By Cheryl Weaver from the June 2012 Edition
“You’re out and about by yourself, enjoying a few frivolous moments, with only one significant thing to accomplish but it’s a doozey and it HAS to get done today. You’ve worked hard for 9 days straight to finish up this little project and it is s-o-o nice to have brought it to fruition….you’ve guarded it with your life and there it is – right there in that envelope in your bag……yes, originals – no copies – from the States — can’t be replaced —OMG
WHERE DID IT GO? I HAD IT JUST A MOMENT AGO — I’M SURE I PUT IT IN HERE…..and just about the time you’re about to call in the Federales and frisk everyone within 10 feet, the Mexican lady behind you on the bus leans forward with something in her hand and asks, “Es tuyos?” Before you can recover and drop to your knees to thank her, she’s gone.
Mexican women stare at you. You look different. Your clothes, your hair, make-up, even your body language shouts Gringo. They also care for you. They will let you know you dropped something….and pick it up and hand it back. They will remind you of which number bus to take. They’ll chase you out the building to see that your Passport gets returned that you left at the teller window. They’ll discreetly tell you you’re unbuttoned. They’ll even tuck in the tag bulging out of the top of your blouse if you’ve gotten friendly in line. Incurable Mamas, all of them, regardless of the age.
I’m 64. It has been a hecka hecka (as the kids tweet) long time since anyone has even remotely appeared to be taking care of me. I’ve been alone most of my life. That is until I moved to Mexico. I had two pipes break one day following the next, flooding the unit both times and my elegant upstairs Mexican neighbor came down with a squeegee and got the water out. Her husband played SpiderMan and climbed a dubious metal ladder on the building to turn off the water after hours. When I came down with Dengue fever and could hardly make it down the stairs, they drove me to emergency. I never ask – she reminds me of the mom I lost at 17. Behind that stoic stare is a heart of gold and as big as all outdoors.
So the next time you catch someone staring you down intently, don’t mentally ask, “What are YOU lookin’ at?” — instead, bless your lucky stars that you live in a place where people actually SEE you.”