Sunday, July 25, 2010


Today I went to a park near my apartment that has a crazy collection of these industrial-looking pools, fountains and waterfalls. I wanted to sit by the water, catch some of the waterfall spray, and get a little sun. I had been there about 15 minutes when I looked up from my book and saw that a tanned, meat-heady looking but very handsome man had walked over to my little section of poolside. I am immediately suspicious of any really pretty guy who approaches me, so the way he sauntered over to this random little section of a big park was somewhat off putting. Also he was wearing white linen drawstring pants, which just doesn't do it for me.

He wasted no time in sitting down next to me, introducing himself as Alejandro and asking my name. I used my standard defense mechanism, which is to say that I don’t speak Spanish. No dice; he spoke pretty good English and pressed right on ahead with questions about me. I avoided eye contact and gave brief answers, each one punctuated with a glance into the distance on my other side or back at the page I’d been reading.

As he sat there, I could see him looking down at his chest and abs and then at me, as if making sure he was positioned and angled for my optimal viewing pleasure. He seemed eager to hear just what phrases I was going to use to praise his physique.

About 2 minutes into the mostly one-sided conversation, he asked if I wanted to go get coffee. I said no thank you. He then commented on the heat and walked over to the pool and dipped a toe in. Again remarking on the heat, he undid the single button that had been holding his button down shirt together and started to tug it off. The sleeves stopped at his large biceps and he said he needed help. I, however, was not willing to help him. This was not only because he was creepy, but because any guy who wears shirts a size too small for the express and obvious purpose of accentuating his guns doesn’t deserve to get anything he asks for, especially assistance in removing said shirt. He managed it on his own and proceeded to scoop up handfuls of water to dribble over his bare torso, where chest hair stubble was just starting to peek out from where it had recently been shorn.

He sat back down and asked did I want to put my feet in the water? No, I’m not that hot.

Did I want to go to his house to have lunch with him? No thanks, I'd already eaten.

When I made it pretty clear that I wasn’t going to put my feet in the water and wasn’t leaving anytime soon, and never with him, he asked if I would give him my phone number. I told him I didn’t have a phone. I pretended not to see him glance down at the obvious outline of my phone in my front pocket; meanwhile thinking what I could say it was if he asked about the small rectangular bulge in my pocket- iPod? Too big. Camera? Too small. Just happy to see him? Not an option. I moved my book to rest over my pocket.

Eventually the creep factor overpowered my deeply ingrained compulsion to be polite and I told him I had come here to be alone and read my book and that was all I was going to do today. He asked one more time if I wanted to put my feet in the water or come have lunch at his house, I said no once again. He leaned over to bid me a traditional European two cheek kiss goodbye. I had to turn my head as far around as it would go to avoid lip contact on the second kiss, but thankfully after that he took his leave.

I watched him go out of the corner of my eye. I saw him meander into the grassy section of the park and stop at a spot where a redheaded girl in a tube top was sunbathing. After a minute or two he sat down on her towel and a few minutes after that I saw them both take out their phones as they continued their conversation.

I moved closer to the pool, put my feet in the water and chuckled, and about 5 minutes later went home to have lunch

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Count Your Blessings

The other day I was feeling a little sorry for myself, as we all sometimes do. I got over it pretty quickly, but was thinking back on it today while riding on the metro. Then I looked around at my fellow passengers and started thinking about how lucky I am and realized I should just be grateful for what I have- or don't have. For example:

- I don't have those really long second toes that stick out way beyond the big toe

- I have a pretty good gum-to-tooth ratio

- I'm not Lindsay Lohan

- I don't say "supposebly" or "anyways"

- My eyes aren't so close together that from some angles I look cross-eyed

- I don't have a really distinct or obnoxious sneeze (although my cough and laugh may outweigh that one)

I'd suggest this activity for anyone whenever you're feeling down, although it may get you down on other people.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Catalan Casanova- Junior Edition

I taught my 13 year old student (of diarrhea fame) on Thursday. He has a desk with two chairs in his bedroom so that is where we do the lessons. But I'm starting to think that rather than seeing it as an English lesson, his pubescent mind can't get past the fact that there is woman who is not related to him in his bedroom. He doesn't want to do any work, and the past two weeks has ended up laying on his bed. This week he asked, while reclining on his pillows, if I was tired too. I said not at all and tried to lure him back to the desk with the promise of a computer game.

I found a site to do crossword puzzles in English. But he saw that they also had a golf game and wanted to play that instead. I said ok to one game, since that would at least get him back in a sitting position. But he wasn't so easily distracted, this is the conversation that followed:

Student: "We can play that if I put the ball in the cup in more than five...(I told him they are called strokes)...strokes, yes, strokes. If I put the ball in the cup with more than five strokes, you tell me to do something. If I do in less than five strokes, I tell you to do something."

Me: "What do you mean? Do what?"

Student: "I don't know, we can invent this."

Me: "Ummmmm. I don't... Ummm, what kind of thing, like what?"

Student: "We will see. Here, I begin."

Me: "Wait, no, I don't think, ummm." (but curiosity as to what he would actually ask was getting the best of me) "It couldn't be anything inappropriate."

Student: "What is this, inappropriate?"

Me: "You know what, we only have five minutes left, why don't you just play the golf game, just for fun."

Student: "Aww, only five minutes? I like this class today, I don't want it should end."

Me: "Heh, aw. Ok, then, well, I'll see you next week buddy."