On Being Macho / Sobre Ser Macho

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

I KNOW. I know. You see the word “macho” and you immediately think this will be all about me. But, it’s all about my grandmother. She was a handsome woman.

I’ve been scanning photos from one of the old family albums and selected a number of images of my paternal grandmother in male drag. They were taken over a number of years in New York City in the 1920s and I’m assuming my grandparents were going to costume parties or just having fun at a photographer’s studio (click here for an earlier post), but we’ll never know. Oh, the stories we could make up.

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LO SÉ. LO sé. Ves la palabra “macho” e inmediatamente piensas que se trata de mí. Pero se trata de mi abuela. Ella era una mujer “guapo”.

He estado escaneando fotos de uno de los viejos álbumes de la familia y elegí unas imágenes de mi abuela paterna vestida como un hombre. Fueron tomadas durante varios años en la ciudad de Nueva York en la década de 1920 y asumo que mis abuelos iban a fiestas de disfraces o simplemente se estaban divirtiendo en el estudio de un fotógrafo (haz clic aquí para ver una entrada anterior), pero nunca lo sabremos. Oh, las historias que podríamos inventar.

Jerry My Yeti / Jerry Mi Yeti

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

SAN GERALDO’S NORWEGIAN grandmother couldn’t pronounce the name Jerry. When she said his name it sounded more like Yeti (aka Bigfoot). He DOES have big feet. I’ve mentioned that before. He wears a size 49 (14-1/2 in the US). He normally asks the salesperson to bring out whatever they have in his size. If he’s lucky, they’ll have a pair or two. They’re usually unstylish or uncomfortable… or both.

We were in Málaga yesterday and discovered a shoe mega-store called Calzados Gody. I immediately asked a sales person if they had large sizes. “Of course!” she happily responded. We were in Bigfoot Heaven. Hundreds of shoes. Great styles. And all labeled “Available in 47–52.”

San Geraldo selected a pair. The salesman went to the stockroom, returning about 10 minutes later, and said, “We don’t have those, so I brought a similar style in your size.” Since the salesman had only brought the right shoe, we had to wait another 10 minutes for him to retrieve the left shoe only to decide they weren’t comfortable. I guess it cuts down on theft, but we felt like we were “waiting for the other shoe to drop.” (And it did.)

I pointed out other shoes more like the ones SG had selected. “Don’t you have any of these in his size?”

No, the salesman told me.

The store had a great selection, supposedly, of large sneakers. I asked another sales person if they had any sneakers in SG’s size. “All of them,” she proudly said.

San Geraldo selected two pairs of Nikes. She disappeared for 10 minutes and returned with two other sneakers (that he didn’t like) — so it didn’t matter that she only brought one shoe of each pair. Those were the only ones in his size, she said. After an hour, we left the store. ‘Empty footed.’ I didn’t even see Crocs in his size. Talk about false advertising!

LA ABUELA NORUEGA de San Geraldo no pudo pronunciar su nombre, Jerry. Cuando ella dijo su nombre, sonaba más como Yeti (también conocido como Bigfoot). El tiene pies grandes. Lo he mencionado antes. Lleva una talla 49 (14-1 / 2 en los Estados Unidos). Normalmente le pide al vendedor que saque lo que tenga en su tamaño. Si tiene suerte, tendrán un par o dos. Por lo general son unstylish o incómodos … o ambos.

Ayer estuvimos en Málaga y descubrimos una enorme zapatería llamada Calzados Gody. Inmediatamente le pregunté a una persona de ventas si tenían tamaños grandes. “¡Por supuesto!” ella respondió alegremente. Estábamos en el cielo de Pie Grande. Cientos de zapatos. Estilos geniales. Y todos etiquetados como “Disponible en 47–52 “.

San Geraldo seleccionó un par. El vendedor fue al almacén y regresó unos 10 minutos más tarde, y dijo: “No las tenemos, así que traje un estilo similar”. Como el vendedor solo había traído el zapato derecho, tuvimos que esperar otros 10 minutos para que él recuperara el zapato izquierdo solo para decidir que no estaban cómodos. Supongo que se reduce el robo, pero sentimos que estábamos “esperando que el otro zapato cayera”. (Y lo hizo.)

Señalé otros zapatos más como los que SG había seleccionado. “¿No tienes ninguno de estos en su tamaño?”

No, me dijo el vendedor.

La tienda tenía una gran selección, supuestamente, de zapatillas grandes. Le pregunté a otra persona de ventas si tenían zapatillas de deporte del tamaño de SG. “Todos ellos”, dijo con orgullo.

San Geraldo seleccionó dos pares de Nikes. Ella desapareció durante 10 minutos y regresó con dos otras zapatillas (que no le gustaban), por lo que no importaba que solo trajera un zapato de cada par. Esos eran los únicos en su tamaño, dijo ella. Después de una hora, salimos de la tienda. ‘Pies vacíos.’ Ni siquiera vi los Crocs en su tamaño. ¡Hablar de publicidad falsa!

OUR FRIEND ELENA IN 2014, TRYING TO REMAIN UPRIGHT IN SG’S SHOES. / NUESTRA AMIGA ELENA EN 2014, TRATANDO DE PERMANECER ERGUIDOS EN LAS ZAPATILLAS DE SG.

Grandma Style / Estilo Abuela

As the below photo from the 1920s shows, my father’s mother had some style. She probably wouldn’t have fit in here in Fuengirola, although her Russian would have come in handy on the Costa del Sol. She was born in Slutzk!

My grandmother died when I was 3 years old. But I remember she had a covered cut-glass dish filled with hard candies with soft raspberry centers. The dish sat on a kidney shaped tea table in the living room and she used the candies to coax me out of my shyness. It always worked.

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Como muestra la foto de abajo de la década de 1920, la madre de mi padre tenía algo de estilo. Probablemente no lo habría encajado aquí en Fuengirola, aunque su ruso hubiera sido útil en la Costa del Sol.

Mi abuela murió cuando yo tenía 3 años. Pero recuerdo que ella tenía un plato cubierto de vidrio tallado lleno de caramelos duros con centros de frambuesas suaves. El plato se sentó en una mesa de té con forma de riñón en la sala de estar y ella usó los dulces para sacarme de mi timidez. Siempre funcionó.

Cazuelas and Abuelas

Today ends Fuengirola’s annual restaurant event called “La Cazuela de la Abuela,” which means “Grandma’s Casserole.” Sixty-three restaurants participated offering their own special tapa-size casserole. All I needed to do was sample five and I could then vote for the best, and get entered in a great prize drawing. Except for sampling Meson Salvador’s entry, we missed the rest of the competition. But it doesn’t really matter because, in my humble opinion, Meson Salvador is always the best at everything anyway.

LEFT TO RIGHT: MY MATERNAL, HIS MATERNAL, HIS PATERNAL, AND MY PATERNAL GRANDMOTHER.

On the subject of abuelas and casseroles, my paternal grandmother died when I was very young. All I remember was her coaxing me out from behind my mother’s back by giving me candies from a cut glass bowl — raspberry hard candies with liquid centers. I, therefore, loved her.

My maternal grandmother was an amazing cook, but I don’t remember a single casserole.

San Geraldo’s paternal grandmother was born and raised in South Dakota, so I’m sure she made plenty of casseroles in her time. However, in South Dakota, casseroles were called “Hot Dish.” At a potluck supper, people were told to bring “Hot Dish” — not “a” hot dish, but “Hot Dish.” As Jerry’s Norwegian maternal grandmother would say, “More funny America.”

(Click the pics to make your mouth water…)

ABUELA (GRANDMA) OUT FRONT PROMOTING THE EVENT.
LA CAZUELA DE LA ABUELA. DELICIOUS!
(POTATOES, A VARIETY OF FRESH MUSHROOMS, AND CRUNCHY HAM).
TRADITIONAL SPANISH POTATO TORTILLA.
BREAD THAT WAS SIMPLY TOO GOOD.
REBANADA ESPECIAL.
(BREAD SLICE TOPPED WITH OLIVE OIL, IBERIAN HAM,  AND QUAIL EGGS.)

Beyond the exceptional food and atmosphere, what makes Meson Salvador the best in the world is the staff. They call us “family” and they mean it. After a recent meal, Adrián brought us our complementary chupitos (shots of liquor). They serve “Pionono,” similar to Bailey’s Irish Cream only a whole lot better.

Since San Geraldo rarely drinks alcohol, Adrián brought him something non-alcoholic, a blackberry (mora) beverage. It’s what they serve to children. San Geraldo made a face when he tasted it, so Adrián got a straw and helped him drink it.

SAN GERALDO AND ADRIÁN.
I ASKED SAN GERALDO TO MOVE HIS HAND OUT OF THE WAY FOR MY PHOTO.
THIS IS HOW TYNAN AND ELENA HELPED.
THAT’S WHEN I TAUGHT ADRIÁN THE MEANING OF THE ENGLISH TERM “SMART ASS.”