Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Gringas Gone Wild
I was wrong because I lumped gringos in Mexico into the same rotten category: they were here because of the weather, the beach, the cost of living and not because they liked Mexico or Mexicans. I'll never forget the time one of the snowbirds said - just before Semana Santa - "we've got to move the picnic table before the Mexicans get here." Before the Mexicans get here? Those words struck me as typical gringo. At least typical snowbird, the ones who never get to know the town, who don't bother to try a word or two in Spanish, who think all Mexicans are out to rip them off, who spend all their time with other snowbirds.
I was right because I thought just maybe the gringos who owned homes here did so for the aforementioned reasons but also because they liked Mexico and Mexicans. Yesterday I got a chance to test out that theory when I met a group of women for margaritas.
The tide was high so I had to abandon my plan of walking to the restaurant along the beach and instead hit the main road. I recognized just about every driver who passed by - vendors, propane truck drivers, coca-cola delivery guys, normal working stiffs. There was lots of honking and waving, cars pulling over to see if I needed a ride.
When I got to the restaurant the women had already ordered their first round of margaritas, no Sprite, please, and with balls. Muy fuerte, por favor. Strong! I only knew a few of the women there and introduced myself to the others. The group ranged in age from about 45 to probably late 70s. These were the women who owned homes in the new part of town, women who didn't skedaddle at the first sign of heat, who didn't mind - too much - being in the midst of all that Semana Santa and Semana Diabla action.
I liked them - all of them - immediately. No one woman monopolized the conversation. They were gracious toward and interested in this new woman who had lived here for four years but whom they'd never before met.
Margaritas round two.
The women told jokes. The mood was getting raunchy. "It is important to make the sex" one of the younger women had been advised by an aunt as an old country way to ward off the effects of menopause.
One of the younger women bought a bright orange-colored dress from one of the vendors. The others jumped up and helped her into it right there at our table. She looked stunning. As she walked off to find a mirror in the restaurant she flashed her lovely backside. (She wasn't the only one to do so that day.)
The bomberos arrived. Now, I don't know the skinny on these guys except that a group of firefighters - from California? - own a fishing boat here. I don't know if they'd been out fishing that day but here they were, a group of men with about the same age spread as the women.
"The bomberos are here" went out the cry. The women gathered up drinks, clothes, purses and headed to the men's table.
I kinda don't remember the rest. I stayed for another ten minutes or so then began my two-mile trek home, this time along the beach.
I'd only had two of those strong margaritas but I'd not eaten so I was feeling a little wobbly. Back at the trailer I cooked up a bunch of pasta. I needed to eat a glue-like substance.
It's encouraging that at this age I can have stereotypes shattered. It's depressing that at this age I even maintain stereotypes. But there you go. Oh, and here I go...to Zumba! With a hangover! If any of those women make it to the class I'll be totally impressed. If they do, they've certainly got bigger balls than I do.