New Mexico, though generally known as the Land of Enchantment, has another less well-known title: the Land of Mañana. This particular saying comes from our wonderfully laid back culture. In other words, sometimes things are really, really slow out here. Generally, I'm a big fan of the laid back sensibilities. Shoot, I'd better be, considering I'm a native. But occasionally, it can get annoying. Like tonight, when I was at the grocery store. I didn't want to go right when I got off work, and I didn't summon up the energy to actually go to the store until around 8 o'clock. The plan was to pick up a few necessities and then come right back home.
"A few necessities" turned into a full basket of food. The $10 I had had in mind for the expenditure was quadrupled, and then some. And no, I wasn't hungry when I walked into the place. I just found all sorts of things I needed that I hadn't counted on. Food can do that to me. And really, I'm okay with that.
Cut to: standing in line to check out. It's almost 9 o'clock. There's only a few registers open. And there's no way I'm doing the self-checkout with so much food. So I got in line and wound up behind a very chatty New Mexican. Very chatty. As in, he couldn't handle silence. To the point that he explained his entire two-item purchase to me. For his little miniature whiskey selection, and his gallon of distilled water, respectively:
- "I'm having company over."
- "I'm having company over."
And, given my own friendly New Mexican tendencies, and also the dinosaur slowness of the checkout line, I wound up having to converse genially about why distilled water is the best water to use for a fountain at home, because that way you didn't get all the calcification from the chemicals in the water. It was for a completely selfish reason that I continued the conversation. I've been toying with the idea of getting such a fountain, in the hopes that it might bring some atmosphere and ambience to my humble abode.
When it was finally his turn, and I was rescued from having to be the sole conversant to the chatty cathy, I was, shall we say, grateful. Of course, his conversation could be heard loud and clear even with the shopping cart between us. And while I read the headlines on People magazine, I heard him talking to the cashier while he wrote out his personal check for his $7.00 purchase.
Cashier: "I have no idea what language those people were speaking." Chatty New Mexican Guy: "Mmmm hmmm." Cashier: "It just sounded like jumbled jibberish to me." CNMG: [In his best know-it-all voice, drawl and all] "IIIIfffff I haaaad to guueess, IIII'd saaay theeeey were speaking Poooliiish."
Because, you know, we New Mexicans are incredibly good judges when it comes to recognizing European languages. I about fell over backwards from rolling my eyes.