8.25.2008

adventures in gringo-dom.

a couple posts back i mentioned that when i get overly embarrassed for someone i have to hide my face in shame cos i can't bear to watch the poor wretch make a fool of himself... yeh, that happened the other day, except i was the poor wretch, and i physically had to hang my head, squeeze my eyes shut in shame and say, "erin, you are an ignoramous."

while on my daily walk with foxman, i decided to stop into a neighborhood baby boutique i'd seen before.  the shop's windows displayed some unique, fashion-forward little outfits, and i wanted a closer look.  the place was practically empty except for the three sales associates, ready to pounce on anyone looking in their general direction.  i entered.  they swarmed.  and my social anxiety really flares up in instances like this here in mexico because my spanish, although improving, is still no bueno, so how do i politely get away??  i don't.

so i was captive, led around by a woman showing me baby jeans, coats, sleepers, and all i could say back to her each time was, "si, muy bonito."  but the prices were totally not bonito... within the first 30 seconds of entering the boutique i caught a glance at the cost of a shirt and jeans combo, for an infant, at 60% off, and the ensemble cost more than a pair of jimmy choos.  so i was in way over my head, feeling trapped and growing guilty that all this chick's hard sellin' spent on me would go for not.

i mentally flipped through my short list of spanish vocabulary and somehow managed to ask the sales associate doting on me if she had any "sombreros?"  surely, i thought, they'll have a little beanie on sale, and i can just buy the thing and get outta here.  oh they had a cute little beanie, priced to move at 80 USD.  right.

this is the point where i started looking for an opportunity to just make a break for it, and luckily the opportunity presented itself when my new bff took her eye off me for a second to help with a display.  i moved for the door but felt a bit guilty for skulking off like i was, so i kindly waved to her and said, "muchas gracias!"  she looked up to see me leaving; smiled, waved, and blabbered something nice to me in spanish.  wanting to be nice in return but not thinking fast enough to get the right spanish phrase out in time, i blurted out, "de nada!" and immediately realized that i'd just yelled out, "thank you very much!  you are welcome!," all in the same breath.  erin, you idiot!  my face went 30 shades of red before i quickly turned the corner and hid in another store just so i could privately contemplate my own stupidity endure the wave of embarrassment pounding over me.

needless to say, i'm not going back to the cute baby boutique.  ever.  but if any of my friends down here in mexico decide they want to go take a peek at the adorable-yet-overpriced collections, will you please keep an eye out for my dumb pride when you go?  pretty sure i left it there.

unrelated topic: thanks to matt, fox is going to be a luchador for halloween this year:

17 comments:

Lori said...

oh, i like your new masthead. did you drum that up yourself?

i like your story, e. it made me giggle. i'm sure the ladies in the store just chuckled and thought nothing of it. when i worked at WSU bookstore and all the ESL students came in pretty sure they made comments that made me giggle... they were trying hard... and that's where it stayed. :)

love the costume btw, where did you find a baby size?

dani said...

i dig your new header! and i love your baby store story. makes me laugh and laugh! made my day!

Alyson said...

That is fetchin cute!!! Perfect for your little chub. From now on I'm calling him nacho. :) And he doesn't even look like Matt's baby in that picture...how'd that happen!?!??! ;)

And hey, I'm proud of you for trying to at least communicate and assimilate down there. I would have tucked tail and run way before you did. I love that you were willing to take a guilt purchase just to keep the peace. :) Love ya!

Scott & Lindsay said...

seriously friend, you're hilarious. and i still think you need to find a paper and write a column ... weekly, monthly, whatever. there are plenty of opps in nyc. you could be a national sensation. anyone reading this comment who feels the same, say "i".

Scott & Lindsay said...

p.s. i love the blue eyes peering out of foxy's mask.

Jake and Jana Chambers said...

Fox is so dang cute in that little masK! I love it! And at least you have a good excuse.. Spanish being a second language! I make those mistakes in my native tongue on a daily basis!

Noelle said...

"i" to your friend lindsay. so um. i guess this means we can't hang out anymore. i knock over stunning pewter pieces in one fell swoop and run into aluminum pipes head first. it would physically hurt you to stand as witness to my mortifying existence.

as for your spanish mis-hap. i just have one phrase for you: como se llama bryson. did you get that? you shouldn't have. makes no sense. no wonder he hasn't been making friends.

Jami said...

Another vote for you writing a column, you're amazing.
OOO, I just hate it when you can feel the salespeople locked in and swarming. But seriously, they're the ones who should be embarrassed for their rediculous prices.
Love the costume! BTW, where do you think ya'll will be for Halloween?

hot garlic said...

Oh how I can SOOOO relate to this as I am sure you can imagine! Even here where they speak 'english' I still manage to get it wrong, let alone the Asian countries.

Thanks for your sweet comment on HG -it is not so bad after all. Let me know if you do end up making the spring rolls -and YES! You will find many uses for the all too delectable sauce.

kate said...

skulking out of overpriced boutiques is never fun, even without a language barrier. i feel your pain!

Starley Family said...

Love the scrabble header! Umm...I am ashamed to admit I have done the same thing. I however was standing in front of the "governor" of the provence in Bolivia making a case for the Quechuans up in the Alto Plano and ended it precisely the way you said. Boy did I feel like a shmuck.

Abbie said...

erin, i like you so much. this story is fantastic. i love people that can laugh at themselves and let us laugh too.

and, um, your baby, SO STINKIN CUTE! love the picture. it makes me wish we were livin in mexico - that's how cute it is.

p.s. kohls junior dept is wear i got the shirt. and the funny thing - i think if you when i wear it b/c forrest took a picture of me with a big, goofy smile holding the cds you sent when i was baby bean pregnant with audrie.

longest comment ever.

Kara and Mike Barber said...

Hey!! I am so glad you found our blog, our you living in Mexico? What is going on in your life, your little boy is so cute! So my husband (Mike) and I live in Ann Arbor, MI. He is in dental school at the U of M and I am doing my masters in Physician Assistant at Wayne State. We don't have any kids yet, but hopefully soon!

hilary said...

ooo. love the new header background! it's so fetch. maybe when you aren't in mexico you can design one for my blog? :) hope you and jaclyn are having fun.

mandalynette said...

don't worry, dovie! at least you haven't pulled up to a drive-thru and ordered food and then informed the person taking your order that all of this was to GO! it was a drive-thru for pity sake!!!

Humphreys Fam said...

Erin, hi. So fun to get a comment from you. Sounds like you guys have moved around as much as we have - but WAY more exotic. Props to you for taking the culture by the horns! We've had Brig over for dinner out here in Ohio - workin' on finding a wife for him. :) Your little guy is so cute. Boys are the best - rough and tumble, but lots of loves. Good luck with everything coming up. You are a rockstar wife putting up with a consultant's schedule! :)

Dana said...

oh erin! you make me smile :) so funny :) could happen to anyone though, sadly, it just happened to you! honest mistake :) haha hope you are well my friend :)

old me.