Itsi, Maru, and Tannia
I was considering writing a telenovela based around these girls they provided so much never-ending drama and entertainment. They were spending a month working as chef trainees at resorts in Huatulco as part of their chef school training. Five girls and one gay friend of theirs were all packed into a small two bedroom condo two floors above me. Some of my memories from the time:
Day one. The girls piled into my car and we went on beach and snorkeling adventures yesterday all day. Later on they all left to work at the hotel except Maru, who seemed to be the one who wanted me to herself in the first place. I’d ignored them when my visiting friend Max got drunk with them one night, reasoning they were more suited to his age.
Maru and I at La Entrega
Due to a miscommunication, I thought for the whole time they were in town that they were between 17-19 years old, rather than 20-23. Maru and I traded all the standard banter about why we were single, Maru because all men were dogs and cheaters and liars and me because I occupy my time with confused girls telling me these things. We went to the movies with her friend Itsi after snorkeling, but wasted time eating and talking til after the movie started so came back to their place and started drinking with her roommate Tannia. Maru had told me earlier that she thought Max and I were gay. She thought I'd ignored them when Max was drinking with them because I was jealous he was spending time with them. Telenovela imagination!
The best part was Alejandra, the hot mother of 3 whose husband finally showed up a few days ago, looking with a wide-eyed stare through her window at me carrying Tannia up the stairs on my shoulders.
And that was without her able to see the bottle of Oso Negro vodka I was carrying and the grape juice from the tienda. But what she saw pretty much ruined my reputation anyway, I’m sure! The moral sacrifices I have to make for my writing material! Maru got peeved in the end because of how much of a caballero I'd been to Tannia, and she told Tannia she was a slut for wearing her pajamas around me. At some point in the evening when Tannia had been laying on her bunkbed talking to the rest of us, her breasts "accidentally" fell out of her shirt. I was looking toward the other girls at the time, but they felt sure I must have seen it and were equally sure that it was one of Tannia's "whoops, I did it again" moments. We went out again late at night searching for more Fresca to mix with the vodka, and I had to carry Tannia around some more because she was pretty much passed out by then and had no shoes on.
Tannia, Itsi, and Maru
I was being a perfect gentleman, just trying to take care of my inebriated chiquitas, but that made it worse with Maru!
Maru being silly
Day Two. Tannia spends all afternoon here chatting with me in my place because Mariela and Maru won’t talk to her for different reasons and everyone’s off at work or out anyway. She speaks in a low slur that is almost impossible to comprehend, which I find out isn't just me. Hardly any of the other girls can understand her half the time either. I show Tannia around and she complains that my bed frame that I built is too high, so that she has to almost leap up on to it. I tell her it's perfect for me. She sits on the edge of the bed and reiterates it's too high.
The obvious thing to do at this point is to demonstrate to her how well-suited it is to me, but I am not so easily ensnared by feminine wiles. She will not have me this easily. (My male friends all say in unison - "you did nothing? Are you insane?!!!) Maru doesn’t say hi to me down at the corner tonight when we’re both working on our laptops so I assume she’s pissed off at me over Tannia. So much for being honorable. I’m trying to cook beans later when Maru knocks on my door tonight and asks to talk. She lays it out again that she’s only pissed at Tannia for being a lush and flaunting her breasts and her pajama-clad self in front of a visitor and that she (Maru) feels like the mama of the group and thinks that behavior is unacceptable. Though she stresses she’s no prude.
I am still dubious at her denials of jealousy since pajamas hardly strike me as the most inappropriate clothing in the world. Then Maru explains she’s divorced with a kid and her ex-husband is coming tomorrow who she still gets along with fine and he won’t have anything to do when she’s at work so could I please hang out with him and talk to him some because he’s about the same age as me? WTF!! All this results in me burning my rice. This material can't get any better. My telenovela will be called Bayside 008. Among my neighbors there’s a Customs official, a Federale, and a guy who works for Continental. And of course the radiant Alejandra, who I need to stir into the pot some more. The first time I saw her she passed by my open door about four times in a few hours and looked directly in at me each time.
me with Tannia and Itsi
The last time she passed she made a sort of open mouth expression of curiosity that nearly put a dagger through my heart. Married women aren't allowed to do things like that to susceptible bachelors like me. Especially ladies with three children that can't act on it.
Maru and her on again off again ex
Day 3 with the girls of 208. Things have thankfully reached an even keel with my promotion to fatherhood and my moral compass is no longer threatened. I spent the whole night chatting by the pool with Maru and Mariela, and Maru declared that I was like their new father and I suddenly had 6 young daughters. (They added another friend from home who isn't here. "And you know how expensive girls are!" they said.) I told them I was pobrecito papa, I had nothing but sage advice in bad Spanish for them.
Mariela declared me Bad Daddy, Papi Malo. It became a fine thing of mirth, our variations on a telenovela plot where they all show up at my gringo door and say "Papi! Your long lost daughters are here!" I'm tragically sorry I missed when three of them came banging on my door at 11:30 the night before last because there was a ghost in their apartment. I can't hear the door very well from my bed so I probably ignored it as coming from somewhere else - or thought there was a ghost in my apartment and was ignoring it - but I was still awake then. What man doesn't dream of opening his door late at night to frantic beautiful girls? And here I ignored their plight. My Spanish is improving at a staggering rate now I have them giving me lessons everyday whether I like it or not.
Mariela, me, and Tannia at La Entrega
Maru - who has a smattering of very broken spoken English - had me rattle off a long story in English to see how much she understood, and she faithfully recited the thing back to me almost perfectly in Spanish. Just her memory of everything I said was astounding, even more so getting it right language-wise. Too many ugly Americans make the mistake of thinking if people can't speak the language, they can't understand it and talk freely in front of them. All too often they understand exactly. Though I can speak Spanish far better than she can English, I could not do as well at translating when she told me a story.
Maru, Tannia, and Itsi on my longboard skate
Three weeks later...
I let them scour every file they could on my computer one night in search of dirty secret pictures, porn, whatever they could find.
Itsi with...well, if you don't know, dont ask!
Very few guys would allow girls to do that, but I keep my computer secrets well hidden. Maru spent a frustrated hour at it and couldn’t find anything. I told them I was pure as the driven snow. So as not to leave them completely empty handed, I had to point them in a direction where they could find an old drunken Tahoe shot of my bare ass mountain biking naked into my bathroom.
After one too many Daddy Yankee Taxi rides of taking the whole group to the beach when I only invited a few, resulting in an altering of plans so I had to take them to the local tourist beach and go off and play by myself because I had no interest in their group dynamic, I swore off them and decided petulantly not to deal with them til they left in a few days. But I was roasting a large chicken the night before they left and Maru walked over to the thatched hut by the pool where I was sitting and fondly rubbed my bald head and I thought, dammit, how can I cold shoulder such a cute little chiquita who does that? So I had her share dinner with me.
me and Mariela
She was very sad she was leaving and I joked to her and Itsi who stopped by later that I’d find her stowed away in a chest in my living room after my parents arrived. They’d say “what is this?” and I’d explain “Es mi chiquita. All the houses here have a chiquita.” Itsi thought that wildly hilarious, though Maru only grudgingly so. Good to know I can tickle funny bones in Spanish now. Just when I thought I was cursed with daddy-hood, the girls are sitting around my place with all their luggage yesterday after vacating their apartment, and Maru thinks she should give me a little parting gift. "Quieres una tanga?" she asks. I hear wrong and am perplexed. A conga? "Sexy underwear, Papi," Mariela translates beside me. Maru apparently thinks some of her thong underwear would be nice for her Papi Malo, and opens up her suitcase and displays a few numbers.
me with Tannia, Itsi, and Maru
I’m looking at Mariela to see if they’re being offered to her. Maybe I’ve heard wrong because I get about 25 percent of what the girls say when they talk in their normal chatter, but they appear to be offered at me. I offer non-committal shrugs to each offering, afraid of embarrassing myself - is it a Mexican custom for saucy young ladies to give their Papi their scanties? - and just when she seems to have settled on some she decides she likes them too much and decides to buy me something at the market, which ends up being a coffee mug (after I’ve just bought 6 freakin’ mugs at the market for myself). Damn! I could have saved myself the future trouble of every guy's embarrassing scenario of a girl discovering another girl's panties in the house by boldly starting a "wall of panties" so that they were there up front.
Tannia and Itsi
There would be no hope of explaining I'd acquired them innocently anyway. I could have yet lived up to Hunter S Thompson’s maxim of “when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro”.