“My doctor grabbed me by the wallet and said, ‘Cough!'”
-Henry Youngman

My Alma Mater does not have a Spring Break, but while I worked at the International Students’ Office as an undergrad, I found a way to circumvent this.  Our director would round us up every spring saying, “It’s, ahem, very important that you realize how difficult it can be for the students coming to our university to get in and out of the country” [Item: nearly every girl who worked there was an international, and every girl who worked had been out of the U.S. multiple times in her life] “and so we’re going to give you a little tutorial.”  And thus we were annually whisked off to Mexico!

This trip had to include a trip to an embassy/consulate to make it right and proper with the university, but after that we could do just what we…actually whatever Dr. F. wanted.  But as this always meant a trip to the beach, open air markets, and the good doctor’s favorite restaurant (which highlighted a mariachi band with what appeared to us to be excruciatingly tight pants…but that never seemed to diminish the musicians’ enthusiasm for dancing up to our tables, looking like their gut/bum/whatever were about to burst free any second), we were happy to go along for the ride.

A couple of years ago, we were down in Sonora in Hermosillo and going through an open air market selling all things cheap and designer knock off.  I was on the prowl for a new wallet as my old was a shabby wreck and where better to get an abominably fake looking wallet than Mexico? 

Won't you take me home?
Won't you take me home?

I’d all but used up our allotted hour and was trying to seem as if I did not hear Dr. F. calling while I frantically searched case after case of goods.  Finally, at the very instant I was turning around to trot after my friends in defeat, I saw it.  Laying in the case was a so-not-Coach-but-maybe-from-far-away-it-would-fool-somebody brown wallet that needed me as much as I needed it. 
“How much?” I enquired in broken Spanish.
“Five-fifty,” the woman answered in accented, but much superior to my sad attempt at her language, tones.
“Done,” I said.  I probably could have talked her way down, but Dr. F. was motioning sternly  so there was nothing to be done.
I stuck my hand into shirt and snatched my money from under my bra strap (where else was I supposed to carry it?!) and plopped my pesos down on the table in front of her.

Something about my humor/pathos amused her because she burst into laughter (which had a You Poor Thing! undertone to it) and said, “You can have it for just five.”

DSC03311My wallet had finally outlived its usefulness and the inside was starting to come apart, so the other day I traded it in for this sassy red, ultra thin clutch.  But I felt bad tossing my old one and the entire day whenever I caught sight of it in the bin my first thought was that I’d made some horrible mistake (like tossing our marriage certificate again…still think J. did it), and even now I go searching frantically through my bag for it until I recall it’s been replaced.

3 thoughts on “Adios!”

  1. Holy crap!

    i just bought that EXACT same wallet except in yellow (love the red!) about five days ago. And I love it. Every time I open it up, I think, “Wow, I am awesome.”

  2. I ADORE those types of wallets. Everythime I go to the mall I nearly buy one…but then feel guilty about the idea of replacing my current wallet. :-p

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