Ow! My Back! My Eyes!

colorful housesOw! Dammit.

Just to prove that my poor old body, which I have often remarked has got a lot more miles than the model year would indicate, is turning 50, I’ve done something evil to my back, and it hurts like hell.

It certainly hurts enough to interfere with my ability to post my weekly entertaining article full of insights and helpful tips. Oh, wait, that’s somebody elses blog. Okay, well, it interferes with my war against the unarticulated thought, let’s put it that way.

It’s a shame, too, because this week, Bruno and I have commenced on yet another Gringo rite of passage. We are painting the house Bright Mexican Colors. Listen, good luck trying to find any Dutch Boy Oyster White around here. Our North American obsession with the various whiter shades of pale must seem pathetically anemic to the local folks when they finally scramble across the border. The closest thing to neutral here is called Forceful Orange.
And I’m a realtor. My instinct is to paint it white and put down beige carpet. The simple act of picking a palette when the choices are not only infinite, but infinitly bright, creates a mental lockdown.

Last week I was stunned into silence by the appearance of a dumb peacock, whose bright blue breast feathers amid the rest of the colors of a humble Mexican street made a simple walk something that you had to lie in a darkened room to recover from.

Hah. That was nothing, nothing I tell you. I spent the last week dithering around with the other matrons in the Sherman Williams store here, trying to choose just the right yellow (June Day!) and  the perfect orange (Mango Smoothie!). Jesus Christ, now that it’s up, it looks like the inside of a furnace.

On Saturday morning, I woke up to find that Raphael, our man of all work, had abandoned his usual uniform of camouflage pants and do-rag in favor of a sort of colorful housecuban sugar planter look, with a broad brimmed hat and cigar. I assume this is to mark the fact that we have given him enough money to pay helpers while painting the house, a practical move that he seems to have interpreted as a promotion to general contractor. It was pretty clear that he had no intention of getting any paint on his snowy white guayabera.

I’m scared to tell him that I think the colors I picked look like Kristi Yamaguchi’s samba dress on Dancing with The Stars. I get my back taken care of so I’m off to Chapala for an appointment with Dr. Xavier, chiropractor and acupuncturist. Yesterday, while trying to collect referrals for someone to fix my back, I was satisfied that he’s my best bet.

At a Cinco de Mayo party last night, I mentioned his name and the group I was chatting with all nodded knowingly and agreed “Oh, yeah, if he’s not in rehab, he’s great!” You can’t do better than that. Hasta luego!

Elliott Joachim pulled the plug on life in Metro D.C. and headed South of the Border. In her blog, Lifestye Refugee (honey, what the hell are we doing in Mexico?), she regales you with how a middle range baby boomer builds a new life in Ajijic.

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