I’m all in now. All it took — after I’d finished my sorting, packing, taping, labeling, grouping, stacking (and fretting) over the course of these past couple of weeks – was three young Mexican men, one pickup truck, two trips (within a short distance), all in under one hour, to move into my sunny new studio apartment here in San Miguel de Allende.
I was, I confess, in awe of these three men – how strong, efficient, and capable they were. They’re not professional movers, just friends of a friend who were willing to take the time to help me. (But I paid them, of course). They carried furniture and heavy boxes down flights of stairs and up other flights of stairs as though they were carrying bouquets of flowers. On a sweltering day in late May (May is the hottest month here), they hardly broke a sweat.
And here’s another confession: All my life I’ve loved observing men. I’ve always found their particular brand of otherness captivating. As a little girl, I remember being especially awed by my big brother – his prowess at baseball, his muscular forearms, his deepening voice, his ultimate aftershave (English Leather). I’d sit on the edge of the bathtub and watch, wide-eyed, when he first learned to shave using our grandfather’s straight razor. This was something a woman would never, could never, need never do, I knew.
I know it’s wrong to paint whole groups of people with a broad brush. Labelling and stereotyping are intellectually lazy, to say the least. So I’ll confine my comments to my personal observations in my five years here in SMA: From what I’ve seen, Mexican men – women, too, but men in particular – are incredibly physically strong. Their upper-body strength, resilience, and indefatigability are awe-inspiring to me.
Give them a job to do, and they do it with ease and an attitude of craftsmanship. Mexican men seem to be always constructing, repairing, lifting, helping, creating, designing. That’s the way I see them, anyway. And these three men with the pickup truck just reinforced my opinion. So I’m not only in awe, I’m grateful.