The best thing to do if you love a Mexican man is to buy a lot of Valium, take up dope smoking, drink tequila or meditate until you’re blue in the face, because if you have any sense of time and order ~ at all ~ you will be challenged. For me, it’s like running for a train tethered to a sit-down donkey.
Case in point ~ Friday morning
Is your family coming for your birthday this year?
Julio: I don’t know. I haven’t asked them yet.
But it’s tomorrow. Don’t you think it’s time?
Is your family coming today or not?
I need you to choose one: The ‘coming’ part or the ‘not’ part. Which do you think it is?
They will come.
Oh! Then we need to get ready for a party. When are they coming?
What does early mean?
Maybe eleven, but they may not come at all.
Which do you think it is?
I think they will come ~ but they may not. Do you want to go to garage sales? Let’s do that and I need to paint a new canvas this morning.
No! It’s already 9.30. If you want your family to have something to eat or drink at eleven, we need to go to the market NOW and prepare the yard. Oh, it’s overcast and cloudy. That won’t do for a party.
Karen, are you mad at the outside?
Saturday at two
I don’t think anybody’s coming Julio. Let’s eat the salad. I’m hungry. And since we have all this food, let’s invite some friends over. I don’t want it to go to waste.
I don’t want a party. That would be too much.
You’re not having a party now?
No, just family.
Saturday at five
His brother arrives with his wife and four children. The others call to sing Feliz cumpleaños! I’ve made too much food and my attempt at a Mexican cream cake is a disaster. There is awkward conversation since they speak no English and I speak no Spanish, lots of gesturing and Julio translations. Mexican music cheers the scene as the children paint in the art studio, swing in the hammock and clang wind chimes above the outdoor bath. My new roommate, Maya, arrives so I have someone to speak English with. Everyone is gone by nine.
Julio smiles. See? We only needed BBQ, tortillas and beans. You must not make too much effort, Karen, just relaxation. But thank you for all you do, because this is my only family, closest to me.
It was great. Think I’ll go meditate for awhile.