a parir means to calve. So pariendo translates into calving. Therefore, literally, estoy pariendo chayotes translates as I am calving a prickly squash! The term con espinas, or with thorns, is implied. The non-literal translation is to be behind the eight ball or I guess one could even use the saying up the proverbial creek.
But while I love all those American idiomatic expressions. I have to say once again that the Mexican reflection is much more visceral, tangible and alive. You can almost feel the pain of birthing, nay calving, one of those prickly beasts!! Therefore, when you are having the kind of life moment that I am having – the expression fits. And everyone can relate, but in a definitely humorous way. I have to thank my lovely friend R. at work for bringing this expression to my attention. I just wish in this moment que no estoy pariendo chayotes!!