You’d think that it would go without saying… Don’t leave Home in your Pajamas. Yes, well, this is Mexico and some rules don’t apply. But they should.
When Ed and I first moved here, we’d wake up in the morning with big plans. Walk down to the zocalo, have a coffee, stop by the bank, buy some groceries and visit friends. Our ambitions were realistic, if we were in Canada and life didn’t always make other plans.
We quickly learned that if we managed to walk down to the zocalo and make it back before dark, or the next day for that matter, we were batting 1,000. I’m not exaggerating. At all.
If I had a peso for every time I said, “It’s only 10am and 25 degrees out. The sun doesn’t set until 6pm so I don’t need a sweatshirt” or, “I don’t need an umbrella, the rain won’t start for three hours and I’m just going to get limes”, I’d be rich. It’s a good thing that limes are waterproof.
Don’t get me wrong, the spontaneity of one’s existence here is one of the things I love the most about the culture. Life is short and they live it to the fullest. But after 11 years, I should have known better.
Sure, I woke up late and Artemis was at risk of being late for school*. However, I should have changed out of my pajamas. I should have worn outdoor shoes. I should have replaced my winter hat with a baseball hat. I should have grabbed a banana. I should have brought my wallet. And I definitely should have brought my phone. But alas, I did none of the above. Why?
Because I was only going one.block.away. One little block.
But like I said, life has other plans**.
And when I got home, three hours and 15 minutes later, Ed’s response was, “I thought you went to a wedding”. Because, believe it or not, it’s happened before***.
Have you Ever Left Home in Your Pajamas?
*Note that everyone is late for everything. It’s cultural. However, if you’re late for school, they close the door and you can try again the next day.
** When I got to Artemis’ school, the doorman sternly told me that I was to go inside to speak with her teacher. I was sure that I was in trouble for some reason. Once inside, I saw that I wasn’t the only parent in trouble. There were over 100 chairs set up and parents lined them all.
In the centre of the schoolyard was a big blue tarp where the entire school was sitting. And in front, a makeshift stage with loud playing music and flashing lights like you’d find at a disco or karaoke. The event, a play complete with clowns, props and candies. They had Artemis’ undivided attention.
As for the storyline, it was about Mothers and Fathers treating each other with respect. About sharing. Giving to others in need. Values. Ninety percent of the jokes and innuendos went over the kids heads. But that didn’t matter at all because the play wasn’t really for them. It was for the parents.
I wish I’d had my camera to capture a bit of the magic. Of the hope that I left with that day. That slowly but surely, things are changing.
*** No, I don’t have any pictures of me at a wedding in my pajamas because, you guessed it, I didn’t think to bring my camera with me when I went to put the dogs downstairs.
Photo Source: Gracey