Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Meijer and the date night

back in the day, B.M. (before marriage), I had a favorite first date-- the airport. this was when you could casually walk to any gate and wait for your someone as they got off the plane. *sigh* #1990muchsimplertimes 

we drove for an hour from Provo to Salt Lake City airport; parked, walked the terminals, watched family/loved ones greet each other, then sat at a dimly-lit, empty gate and watched planes make night-landings. tbh, it was a perfect first date. 

so, I married him. 

my man's auto industry career from January to March is a whirlwind of "Winter Test." this means that he is often gone for weeks at a time, visiting proving grounds and vehicle test facilities in the US and Scandinavia. if we're lucky, we get him for a weekend.

usually, I get all errands/chores done before he gets home, so we can really enjoy the time together. a few weeks ago, that just didn't work out. so my planned late evening solo trip to Meijer became, date night

if you've read all 88 previous posts, you know that the whooshing of the glass doors triggers something in me. it's as if a strange Gregorian chant begins in my head, "🎶ge-eee-t ou-uuuu-t as sooooon as poooo-sssss-ible. aaaahhh-meeeeen.🎶"

I had a list, and the route mapped out in my head. when the doors whooshed open, it suddenly occurred to me that if we separated, we could be done faster and possibly have time to go on a real date.

"you grab produce, and meat. I'll grab dairy, eggs, bread, and we'll meet back at--"

my guy slipped his hand into mine, leaned into my jawline, nuzzled my neck and whispered, "let's stay together."

I have had some pretty wacky experiences at Meijer, but never(!) have I gone weak in the knees in front of Greeter Lady. 

suddenly, Meijer became this crazy-fun-interesting-hilarious store/museum to explore. we slowly walked hand in hand, lazily placing items in the cart, reading nutrition labels cheek-to-cheek. we talked about our week apart as we chose chips, and debated over frozen or fresh shrimps. 

if I absently slipped into rush mode and got more than an arms length away, my lover's hand gently pulled me back to him. we meandered down aisle 12, it felt like we were strolling down a Roman strada (spaghetti sauce and pasta section) that transformed into a Mexican calle (salsa, refried beans, tortilla section).

later, we stood in front of the refrigerated wall of international sodas, protein smoothies, herbal teas, and unusual fruit combination beverages, taking a ridiculous amount of time comparing, rejecting and finally choosing 2 never-before-tasted beverages for the road.

I'm positive I've never strung the following words together in any of The Meijer Chronicles:  that night, the superstore was... fabulous.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Meijer and the lost in translation

by now you know that I have "just one of those faces." the kind that looks like every other woman, and (apparently) I have a powerful aura--or some other type of mystical power--that imbues the message, "can't read or speak English? I'm your girl."

sure, I dabble in a couple of languages, but I've never really been comfortable with that power. in most languages there is a direct translation and, more often than not, there is a colloquial or regional translation, that usually escapes me. 

but if I'm being honest, my insecurity is mostly because of a girl named... 

Isabella. (in my head, I say her name with abhorrence. from here on out, I hope you do too.)

I was in college living with several international roommates, one was a girl from Spain, Isabella

also at this time, I had been nurturing a one-sided love for about three years, he didn't know I existed, except as his buddy. *sigh* the buddy disease, aka "the friend zone."

he left college, to live in Spain, we started writing to each other (as in paper, envelopes, stamps), each of his letters ended with, "te quiero..." 

you have no idea the thrill, the zing, the heart-thudding, every time I read that simple closing salutation, "te quiero," literally translated to: "I love you." I was over the moon, until...

Isabella. she asked to read one of his letters, to see why I was so happy(!). I handed the letter off, I pointed and said (possibly squealed), "he signs it with 'te quiero!'" 

laughter from Isabella. "In Spain, 'te quiero' is used between family members; like a brother to a sister. He doesn't love love you. He sister loves you." 

in those few seconds, I had been cured of the buddy disease; only to be reborn as a sister

more laughter. a lot morebut, I was grateful for her laughter, it conveniently drowned out the sound of my 💔ing.

Meijer, the deodorant/anti-perspirant aisle. 

peripherally, I note that I'm alone in the aisle with an elderly man, who shakes his head in frustration. he reaches for deodorant, stares at it, then puts it back. 

he sees me, his eyes light up (thanks, aura!), and approaches with a stick of Dove men's deodorant. 

"fe mal? fe mal?"

I'm not positive, but what I think I'm hearing is Spanish. I freeze; suddenly on the spot to translate--correctly this time

I quickly run through the words-- fe literally translated means faith, mal means bad, or wrong. is he asking if the product is good? honest? or maybe if the price is reasonable? or is he asking if he should trust that it will work? 

AGGGGGHHHHH. trying to appear calm, I walk back to see what the price is, I point to it--

he shakes his head, "fe mal?" 

I got nothing.

he rakes his hand through his hair, "FE. MAL.

I mumble, "lo siento, mi español..."

he shakes his head, "FE-MAL," then repeatedly points to me... and my boobs. "FEMAL, INGLÉS!"


Fe-mal. Female. he wanted to know if the deodorant was for women.

Isabella's laughter fills my head, as I gesture (in inglés) for him to follow me to the women's deodorant section.