Poor thing

Are you single? Never married.

 

I however, married at 23 years old with my high school sweetheart and had two children.

 

No, we do not live together anymore. My husband left me after 3 years of marriage, according to him because I was not as good as a cook as his mother, nor took care of him as she did. I do not cook very well, but his mom was indeed far from being the devoted mother that he described.

 

We used to have lunch at my mother in law´s house every Sunday after mass. The table was set for by the time we showed up, so it was assumed the food was homemade and of course by my mother in law. My husband sat at the head of the table and we were waited on by a maiden aunt, who had no other choice but to become a general assistant, personal companion, shoulder to cry on, nurse, punching bag to my mother in law. She was the one that told me the food was not homemade. She used to leave early morning to buy it from the marketplace, those that are installed in the older neighborhoods of Mexico City once a week.

 

Yes, my mother in law did get into the kitchen and looked after her little boy, but only to personally make and pour coffee after lunch.  She was able to seem to be very busy. The kitchen cabinets were opened and closed more times than the number of plates, cups and spoons we used, so did the hinged door that divided the dining room from the kitchen. It was my turn to wash the dishes on that day, just like on every other day but they were never clean enough to please aunty, let alone my mother in law.

 

Since you asked, I have to admit that coffee was delicious, not because it was made by my mother in law, but because it was brought in straight from the coffee zone of Oaxaca1, where my husband´s family comes from.

 

Do you have at least a kid? Not even that.

 

I was blessed with two children while I was married. After one year into my marriage, I gave birth to my first daughter. She was just about to start walking when I got pregnant again.  I was overwhelmed.

 

A neighbor, of those who are aware of everything that happens in the neighborhood, used to help me with dinner. She delighted us with typical Mexican dishes she learned to prepare in a trendy restaurant where she worked as a cook. One day my husband went to the neighbor’s house to return some pans that I had borrowed. He never came back.

 

That is right. That is why I am here. I had to take this job even though it takes me two hours to commute every day, with a boss from hell that like many, is a chauvinist. On top of it all, I have to be nice to his girlfriend and girlfriend’s sister that joined the company recently.

 

Do you live with your mother? You live by yourself.

 

I am not very good at living by myself. Before I married I lived with my parents. It was fun to share bedroom with my two sisters but we started to get into each other´s way as we grew up.  The closet was crammed with clothes of the three of us. To find what to wear in the mornings was like looking for a needle in a haystack. It required digging through multicolored shoes, remove layers of clothing in hangers and be careful not to get entangled by dozens of necklaces, scarves and belts.

 

There was no way to sleep late on weekends since one of my sisters got a job in a bakery and she had to leave at five o’clock in the morning. Once my youngest sister decided to weave scarves until very late at night to make some extra money, going to bed early was not that easy either.

 

When I got married, I moved into an apartment with my new husband. We were hardly ever alone, his mother and his relatives from Oaxaca visited us every chance they had.  On one occasion, five cousins from Oaxaca stayed at our apartment because they came to pay a vow at Virgin Mary´s Church.  After taking into consideration that traveling provides cultural exposure, the cousins decided to explore the city too, beginning and ending at Plaza Garibaldi2. Their cultural experiences focused on mariachi music and tequila. One of the cousins was taken to the police station, accused of damaging cultural heritage. He was caught throwing stones at the monument to the mariachi located in Plaza Garibaldi. When questioned, he stated that the musician was insulting and threatening him, hence his reaction. My husband had to borrow money to pay the fine and to buy five bus tickets to Oaxaca.

 

No, they never paid us back that loan, but it does not matter.

 

You poor thing, what is really important is that you get married (exactly like I did).

 

*********************

© María D Gómez, 2013

 

 

NOTES:

  1. Oaxaca is one of the 31 states of Mexico, located in Southwestern Mexico.
  2. Plaza Garibaldi is a square in México City where Mariachi bands can be found playing or soliciting gigs from visitors 24 hours a day. The Plaza is surrounded by Bars, restaurants and nightclubs.

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