Columnists

Super Bonito

“Maybe I’m a little old for this dress?” I suggested tentatively as I made my way to the mirror in the little shop.

I was in the artisans’ market in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where they sell everything imaginable—and quite a few things I had never imagined. I was wearing a dress that had been hanging on a rack outside a tiny shop in the market. It was in my favorite colors.

I’ve been collecting “my” colors, various shades of blue and green. It started with the bracelets. I bought a turquoise one for a few pesos and then I found another one that matched. Then another. Then another. None of them has cost more than a couple of dollars and, at this writing, I have eight bracelets around my wrist. Maybe it’s a bit too much. But I get happy every time I look at my wrist, so maybe it isn’t.

My husband, Peter, and I are now settled into a little apartment for the month. It is certainly not fancy. I look at the photos of friends staying in vacation resorts and they probably wouldn’t think much of our lifestyle here. I am sitting at a little desk made of Formica that looks out on a sunny brick wall covered with smiling ceramic suns. I have sunflowers on my desk. Peter is keeping me supplied with coffee (as he always does) and I am writing (as I always am). I think that is why we like it here so much—we are living very much as we always do, just in a different place.

And I also think it is why I am constantly buzzing through the artisan market, dipping into little shops along the way, looking for my colors. I’m like a bird feathering her nest. I bring back woven napkins and potholders and a bright blue apron with yellow flowers embroidered on the front. Peter is a regular at the chicken roasting shop where dozens of chickens turn on a rotisserie. When he takes too long fumbling with his pesos, the woman who roasts the chickens grabs the money out of his hand, takes what she needs, and returns the wad to him. She is not about to burn her chickens waiting for Peter.

Today is our seventh anniversary and we are celebrating it in the best way possible—by living our life the way we do every other day. Peter is going for his hike in the botanical garden. I am writing and drinking coffee. Later, we will go out for lunch at a rooftop restaurant. The view is wonderful and the weather is fine and, from our vantage point, we can see a cactus that has somehow managed to take root right on the dome of the church roof across the street. The cactus must be nearly 6 feet tall. It is amazing.

I plan to wear my new dress to lunch.

“Maybe I’m a little old for this dress?” I said to the shopkeeper, who I knew would say “no.”

“No!” she said on cue.

“Bonito!” said a customer, unprompted, as I looked skeptically at the rather skimpy blue and green dress in the mirror.

“Super bonito!” the shopkeeper agreed. That is when I decided I would buy the dress. I’ve had pretty dresses before, but never one that was “super bonito.”

Our anniversary today will be another ordinary day that will be perfect because it is not special. It will be perfect because it will be more of the same. It will be super bonito.

Till next time,

Carrie

– Carrie Classon’s memoir is called “Blue Yarn.” Learn more at CarrieClasson.com.