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Shopping for Pisos and Blinds

“Where did you find the carpet?” I asked my son, Nick, eleven, at Lowe’s on Saturday. He had been there with his father to pick out an area rug, but they came home empty. Let’s just say that my husband is not one to purchase things quickly.

Nick looked up at the aisle signs, but said nothing. He looked confused.

“How about aisle twelve—Pisos,” I asked. “It’s not Ventanas or Puertas,” I said reading the Spanish translations on all of the signs. I must have learned more Spanish from a twenty-minute visit to Lowe’s than I did in two semesters of college Spanish, which I took because I was too lazy to continue with French. Ah, but continue I did. A classmate who’d also made it to French V in high school and I constantly mixed French into our Spanish sentences.

“¿Donde esta le vin rouge?” we’d ask. Our professor would sigh and we’d shrug. “What?”

Nick and I found the rug among the Pisos. It came in four sizes. We discussed which would best fit the space, and I grabbed the one we picked, hoisted it up over my shoulder and set out to find a shade.

“If Dad were here, we’d still be standing by the rugs,” Nick said, trying not to get clocked in the head by the rug every time I turned sideways. The boy prefers my decisiveness (or perhaps, impatience).

“Excuse me, where are the window shades?” I asked. The Lowe’s man stared at me with a blank look. I didn’t know the Spanish word for shades. Besides, I was having a hard enough time in English.

“You know, you pull it down to cover the window at night?”

He sent us to aisle ocho—Blinds, not Shades, you idiot, Jen, which would have been a helpful sign. We got our blinds (cheap white shade for the bathroom) got it cut to size, and went to check-out. Then, we went to Target to buy a bedspread and some pillows, a task that took us about seven minutes. If Dad had been there, we’d still be standing in the Pisos aisle at Lowe’s.

By the end of our short trip, we’d brushed up on our Spanish and stimulated the economy, and Nick got his early birthday present. ¿Es bueno, no? Oui.

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