Interpreter, Please

My eldest daughter insisted we grill carne asada and pollo asade for dinner. Obviously, that necessitated a trip to the carniceria (meat market.) However, I reluctant to go alone. “You have to go with me, Cate.”


“What if they ask me a question in Spanish? I won’t know how to respond. If I say si, I may end up with 5 lbs. of meat instead of two. Come with me.”

Of course, it was not without attitude, she went with me. As I patiently awaited my turn, Cate wandered around the store selecting salsa, guacamole, and tortillas. The butcher finally addressed me, “What may I get you?” Ah, he spoke English. But I was wary, so I enunciated slowly, “One pound Carne Ahsadah.” He glared at me, like I was nuts.

Cate, who had witnessed my encounter, laughed and whispered, “Cool it, Mom. You’re embarrassing the guy.” Needless to say, I now go to the market solo.

Like many of us over fifty, I really need a translator when it comes to tech talk and current slang. I don’t care about DOS, LOS, baud, byte, CPU, or port. I can’t interpret set-up instructions to I Watches, nor IPads. And since I’ve left the education arena, the new vernacular stymies me. “Meh” and “FOMO” are meaningless. Thank god, for The Urban Dictionary because I know I truly do suffer from FOMO–fear of missing out!

But my excursion yesterday uncovered my newest weakness. Lord, I thought I was fairly intelligent, but I found myself yesterday rudderless. My extremely ill neighbor was in need of help, and so I ventured into a dispensary. I felt like I was in the Great Wilderness. Unaware of the protocol, I walked right in and stood in line–only to be yanked out of line by an armed guard, who asked for my driver’s license. Once I’d been entered into their data base and pre-qualified for a senior discount, I wended my way to the salesgirl, who bought me a variety of edibles. Then she started talking about CBD and THC, number of grams, and other things of which I was totally clueless. Too many choices, too much information. My head spun. Finally, I reached my point of frustration and told the girl, “Just sell me what I need.”

Then came the ultimate insult when I took out my credit card to pay the bill. “We only take cash.”

Cash? I scrounged through my wallet. I counted and recounted my wad of dollar bills. Fortunately, I had just enough to complete my purchases. However, if I have to make this journey again, I’m taking an expert to translate. Not to forget, a whole lot of cash.

One thought on “Interpreter, Please

  1. I had to laugh out loud at the cash part, Sue.
    We find out the hard way or bring a younger person with us. Thanks for the Sunday laugh.


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