Tuesday, September 8, 2015

A Few of Life's Mistranslations Score Big for Chipotle

Sometimes I forget to count my outgoing mail. I take photos of the stacks and often forget about each separate piece. Two new letters topped last night's stack. And guess what. I just found a letter hiding beneath a book. So, actually, there were three new letters in the Out Box. 

It's the one in the brown envelope! 

I am still recycling the bag from my last Chipotle meal. It's my two piece "scratch and sniff mail campaign." How else can I explain the aromas that permeate the two packages I've managed to wrap and post? And the funniest thing is no one comments on the smell, or the spots. Such good manners! I like Chipotle's campaign just as much as my own. This half of the bag never fails to move me, so I hope you'll get the same bag the next time to order take out. Julia Alvarez writes about crying to her mama over being called "spic," and her mama tells her the bullies mean "speak" English. Her advice is always to speak English. I want to cry for Julia and her little mama while I smile. 

Julia's little mami's advice proved to be sound, because now her daughter has what Elsa's grandmother gave her: Her words. Julia Alvarez is a famous author now, and she still has those words she had to leave behind. Every mother should love a child so much. I barely speak English, and my little mama was always saying "What? What?" when we talked on the phone the last two years. Her hearing was fading. Imagine wearing out your ear drums. I wonder how many words she's heard in this lifetime; it has to have been a lot, seeing as how she had nine sisters, five children and a church full of "amen" hollering co-worshipers. I wonder how many words I've heard, not to mention all the sounds. And why don't women get ear hair like men? The hair is supposed to help carry sound and keep insects out. Right? 

I super duper like the illustrations on the Chipotle bags. And these translations. So how can Julia think mistranslation . . . Never mind. I get it. Sometimes there are no words in English that express feelings, things and emotions as well as they are in their original language. These drawings don't help much seeing as how the two women look like they're fighting over who'll pay the check. Whoa! Looks like the one on the right is giving the other woman the finger. Oh, my. Oops! Lost in translation, huh?

Desvelada. Sleep deprived? Looks to me like she's poking herself in both eyes, hard enough to see stars. Again. Lost in translation. Which reminds me of the Bill Murray movie! St. Vincent is mucho better.

For the last time. Lost in translation. I thought she'd lost the heel to one of her shoes.  "Estrenar." To wear something for the first time. Spell check insists the word is Easterner. I am going to assume the artist's name is Llew Mejia. Is the first name pronounced "Yew" as the ll in Amarillo? Translation, please!

So, what I did was this. I wrapped something special with the illustrations inverted. The bag makes a lovely wrap. 

A little drawing and a message enhanced the plain back. A book is as good as a passport to everywhere, right? Even if it's just inside someone's head. 

A better view. Half the bag is perfect for what's inside!

I think it's cute. It has just enough tape to make following the instructions do-able. The notecard covers the address well enough! No, there is no notecard inside. Are you ever asked if there's a message inside when you mail packages with address labels only? In all my years of using the post office I've been asked just once. I won't throw shade by mentioning names, but I will say this:  If I put the accompanying note or letter on the package, I always put postage on the envelope. I get to hear how I don't have to do that, but when I don't do it, the two rarely arrive on the same day. 

A most wonderful thing happened to me in Barnes & Noble today. And in the Ace Hardware post office! Two great-day makers! Three actually. I met someone who's reading eight books! Or is it nine? He just struck up a conversation with me. The coffee he held smelled so good I wished I drank coffee. I so want to recall the name of the book he was going to buy, but of course I'm not even coming close. He highly recommended it, I know the author's work, the other titles he mentioned . . . He even showed me the back of the book. It's like he knew I'd need a clue. Dang. Then there was a young British guy in line behind me at Ace. He had about one hundred save the date cards that needed mailing. He let me look. They are simply beautiful!!! He proposed in England. They're marrying there too, and he looked and sounded so in love! I wish I had time to tell you all about both incidents, but I need to post this before midnight. Life is quite good, you know. Little moments make it so. My postal clerk/friend is the best. She has four new James Avery charms! She brought them with her because she hoped I'd come in, so she could show me. My bracelets look anorexic next to hers! And, that's not all! 

We have another new mail carrier. It's being delivered after 5 PM again--a clear sign that a newbie is in training. I collected our mail around 7, and there was a great big manila bubble wrap envelope waiting for me! Everything else was secondary. Alex was as excited as I was, so we shook it, and prodded, and let our imaginations run wild for awhile. I promised to tell him what's inside on the morrow. My lips are sealed. 

Hope you had a great mail day too. Bon courrier!


  1. Oh my the English guy would have had me talking him to death .My husband always ask me how can you talk to a perfect stranger ?, well they are just friends we have not met yet and it is in a public place so no danger there . I love book friends they are the best . take care great post dear .

    1. Oh, he was very chatty. A right friendly young groom-to-be. The save the date cards had a photo of him and his intended on front. They were kissing. The fonts on back were perfect combos. And being a guy, he didn't have them in a bag or a box. They were in his bare naked hands. :) I should have bought them an early wedding gift from Ace Hardware. Like a potato masher! :)

      I know what you mean. JC asks me the same thing, but I'm always so surprised to be "chatted up" that I just talk without a second thought.. Is hard to believe I'm actually a shy introvert. Maybe I'm an extrovert inside? A closeted introvert? :)

      I bought a spinach pizza for lunch yesterday. I take a book to read while I wait. The cashier saw me reading and just started talking away. The day before I sat on the bench in the pharmacy while I waited for my prescription. I woman came over and plopped down next to me. She sat so hard the steel bench shook and she was crowding me. She started cracking gum! She didn't stop even after I turned and looked at her with a oh-no-you-re-not-cracking-gum look. She didn't miss a beat. So I got up and stood three aisles away.

      I want to finally say this: Why are people allowed to spend hours sitting in Barnes & Noble reading magazines without paying for them? Then they get up and leave stacks on the benches and chairs. Why??? I buy the magazines I want to read. Why can't they? Why is it allowed???

      See? I relate to Ove. :)

      Thanks for thinking the post is great. You're a dear.