Tag Archives: in love

Growing Up George: Ch. 2 Cilantro Seeds

You ever get the feeling you’re capable of more than people give you credit for? It’s like I always surprised people that I could read and write.

And then there’s the opposite. People giving me too much credit because they expected a lot outta me. They expected me- little George from the Barrio- to grow up and become Cesar Chavez and then president and come back, repave the alleys and build a bridge to paradise. And I couldn’t even figure out who my dad was. Much less, college scholarships.

Not that I was even trying. Not for the scholarships, anyways.

My auto shop teacher knew a guy and I was going to start working there twelve, maybe sixteen hours per week. Help my aunt with the bills. Get a decent phone. Maybe buy my own ride. Eventually get a girlfriend. Girls didn’t want to ride bikes by that age. It’s like they grew up too fast and that killed part of the magic. But you couldn’t date a freshman cause then you knew eventually you’d break up cause you’d be 18 and she’d be like 15 or 16.

But if you had a nice ride, then you couldn’t lose. You’d get a girl your own age and if you really liked her you could get really down with her in the car. But then if it didn’t work out, eventually she’d go to college or move closer to the city and you wouldn’t even have to break her heart. That’s what the guys on the varsity team said.

I was going to try out for varsity soccer that year but I wanted the job more than the extracurricular credits.

I guess what I wanted was the girls. Or maybe just one girl.

Cindy Nuñez had moved to the other side of the neighborhood along with her seven brothers and sisters back when we had started middle school. She didn’t speak English back then but she didn’t have to say much to get to know her. It didn’t take her long to fit in or become popular because she was so sweet. Her straight long brown hair just barely covered her bare waistline when she’d wave at you and then turn around hurrying off somewhere. I had been studying her summer schedule and figured out she always went grocery shopping with her oldest sister on Wednesday mornings.

So the following Wednesday, I asked my aunt Matty if she needed anything from the store.

“I just went Monday.”

I was afraid she’d say something like that so I had drank half the milk and orange juice the night before, and poured the other half down the drain.

“Yeah but we’re outta milk.” I opened the fridge. “Looks like we’re outta o.j. too.”

“Already? Jeez Louise, are you training to become a wrestler? You’re already tall enough. Stop drinking so much milk.”

I was really only like four inches taller than Aunt Matty, which wasn’t saying much.

“I was thirsty.”

“Alright alright, that’s not how I meant it. Here, get me cilantro seeds.” Aunt Matty handed me a ten dollar bill.

“That’s alright, Tía. This one’s on me.” I had been weeding out my neighbor’s yard and had about twenty dollars on me. I reached for the car keys by the door.

“What are you gonna take the car for? It’ll fit fine on your bike.”

I clenched my mouth and looked up at the ceiling with my eyes closed. Took a deep sigh.

“I did some work on your car last night and want to see if it’s running good,” and I shot out the door.

“Mentiroso!” she yelled behind me, liar, and I heard one of her rubber chanclas that she wore hit the door, but I was already backing out of the driveway in a cloud of dirt.

I scanned the grocery store parking lot and saw Cindy’s sister’s Corolla there under a magnolia tree. Checked myself in the mirror. My hair was too long and bushy, beyond the help of gel. I slapped on my Pirate’s cap and glided inside. I had to extend my two minute trip inside to be long enough to bump into her.

Luckily, she was in line at the register reading tabloid headlines when I walked in. Everything else seemed to fade in her presence. Sounds became faint and echoed, like when you’re under water. She was wearing her hair in a bun and had a strappy red camisole on. If I said her name, she’d turn around and smile, and I’d have enough to live on for another week. But then she might expect me to say something back to her, and I wasn’t prepared for that.

She must have felt someone staring at her because she looked up and our eyes met. I felt the soles of my shoes melting into the floor. She waved.

“Hey George. Are you trying our for varsity this year? I just got an email saying the girls’ tryouts are tomorrow and Friday.”

“Uh. Yeah. Of course.”

Because, duh, the girls’ soccer players always went to the guys’ games and vice versa and Cindy had played defense the year before. How could I have forgotten that minor detail?

“Good luck!” she went on, “Hopefully I’ll see you around then.”

“Looking forward to it.” Well, that was stupid. What a loser thing to say. ‘Looking forward to it.’ The words resounded in my head for like the next forty-eight hours. Cindy had just giggled and held up a magazine that said someone important had broken up with someone less important. I shrugged and went on my way.

‘Looking forward to it.’ Man was that stupid.



Long Distance Relationships Are Hard

Long distance relationships are hard.
Especially when the other person doesn’t know that he’s in love with you.
Let alone, that you even exist.

So I became a little obsessive this week over the Italian doctor whom I will probably never ever see again for the rest of my life.

I didn’t even know his name so I had to think of a way to figure that out.
I found it on an app for the place we worked at.
From there, it’s all been fairly easy, since it turns out he’s rather successful in his field, especially given his age.
(Yeah, I know that too. He’s 2 years 9 months older than me).
I now have his phone number, email, work address, facebook page address… Along with several pictures of him.
One of which really does him justice.

I also read a paper he wrote about a device he invented.

As I got to know him better, I became more and more aware that we have very little in common.
He likes sailing and mountain biking.
The first, I’m not familiar with.
The second- I am physically incapable of half the time.
(The half that is uphill.)

Unlike successful young entrepreneurs, I think I tend to coast through life.

He seems so free spirited and at the same time, determined.
Quiet, shy, but is that actually arrogance?
He is like 20 leagues above me.
There is no way I could ever translate this into reality.

Not everything I found out is positive.
It turns out he smokes, which is a major turn off, especially considering he is a doctor.

There was an Italian guy at another place I used to work, but he was from my hometown.
He was super cute and always hitting on me, but I never felt that attracted to him because he was a smoker.

Also, I remember one time he promised to make me pasta, and I was really looking forward to it but then he forgot.

I am under the impression that people who smoke lack self-control, good judgment, and let others pressure them into doing things they otherwise wouldn’t do.

So when I compare apples and oranges, my husband is really one in a billion.
If only he were in love with me, he’d be perfect.
But I guess a lot of people aren’t in love with the person they married.
It’s just a minor issue, really.
-cough, cough-
It’s probably annoying having someone always writing poetry for you or giving you flowers and chocolates and things.
…Or calling you but never actually saying anything on the phone.

Not that I’d know.

It’d be enough just to have someone support my art and music endeavors.
I sang my husband that last song I remixed the words from, “Octopus’s Garden.”
He didn’t take to it.

So this is my story of how I became a stalker.
He’s too good for me so I can technically fantasize all I want, since it’s never gonna happen.

wedding shower

It’s Never Too Late to Start Over

Yesterday we went to a wedding shower for one of the ministers at my church.

He’s been there since like after the Flood.

Well not literally, he’s just the oldest one there- around 80 years old.

His wife passed away 10 years ago. They had 3 children together, now all grown.

Anyway, in September he started asking about where to find a nice wedding venue.

When another minister’s wife asked him whom the wedding was for, he said it was for himself.

He was getting re-married.

At 80.

To a very beautiful woman in her late 50s, as it turns out.

So yesterday was their wedding shower, or engagement dinner, whatever way you wish to interpret it since they never had the latter, so we might as well say it was a 2-for-1.

One of my friends spent all of Friday making Chiles Rellenos (stuffed green chiles), another one spent all of Saturday making lasagna, and yet another one of my friends spent all day making Mole (Chicken in bitter peanut and chocolate salsa).

As for me- I was asked to bring water.

(Unfortunately I couldn’t even do that right since they wanted it at 4 and I got there at 4:40.)

It’s not that I don’t know how to cook or that I don’t like to cook. I’ve taken food to potlucks before… I think people just don’t like my cooking.

Except my mom.

She’s the only one that matters.

Random Plant
Random Plant

During dinner, my friend Christina was saying how I should go around and interview the elderly about our church’s early history in Ventura County and then make a book about it.

“They’re not going to be around for long!” she said.

‘Oh Christina,’ I thought, ‘Please don’t start talking about the Groom-to-Be’s funeral at his wedding shower.’

Well if you’re wondering what to get an 80-yr. old as a Bachelor-parting-gift, I was planning on just giving him cash, but then my husband got a group of friends to pitch in and get him a tablet.

A lot of people didn’t bring gifts so I’m assuming they’re just gonna take the easy route and give him the cash, like I would have.

I wouldn’t get either of them lingerie though. Nothing that would make anyone blush. Or puke. (lubricant) (sex toys)

The important thing is to be supportive.

His kids don’t seem too excited about the whole idea.

I’m surprised but not shocked; I already knew he wanted to re-marry. He had hit on a friend of mine a couple times (the one who made the Mole). She’s in her 40s.

I can’t say I’m happy for him; I don’t think I could be happy for someone getting married, unless they are obviously very much in love with each other, which most couples aren’t.

girl friends
I advise my friends to stay single.

I can tell he’s not in love with his fiancee because he can’t hold a conversation without bringing up his late wife. At least not with me.

But the important thing is what they feel, that they love each other, that they don’t want to be alone. It is their lives after all.

I think my husband will miss him a lot because he looks up to him. (He’s moving to Bakersfield; yesterday was his last day here). (The 80-yr. old’s, not my husband’s).

He is a good role-model for guys. He never retired, still works as a gardener, so he is in good shape, and he is super-patient (an ideal trait in any husband) and is both emotionally and intellectually intelligent.

It’s never too late to start over. ♥