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Voices: Meet My Abuela, the Cuban Snapchat Queen

Darek Michael Wajda with his Abuela Rogelia Capote

Darek Michael Wajda with his Abuela Rogelia Capote at his little sister's high school gradutation. Darek Michael Wajda

Meet my grandmother Rogelia Capote, the Cuban Snapchat Queen. Don't get me wrong, she is a traditional abuela — she teaches me Spanish, makes me delicious Cuban food and tells me all about her heritage. But here's the thing — she's also a Snapchat celebrity.

How did this happen? My grandmother became a widow in 2010, after the love of her life — my Abuelo — passed away. They were married 50 years. Last year, my sister and I were goofing with her and spending time with her. We introduced her to Snapchat.

She loved it.

Now, the Cuban Snapchat Queen likes to pretend like she doesn't like the attention. But everyone in the family (including my friends who see her on my Snapchat Story every day) know that she loves the camera.

There are many things my friends and I love about her video snippets, but among them is that the advice she has given me all her life — 'Don't open your mouth when it's cold out, you'll get a sore throat,' or 'Don't go straight to the shower after you eat, you can drown' — are now in video form.

Some of her new favorite things to say now relate to my social life. She warns me about going out, drinking, and most importantly, she warns me about women.

In the video, though she's eating and complaining about the mess on her table, she also proferred some advice: "Be careful with women, they get clingy."

I couldn't stop laughing because her words of wisdom are always so spontaneous. One second my Abuela is complaining about the mess on the table and another she's telling me to watch out for women. Trust me, this wasn't the first time.

My abuela was born in La Esperanza, a village in the province of Santa Clara, Cuba. My abuela's sister met a special man and they got engaged. This special man had a best friend who came with him to the U.S. from Cuba around the same time my grandmother and her sister did.

My grandmother and grandfather dancing during their 50th Anniversary party
My grandmother and grandfather dancing during their 50th Anniversary party in the restaurant Cafe Tivoli in Ridgefield, New Jersey Darek Michael Wajda

The special man of course became my uncle and his best friend is my late grandfather. When my grandfather and grandmother met when she was already engaged, but she claims he used his witchcraft on her to gain her affection.

That's the kind of thing Abuela would say. We love it.

Most of the time we laugh and joke around when we record her, but sometimes she isn't in the mood. When she's not in the mood that's when she says the funniest things.

Sometimes she gets really into the new filters and likes to try out new things. Her favorite has to be the face-swap especially when she does it with me or my sister.

My Abuela, Rogelia Capote, the Snapchat Queen
Darek Michael Wajda / Darek Michael Wajda

She also likes the zombie one where she actually assumes the role of a zombie for 8 seconds.

Even though she pretends to hate the camera and especially the videos, she always says, " You guys are like the paparazzi."

Despite bothering her all the time with the Snapchat videos we do like to enjoy our family time, and deep down we all know she secretly wants to be a star.

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