Mom returned to Montevideo with 143 pounds of luggage. Some of the stuff was for me, some of the stuff was for her comforts for the next few months, and some stuff was for Nicolás. His hobby is restoring old cars and right now he is working on a Chevy Impala 1962. When Mom offered to bring back any parts that he couldn’t find in Uruguay, he jumped at the opportunity.
True for most Uruguayans, my boyfriend doesn’t throw anything away. He will fix something and fix something until it isn’t fixable. And then he may try to sell it. He has socks and shoes with holes in them because he would rather patch them weekly than pay for new ones. It is one of the things that drives me nuts and at the same time makes me respect the hell out of him. Everything he owns is old yet looks brand new – cars, clothes, cell phone.
Well, the cell phone was on it’s last leg. It had been fixed one too many times and couldn’t hold a charge. So along with some car parts that he found on Ebay for the Impala, he sent a new cell phone and some American swag to my parents house in San Antonio. Knowing that his birthday was near when Mom would return, I also sent for a few things for a birthday present.
When Mom returned, she covered the table with all of our goodies. It was like Christmas. We put Nico’s goodies in a bag. He came over the next day. At first we did birthday gifts. Mom had gotten him little Matchbox antique cars. They were super cute and had individual parts so that he can take them apart and put them back together. Then it was my turn, I pulled out my gifts. I had found a way to get the original factory manual for the Chevy Impala 1962 sent to the house. It was freshly printed and sealed by Chevy. Plus a black Impala t-shirt because black is one of the few colors he will wear. I could not have chosen a better gift for this man. It was one of those perfect moments for both gift giver and gift receiver. Him looking through that manual was like a little kid, thumbing carefully through each page so as not to miss anything. All the while, he kept saying “increible!” I was at my ultimate happy that I had nailed the first birthday present.
Then came the car parts he had ordered. Watching him go through all of the pieces was also a great joy. He inspected them like a professional, scrutinizing every bolt. Half the stuff Mom and I had no clue what they were. Nico sure did. He was elated. Most people would have been excited about the new cell phone. Not my boyfriend. He was all about the car parts that night. It was beyond sweet. And a great belated birthday.
Then Mom pulled out the “American” stuff he had bought. I almost had a heart attack when not one but TWO fucking Trump hats emerged. I knew he did it just to get my goat, but those stupid hats just gave me the chills. So I told him that if he ever wore them in public with me, I would sing songs at the top of my lungs right next to him. Uruguayans don’t throw anything away and they certainly don’t like public embarrassment. Once the hats were put deep into the bag, we kissed and I forgave the blasphemy that was brought into my house. Nico went back to looking at his manual and I went back to basking in girlfriend of the year success. It was a successful mule trip from the US.