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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mexicans, Marriage, Musings & Mel

I'm writing tonight with lots to say.  It ranges from the strange to funny to random and has very honest parts and sad parts mixed in for good measure. Perhaps, a broader spectrum than I've typed here before.  Perhaps not.  At any rate---let's get to it, shall we?

For starters-- my fence is finished.  Wait-- what?  I SAID--- MY FENCE IS FINISHED!  Hooray!  It looks beautiful.  I'm so happy with it and think it makes my yard and my house so much lovelier of a place to see and to sit and to be...  It's a good thing too--- because after the amount of money I spent on it (again)-- it doesn't look like I will be going anywhere anytime soon.

Roben (pronounced Rubin), is a Mexican man that lives down the street from me. My neighbors introduced us.  Apparently, he does a lot of really good work for many of the people in our neighborhood.  I hired him because I heard he was fast... and the hardest worker you've ever seen.  Both were true.  He put the whole thing up in 3 days.  And we got to know each other pret-ty well over those 3 days, let me tell ya.  Or, rather, he got to know ME.  I blame the trip after trip after trip to Home Depot... I'd have to go, of course, to pay for supplies. We never seemed to have exactly what we needed or ENOUGH of what we needed.

When he came over to discuss the task of building my fence back, Roben and I talked money--and marriage--(a subject of why I have no idea came up... but apparently, it's one of his favorites).  He knocked on my back door, and we discussed the fence.  The amount of wood I'd need to buy, the screws, his work hours etc...  I told him I'd pay him X amount to put the fence back up, and he said okay.  THEN the conversation took a turn--out of nowhere--- and went a little something like this:

Roben: "So, you no married?"
Myra: "Um... no, I'm not married."
Roben: "You have NO husband? Really?"
Myra: "No husband, Roben... Really."
Roben: "EVER?  REALLY?  You have NO husband, EVER?  You live here all by yourself?"
Myra:  thinking --"Ohmygaaaah-- is this guy for real?!"
           saying--" Yes, Roben, I live here by myself.  I quite like it."

I go inside.

He stays late into the evening working with the wood that was leftover from the flood.  We embark on our first trip to home depot the next morning.  We talk about wood... a little.   He needed more 2 x 4's.  Roben didn't seem to be in a particularly chatty mood that trip... thank Goodness, but he must just not be a morning person, because later in the day he informs me that we need to make another trip to Home Depot.  When we are buckled in he asks me who the man was that came over for dinner the night before.... I'm thinking:  Um.. whaaat?! None of your business! but I said-- "Oh, just a friend."

Roben: "He boyfriend?"
Myra: "Um, no. He's not my boyfriend.  He's a friend"
Roben: "Really?  (he seems skeptical)  He no your boyfriend?  No going to be your husband?"
Myra: thinking: Ohmyword-- I have no idea how to respond to this line of questoning!
          saying: "I just started talking to him.  I don't know him that well.  The jury is still out on this one."  (Really, Myra?  Are you really divulging this information to the Mexican Man building your fence??  Awesome)

Day 3 starts extra early and all that is left to finish is the gate.  We, again get in my car, setting about on ANOTHER trip to Home Depot.  About 2 minutes in... and despite the enormous language barrier, Roben starts trying to make conversation.  I am nervous.  I also couldn't believe no one else was in the car with me to hear what transpired:

Roben: "So... Myra (pronounced Mihra), you like music?"
Myra: "Yes, Roben, I like music a lot."
Roben: "Oh, really??  What kind of music do you like, Mihra?"
Myra: "Um.. folk music mostly... you know-- bluegrassy stuff?"
(Roben seems unimpressed... or maybe just confused... so I try again)
"It's kind of in the country genre of things, just with more banjo and harmonica and mandolin usually."
(Oh, yea-- he is definitely not impressed)
Roben: "Uh huh-- I like Spanish Music!" (shocker) "You know Spanish music?"
Myra: "Not really, no."
Roben: "You don't know Carlos Santana?!"
Myra: "Oooh.  Yea.  I know Carlos Santana"
Roben: "You like him?"
Myra: "Sure.  He's pretty good."

Silence... Silence... Silence

Roben:"Mihra-- You like to drink Tequila?"
Myra: thinking:  Hahahaha!  
           saying: "Weeeellll um-- sort of..... "
Roben: "WHAAAAAT?!  You no like Tequila?!?!"
Myra: "Um... well... I kind of had a bad experience with it when I was in high  I haven't drank much of it in the last 12 years."
Roben: "Oh, really?  That's too bad.  I love tequila... I mix it in punches... with juice... I drink it straight from the bottle.  I love it."
Myra: "That's good.... I had a margarita the other day.  It was pretty good."
... ... ... ...

Roben: "Sooo.. You NEVER marry, hu?"
Myra: oh, here we go again
          "Roben-- you have got to get over that!"
Roben: "Don't you want to get married?!"
Myra: "Um... um... yes?... definitely yes...  I mean-- not right now?... I mean-- maybe one day?
Roben: "And you never have any kids?  Ever?"
Myra: I can't even believe this is real life
          "Nope.  No kids.  Ever... but maybe one day.."   

He finished the fence that day, THANK HEAVENS!  I haven't really had to think about my personal life since!  I think that just about does it for me for the year 2010.  Thank you, Roben!

In other news I just arrived back from a work trip to Chicago.  It's a great city (in the summer) and we had a good time... you know-- as good a time as you can have on a "work trip" I guess.  I like to travel.  I like to people watch in airports.  I always feel slightly more important when I'm gliding (just like The Jetsons) across the walking escalators, finding the right concourse, my gate, proving my identity again and again....  I have no idea why. I feel ESPECIALLY important when I'm running through the airport.  Luckily, I didn't have to do that this time.  But I saw one girl who did.  She looked to be about my age (like 30...) and she was frantic and fast and all over the place trying to make it to Concourse C at Midway in time... but in time for what?   I couldn't help but wonder...  I also wondered if whatever made her late was worth it.  The last time I had to run,  and I mean, RUN, to try and catch a flight was in New Orleans two years ago after a wedding where I met a guy who (initially) seemed very, very charming.  We stayed out until 7am in a casino (they really should put a few clocks in those things) and then parted ways whereby I returned to my friend Morgan's house in an effort to retrieve my luggage and head directly to the airport--just to be safe.  However,  I easily fell asleep and missed my 12pm flight and had to spent the subsequent 12 hours waiting for another one on standby. Which, come on-- let's face it--was bad enough and made my actions seem questionably worthy.   However, after a short lived, long distance courtship with said "guy", I can tell you that the whole experience DEFINITELY wasn't worth it.  All of this flashed through my mind, and I wondered if this girl, this "running girl" at the Midway Airport, had had a similar experience the night before as well.  I concluded, finally, that it was likely and then pitied her for several minutes, all the while silently hoping that she had a good book to read while she waited for the next available flight to where ever it was that she was going...   Is that weird?  Probably so.

And speaking of good books---- I have just finished OPEN, which you may or may not know is Andre Agassi's autobiography. I was entranced, couldn't put it down.  Tennis fan or not-- this book is compelling as he "makes us feel his panic as an undersized seven-year-old in Las Vegas, practicing all day under the obsessive gaze of his violent father.  We see him at thirteen, banished to a Florida tennis camp that feels like a prison camp.  Lonely, scared, a ninth-grade dropout, he rebels in ways that will soon make him a 1980s icon.  He dyes his hair, pierces his ears, dresses like a punk rocker.  By the time he turns pro at sixteen, his new look promises to change tennis forever" (an excerpt from the jacket of the book).  It goes on to tell of his rivals from several generations including Pete Sampras and Roger Federer, and his short lived marriage to Brooke Shields, as well as his relationship, early on, with Barbra Streisand (who knew, right?!)  Definitely a page turner, I enjoyed it very much.  However, I'd be pretty mad if I was Brooke Shields or Pete Sampras.  Just sayin'.  You'll have to read it to find out why.  So good!

And just when you thought this blog was all going to be peaches and roses-- I do have some sad news to report on the Nashville front:  Melissa Tribble packed up a U-Haul and moved back to the Mississippi Delta today.  Her new job, her family, and her future await her, and I am proud and happy for what opportunities lie ahead there.  Still-- I am really really really going to miss her.  Ours is a friendship that I know will stand the test of time and distance, but I can't help but feel a little bit like I lost an arm today... possibly a whole leg.  Nine years (is that even possible?!), for nine years she has been my rock, my confidant, my friend, and at times felt more like a sister to me than even my own.  We've sung and laughed and cried and partied and prayed and talked our way through our entire adult lives together, and I have no idea how to live in this city without her.  Melissa, I know that your soul will shine as brightly and uniquely and incredibly in Greenwood as it did here, my dear friend.  I will surely miss having it around though...  I love you.

That's all.  The End.

Yours ever,