I suppose this is more of a short comment/story than an actual post. Although I suppose how one defines ‘post’ is entirely subjective. Or maybe not. Maybe just posting it makes it a post. Still, I think you know what I mean. Anyway, here’s my point:
I went to a department store today to look for a winter coat, which felt sort of funny given that it was 77 degrees outside and I would much rather have been lounging on some grassy knoll. Still, I need a coat and figured this might be a good time to buy one. So I went. I’m a slow purchaser of goods. My friend Megan once waited for me for half an hour to pick out suntan lotion. Seriously. Suntan lotion. I was trying to decide between SPF 8 and SPF 15. Fortunately, I went with the latter. Long story long, shopping for me can easily take a while.
Anyway, so I was in a department store trying on coats. There weren’t really that many hanging around, but the ones that were there were 70 percent off. Standing there near a wall of anoraks (admittedly, I hadn’t been sure what an anorak was until I saw the sign announcing their price), switching every minute or so between the three final contenders I had picked out, I realized how much I miss the Loehmann’s stores back in NYC and my New Jersey hometown. While I had been slightly offended once when the 50-something woman standing next to me in her underwear suggested that my skirt didn’t fit properly, or when another woman just looked at me and said ‘no’, I missed the east coast for a little while today. Until I found Sesma.
I had spent 30 minutes switching between coats and trying to make eye contact with the two women nearby who clearly didn’t wish to make eye contact with me until I heard the magic words. “Girl, did you find what you need?” While my friend Tina is always saying how ma’am is a compliment and I should be glad it’s applied to me, I was kind of psyched when Sesma called me girl after referring to the two non-eye-contact-makers as ‘madams’. It was like getting carded in a bar. Which is a pretty rare occurrence for me these days.
After I explained my dilemma to Sesma (I found three coats I like and don’t know which one to get), she generously offered her opinion. The green one, she told me, looked good with my blond fur. Fur. This is part of the reason why I’ve decided Sesma is awesome.
Once, my Bolivian Spanish teacher told me that by using the word ‘pelo’ instead of ‘cabello’, I was basically referring to people’s fur. Today, I understood how it sounded. It sounded awesome. I more or less speak Spanish. Sometimes I can’t understand radio programs, but I can generally understand people and make myself understood. Yet I’m (foolishly) sometimes reluctant to speak Spanish with people for fear of sounding foolish…I loved Sesma not only because she gave me an opinion when I needed one, but because she spoke English (which I’m pretty sure was not her first language) completely unselfconsciously.