Thursday, November 8, 2012


I suppose it's not uncommon to have an emotional reaction to a song on the radio. 

Thanks to the country station's constant playing of Eric Church's "Springsteen" I find myself regularly reminded of my girlfriend in the 7th grade.  Actually, I think we met and were friends in the 7th grade, but maybe dated, or whatever average 9th graders did for dating in 1983. 

What I remember most is she dumped me for a guy named John.  And I think I'm still mad about it.  And honestly, if you had been dumped for John, you'd have been mad too.

"When you think about me, do you think about seventeen?"
"But if I whispered your name, I bet there'd still be a spark."

Isn't it funny how a memory can sound like a melody?

Refried Bean & Bacon Taco

So there we were, all the way in Corpus, when I sent her a text.  I knew she had grown up in Corpus, and knew her grandparents still live there.  So the text was sort of a "nah-nah, here I am, and you're not" message.

The voice mail a bit later was, "Oh my gosh, I need you to go to my grandmother's house and get a box of stuff for me.  She already shipped me one box but it cost too much.  It's on the bad side of town so I don't know if you'll go.  But I want you to take her to breakfast tomorrow." Pause  "Do you wish you hadn't told me you were there?"

Very typical her.

A friend since roughly 1994, I had met her not long after she had moved with her parents to our area from Corpus.  It would be fair to say we dated for a while.  While I don't remember the exact time line, and probably do not want to, it would be fair to say that it ended, in part, because I knew I couldn't commit and she was liking me in a way that was going to hurt her.*  But I digress from the story ~

I consulted with MyFella and our vacation hosts, and we changed our plans for the next morning to kick-off with breakfast with a lady in her 80's we had never met, who lives in the bad part of town, who speaks only broken English.  One person in our party speaks only broken Spanish.  It seemed like it should work out fine.

The next morning had us on the road at the right time to cross town, and she called, "Grandmother's so excited, she's been up since 4."  It was quarter to 9.  The home was cute, and Grandmother was proud to tell us that her husband had built it for her.  It is filled with pictures and frames of children and grandchildren and beyond, and has a lovely feeling of being lived in and loved in.  It was also spotless.  (A trait my living quarters do not share.)

Breakfast was a fun affair at a diner type locally owned restaurant.  The fun part?  Mexican! Like, authentic, really people from Mexico~Mexican.  Like, the waitress spoke English with a super strong accent.  How fun is that! 

She had texted for me to have her father's favorite for breakfast, a taco, as in the title.  Then her mother texted me to try Menudo Soup.

I looked at Grandmother and said, "Menudo soup?"  She said, "Good.  Stomach."  uh.  No, I won't be trying stomach soup.  I'll stick with the refried bean and bacon taco. 

Tortillas were handmade and tasted like nothing I'd ever bought in a Midsouth grocery store.

We tried our very best to carry on a conversation with Grandmother, the 5 of us in a lively, noisy restaurant.  At one point she called and I gave the phone to Grandmother.  I would later find out that Grandmother told her she was having a good time with all of us and she did not have time to talk to her.

What a delight that lady is!

And what a fun, unexpected surprise on our vacation. 

So, to sum it up, we drove 14 hours one way to have breakfast with my exgirlfriend's grandmother, and bring back a box of baby clothes. 

Well. I do like an adventure.

* I suppose her marriage to a hard working man with beautiful arms has been some consolation after our breakup.