Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Drawing the straws that broke the camel's back

Alternate title: Spanish as a Second Language Meets Road Rage.

I know, I know, I missed a Monday post.  My regular schedule is doomed forever.  
I'll post tomorrow and Friday and get myself back on track, no worries.

But in the meantime, you should know WHY I didn't find a moment to post yesterday:


Those, my lovely readers, are a box of save the dates.  Which I spent all day Friday/ Monday/ this morning stuffing, labeling, and stamping so that they can get sent up to the states, and then sent to many of you.  So keep your eyes peeled in like a week.

Stuffing these cards was yet another reminder of how things that should be SO FLIPPING easy in the states are made so much harder here.  Not so much by our cultural differences, but more my inability to know how to say every single word in Spanish.  Normal everyday living?  We've got that down (mostly*).  But weird out of the ordinary stuff?  Those are the days when I start counting down until I will be living stateside amongst people who understand my every word.  

To that end, you have approximately 140 days until I start talking in English and never stop again out of pure joy.  You might want to invest in noise canceling headphones.

So these cards.  They're hard to send because sending them through the Mexican Postal system would take more than two months.  We can't send them fed-ex because that would total about 30 bucks a card (I'm not exaggerating), and we have over a hundred cards to send out.  So we're going to get them up to the states and then we'll get by with a little help from our friends who will put them in the US post for us.  Thankfully Fiance had some coworkers visiting the Mexico plant who were nice enough to bring us a few books of US stamps so we can get them ready.

Compound that with having two receptions (an idea that sounded so brilliant -and I'm sure will be in time - until you actually have to think out all the details), so we had to print off little inserts to go inside each card that specifies which date(s) the recipients should really be saving.  I can't even… ugh.  Look:  

I will break your will to live.

You walk into a Wal-Mart, and you see those little photo print centers, and you think "oh I got this, no biggie."  And then -long story short- a whole bunch of REALLY frustrating stuff happens because you didn't understand one bullet point on the sign correctly, and even though they have a certain photo size displayed they don't actually MAKE that size, so you end up going back and forth between the Wal-Mart photo center and your home computer's edition of photoshop 4 times before those stupid photo machines will even print something.  

Something that as an artist you're embarrassed to actually put in the cards because the machines pixelated it (even though it was 300 dpi!) and "automatically color corrected" so they don't match the cards they're going into anymore.  That is 6 hours of my life I will never get back and I'm not above saying it didn't stress me out enough to make my eye twitch because I knew I wouldn't have had such a hard time if I spoke the language absolutely fluently or had access to a good ole American Kinkos.


So even though I don't like them, they went into the cards, because I couldn't handle it anymore and needed to move onto the next step of assembling the Save the Dates for the time I had left available to me.  Thus, I started up Dora and headed home.

There is one point in that transit where I need to switch lanes in a short stretch of road.  As usual, I put on my blinker (a signal which is widely disregarded here to my extreme frustration), and checked my blind spot.  Just in time to see the Jackhole in my blind spot speed up to block me out.  Why?  I have no idea, there was no one behind him, he was leisurely talking on his cell phone so clearly not in a rush.  All I could figure out is he just didn't care for me to be in his lane.  

So you may be able to predict, that moment is when I TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY LOST MY EVER-LOVING MIND.

I laid on my horn.  I moved into the lane anyway because Dora is bigger than his car and so if he crashed I'd still win (and typically that's how Mexican drivers change lanes anyway).  I rolled down my window so I could scream English obscenities at this guy.  Then just to show him I could play the jerk game too, I slowed down so if he was in a rush he was stuck.  

And then?  Then, he changed lanes so he could turn right up ahead.  HE DIDN'T EVEN NEED TO BE IN THE LANE HE WAS HOGGING LIKE A FIB**.  Do you see why I'm [still unbelievably] upset here, people?  At the stop sign he turned to look at me with a perplexed look on his face that I interpreted as "I wonder why that girl seems so in a huff?"  It was a face that prodded me further into a blind rage, and thus, his gaze was met by this:


He looked at me and turned against the light, almost getting hit in the process and making me feel much more justified at hating every fiber of that stranger in a Suburban's being.  I could also go into how the Office Depot had one, just one package of labels that were a size big enough to print addresses on, but not bigger than the envelopes themselves.  ONE.  Or how about the gajillion paper cuts I've got going on?  No, no I shan't go into all that, because I think my point was well enough made when I pointed at Suburban man with a specific finger.

Good thing there's a vacation just around the bend (Cancun in 12 days!), because clearly I need it just as much as Fiance (Cancun, being a tourist trap, is also a hub of English fluency.  I can't wait.)

Have you ever had one of those days that seemed to just chip away at you until you finally snapped?  What was your straw?  Share in the comments!

*Fiance tried to order delivery over the phone the other night.  I was impressed, because speaking Spanish over the phone has something like a +2000 difficulty rating.  You can't see the other person to read their lips or see their hand motions, so they're that much harder to understand.  Then we waited an hour for our food.  So he called back (again, color me impressed).  They had the wrong address.  So we corrected it and waited another hour.  And Fiance bit the bullet and called back YET AGAIN.  They said our food was on it's way.  An hour after that we made ourselves grilled cheese sandwiches.  

**If you are a Wisconsin native, you already know what a FIB is.  If you are not, I can tell you the middle initial stands for Illinois.  And I can tell you the other two letters denote how the people of Wisconsin believe that the people of Illinois are totally incapable of driving like a sane human being.  If you need more help past that, I try very hard not to cuss here so you're going to have to ask a friend from America's dairy-land to school you.  Or urban dictionary it.  You'll figure it out.

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