Heyyyy. Long time no post. I can’t remember the last thing I wrote. I can’t go back and look either because the second I hit publish they all seem dumb and cringey to me so I employ a strategy of pretending none of my previous posts even exist. I just can’t get into a writing mood lately. And once I let go of my rigid every Thursday schedule it kind of all went out the window. That’s how I tend to be about most things. Either super militant and overly obsessed or I let it go entirely and could genuinely not care about it less.
Anyway here we are. I’m pretty sure my last few posts were more serious therefore it’s high time for another funny one. I haven’t told a Mackenzie is a moron story in a bit so strap in, this one’s a gem.
A little background. I left Ole Miss in 2007 lacking one Spanish credit to finish my degree. I put it off for awhile like fickle, unfocused 20-somethings are wont. The switch finally flipped from couldn’t care less to finishing this degree is the most important thing on earth so I signed up for an online Spanish class at Houston Community College in 2010.
In a case of honesty is usually the best policy, I straight up told the teacher I was not at all interested in learning Spanish I just needed to pass this class and would be exerting exactly as much effort as that required. She said, fair enough, and I ended up being the best in the class which is a harsh critique of the rest of them. I spent many work days at my desk with a google translate page open on each of my screens. I would translate the Spanish homework assignments into English so I could read them, type my answers in English then google translate them to Spanish, and copy/paste into my homework. Just like piano lessons as a kid, I made it through this whole class without learning a single thing. I’m not proud of it but it is a specific talent that I have. I can drive somewhere a hundred times and still not know how to get there.
Ok here comes the dumb part. This is during the time The Boy and I were still pretty newly dating. Just about every other weekend we left work on Friday afternoons and drove six hours west to his ranch, returning to Houston on Sunday. Every Friday we passed a giant billboard just east of San Antonio that read, in huge red letters, “HAY SALES”, with a phone number. That’s all it said.
Even though I intended and mostly succeeded at learning zero Spanish, some of it did seep its way into my brain. For weeks, every Friday that we drove by this sign I found myself wondering what that sign translated to in English.
In my defense, “hay” is a Spanish word that means there is or there are. And “sales” (pronounced sah-lace) is the you infinitive form of the word “salir”, meaning to leave or to go out.
I couldn’t make sense of it. The Spanish translations that I knew didn’t seem to fit but it never once occurred to me that it was just an English sign announcing hay for sale. Not once.
I thought about it every time I saw it for probably two months. Finally one Friday we passed that sign and it suddenly hit me like a frying pan that I’m an idiot. I lost my mind. I laughed so hard The Boy got concerned. He kept asking what was so funny, I think he thought I was finally snapping. For a half second I considered keeping it to myself but I’m not a good enough improv actor to come up with a less embarrassing reason to be so hysterical on the fly so I told him the whole story. I’ve rarely ever seen him laugh so hard.
My real mistake was letting him tell this story to all our friends and family. It’s become the stuff of legends and I’ve done a lot of dumb things. At least once a year at a holiday get together it gets told and everyone laughs until they cry. My dad tells this story every chance he gets. “Hay Sales” has become a bit of rallying cry for our family.
There’s no life lesson to take from this post unless it’s that we’re all dumb sometimes and you can either embrace it or suffer from it. And maybe that the better your family, the longer they will hold your dumb moments against you for general entertainment purposes. That’s ok. I wouldn’t take it back even if I could.