Saturday, June 23, 2012


My friend, Leo, and I were recently discussing the word “bratty.”  We’re both a little bratty from time to time.  My theory is that’s what makes us interesting.  Bratty came up in the course of a few emails where I was checking up on Leo’s delivery of my new apartment furnishings.  Leo is a bit of a wheeler-dealer.  In Mexico, you have to be a bit of a wheeler-dealer to get by. Wheeler-dealer just means that you have “go to” friends who can get things -- usually for the gringo community.  One thing I learned in Mexico – everything is available.  You just need to know where (or who) to find it.  Leo believes in helping the craftsmen of San Miguel feed their families.  I agree with him.

So, after the consignment shop sold my stuff, and I retired from the law, ready to return to San Miguel, I needed another daybed and a table.  I went back to Leo who did such a good job helping me design and delivering (on time) the first set.  Leo readily agreed he could get a duplicate set made for my new little apartment in a funky, gated complex.  He’s also getting the lovely new landlady to do things for him, like show up for his workers’ deliveries. 

I’m returning mid-July.  I just happen to know Leo is visiting los Estados Unidos for two weeks at the beginning of July, and, by his own report, I do not yet have the glass top for my table or the mattress for my iron bed.  Oops!  Oh me of little faith followed up.  That’s what prompted “bratty.” 

Leo wished me a “bratty” day.  What could that possibly mean?  Yet, somehow, I understood him.  It’s really a term of affection.  “Nudge” (pronounced “noodge”) comes to mind.  My ex used to call our youngest an “itch.”  Kinda like “bratty.”

We never call people we don’t like these names.  There are harsher words for them.  “Bratty” and “itch” are always voiced in a tone of affection. And we never, ever, take the first letter of bratty and combine it with itch.  Actually, that once happened to me in a courtroom.  The judge told my client’s husband (yes, I did divorce litigation for more than quarter century) to “Talk to Attorney Kennedy.  She’s very reasonable.”  From a low-slumped seat at the back of the courtroom, growled the reply, “She’s a bitch.”  I strode up to the judge’s bench and, indignant, declared, “Nobody can call me that unless I’m married to him!”  The judge and I laughed (my client was satisfied with her judgment).

Leo may not want me to share this with you, but he’s in the market for a wife.  It’s about time.  He’s a pretty good-looking guy.  Creative, intellectual, Buddhist (most times).  When I was in San Miguel and got ripped off by a no-longer-in-business mail service, I called Leo.  He was very calm.  If I wanted more steam, a little ranting, I had an ex-lawyer friend available. 

Leo goes for beauty in his ladies.  I don’t blame him.  Handsome was always my foible. I routinely give Leo sisterly advice on his relationships.  Here’s the latest:  You better find a wife who’s brainy, or you’ll soon find her boring.  Now that I’ve thought about it -- brainy and bratty!

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