Monday, January 26, 2009

"Destilando Amor" Therapy

       About two years ago I had knee surgery. I put it off until I couldn't walk. So while having some down time I began to watch a soap opera with my wife. But it was in Spanish. I don't understand Spanish.

So my wife would TiVo the episodes. And there we were together, me with my leg up, and her stopping the recording and explaining to me what was going on. After some time it came to a point she could ask "did you get that?" and if I did the telenovela could play on. But more often than not, I did not get it.

What a great story it was. All about the real Mexico and the Tequila plantations--love, treachery, and of course: loyalty! I haven't had so much fun since the Saturday afternoon matinee. When Rodrigo punched out the bad guy, Aaron, I jumped to my (good) foot! And who in this world could be prettier and more honest than Gaviota? No one can open their eyes as wide as the Gaviota. It was like the old magic of a Saturday afternoon theater and caused me think of all of the telenovela's characters for the rest of the day. They became real.

Especially James. The slightly goofy English guy that started out as Rodrigo's sister's boyfriend. They met in London, Rodrigo was there for his education. As the story goes, Cambridge. James comes to visit the sister in Tequila, Mexico, and decides to stay. So of course, he becomes Rodrigo's sidekick. For the first few episodes he wears a white shirt and a bow tie, and a cap. But his enthusiasm for the land and the Agave is engaging (Agave is the prime ingredient of Tequila).

While I was still recuperating we found that our niece in California was getting married. Also, that the Wedding was in Mexico! I had never been to Mexico. So off we went to California to stay with my wife's cousin and his family.
The wedding was a once in a lifetime experience, and we were surrounded by a wonderful family, a family I met for the very first time. A very large family! And the hospitality, the tender loving care we received, defies description.

The Cantina. Our cousin insisted we visit a famous cantina. I had no idea where we were except for a very large statue of Abraham Lincoln breaking the chains of slavery in the traffic square out front. Please forgive my ignorance, while wonderful, sometimes the experiences seemed surreal, and often I had no idea as to my location. This great family that I knew for only a few days provided unforgettable moments. I doubt I could ever return to any cantina and feel the way I did that wedding celebration night. And when the cantina musicians played the song from "Destilando Amor" a landmark was planted in my memory. By the way, "Destilando Amor" means distilled love. It was requested by our cousin.

Now I am retired and we live in Florida. My wife just had her birthday and my youngest son sent her the DVD set of the telenovela that was such a landmark memory in our lives. Perhaps you didn't know that Mexican soaps end. There are plenty of episodes but they do end and thankfully, our favorite has a happy ending. Best of all, the birthday present set has English sub-titles! So here we go again. But this time I understand explicitly, and love even more every moment of it. I really understand why Rodrigo had to punch Aaron the first time, and that second time too! I am looking forward to tonight's episodes. All we need is another wedding in Mexico. There is another niece to be married . . . stay tuned! 


  1. No wonder you liked my post about those Giant Toads in Florida.You can spend your evenings looking out for the ugly things.



  2. There is some true irony in our meeting.