Mas Torreon

Posted: July 26, 2012 in Mexico
Tags: , , ,

At the ignorant age of 14, my expectations of what life would be like in Torreon were way off base.  As I mentioned before,  I had a handful of visits to Torreon prior to my permanent move.

During our treacherous auto trips, I learned how to read a map and I was my mother’s co-pilot.  With no A/C in her VW Rabbit, the trip was long, hot and full of car sickness.

So when we finally arrived, I was denied nothing.  If I wanted coke with my meal, it was done.  If I wanted an ice cream trip to Lerdo (famous throughout Mexico for its ice cream), it happened.  My Torreon world was my oyster, until I arrived to live there.

My abuelita, as mentioned before, was a hard woman.  I was to be her companion and housekeeper. And she was going to possess me.  Abuelita was quite jealous of anyone that took me away from her.

My grandparents owned a three bedroom, beautifully tiled house with a lovely courtyard. My aunts and uncles built it for them.  My Tio Antonio financially supported my grandparents.  He was a jovial, kind and hard-working truck driver.

Antonio was referred to by abuelita as ‘mi rey’  (my king).  Ever since he was a teenager, he volunteered to hand over his earnings to his mother.  Antonio and my mother were fathered by Don Nacho.  It’s no wonder why I love Antonio so much, his father was a good man , which in turn, made him a good man.

Once or maybe twice a week, we went to market.  I was to carry the sturdy nylon grocery bag.  It weighed a ton.  How did she manage before me?

I swept and mopped the tile floors throughout the house, dusted furniture and washed dishes. My favorite chore was hand washing my clothes and my abuelito’s clothes.

The courtyard had a laundry sink where both scrubbing and rinsing was done by hand.  I had very strong hands and would often get wet as I washed and rinsed the clothes.  Then of course, hanging them on a clothesline.  I got great compliments from abuelita, as she observed my laundering prowess.

Abuelita wanted to whip me into the greatest ‘ama de casa’ imaginable.  Sorry abuelita, I thought, it’s not going to happen.  My aspirations were much loftier than being a super housewife.

What was truly important to abuelita was keeping me by her side. Para que quieres ir a casas ajenas (why do you want to go to houses that have nothing to do with us)?  This was funny because it was my aunt’s house! If I spent too much time with my abuelito, she would get jealous too.

This is how I punished my abuelita when she angered me.  I took away my affection and attention.  I was an expert at dispensing the silent treatment, but my abuelito saw my game and told me to knock it off.  So I did.  I could never go against the most decent man I’ve ever known.

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