Standing at a stainless steel table for hours on end is wreaking havoc with my legs, back and hips. I make it a point to take a break and stretch or squat, even though the cracking in my knees is loud enough for people to look over in alarm.
I’m already known as one of those people who endlessly talks to themselves (not out loud) while they work. I have to in order to keep prioritizing things in my head. BD asked me what I was muttering as I came out of dry storage and I said: “Mustardmustardmustardmustard,” holding up a gallon jar of mustard. “Now I’m going to say ‘Spoon&bowlspoon&bowlspoon&bowl’so that I don’t forget why I have a gallon of mustard in my hands while someone interrupts to ask a question.” (the interrupting happens about 1,163 times a day). I’m not self-conscious about talking to myself anymore, even when people notice.
I also find that standing at my table is a perfect time to rehearse and rehearse my salsa dance steps. Taking tiny micro steps and making little moves to build muscle memory I “table dance” while stirring or whisking or chopping. I have even worked out a routine where I take dance steps while mopping the floor or sweeping.
The other day I was doing my little table dance, oblivious, and looked up to see the two senorias watching me, amused. One said: “Usted danza?”, thinking maybe I was having some bladder control issue. I nodded and grooved a little more. “Si, mammi. Me salsa muy bueno.”
“Oh,” she said. “Es usted ir a la discoteca y salsa?”
I nodded again. “Si, me voy a la discoteca. Cuando todo las senoritas verme salsa, ellas me piden que danza.” Okay, I don’t go to clubs and they don’t ask me to dance, but I’m playing along for the fun of it.
“Si… y danza?”
“Si.” I hold up five fingers. “Cinco dolares.”
“Ellas se les paga cinco dolares?”
“Huh?” I ask.
“You pay to them five dollars?” she repeats.
“NO!” I protest. “Me paga las ellas… They pay me! Me salsa muy bueno!”
This caused both ladies to break into near hysterical giggles. It bubbled over into pure cackling when I said: “Solamente las bonita senoritas,” and made the hour-glass curve with my hands.
One senoria caught her breath and asked: “Solamente bonita? No feo senoritas?”
“Si, si. Me danza con feo senoritas.” I held up ten fingers. “Diez dolares.” Now they were really laughing and I was feeling a little insulted. My salsa is muy bueno, after all.
“Una noche toda vamos a ir a la discoteca,” One lady said. “Toda la noche se danza con muerjes hermosas.”
“Si, mi gusta la idea.”
“And you wife…” she made a fist and punched it into her palm. “Ella golpe usted.”
“No, no.” I said. “Ella gusta la dinero. She punch me and bruise me, las senoritas no danza… me muy feo.”
They nodded like they understood, having about laughed this out, and went back to work. One of them said something that I think was “keep practicing”. I took two small steps back, did a little pivot/turn, step-step-paused, and went back to chopping.