Your Name Is? House Painting and Romance in Pedasi

I had just arrived in Panama and within pedasi panama
a week was moving in to my new home. The first thing on the agenda was to have the house painted.
My son hired two young men who were at my house everyday for six days painting away. Needless to say we developed some sort of rapport. Spanish is a bit tricky in the name department so I wrote their names down as not to forget. At the end of the week the house was painted and my new friends were gone.

About three weeks later shortly after 10:00PM I am sitting at my computer located right beside my opened front door and there (to my great surprise at such a late time) stood one of my house painting buddies. I called his name and opened the screen door for him to come in. All the time I am wondering what in the world does he want at this time of night? He promptly came in, sat on the sofa, removed his cap, lowering it delicately with a light sway back and forth before finally setting it down on the sofa next to him. At this point I realized my buddy was a little tipsy, but he was my buddy and I was not afraid of him. Just wondering what’s going on with my always seemingly shy, quiet and courteous new Panamanian friend?

After a few minutes of us attempting to communicate and him desperately trying to tell me in Spanish what he wanted, I gave him a pencil and paper and gestured for him to write it down. He quickly wrote a few words on the note pad and then just sat there with his head down, looking at his pencil, swaying back and forth on my sofa. For a moment I thought he had passed out. After what seemed like an eternity he finally looked at me and said, “Su nombre es?” (your name is?). “Barbara” I reminded him. I told him my name and he continued to write. After a moment, with a big smile, he handed me the paper and I immediately entered it in my translator tool.

The english translation of the note said “I would like all of the town of Pedasi, Panama to know that la Señora Barbara and I are boyfriend and girlfriend.” Now I must inform you dear reader that this is the fastest courting process I have ever been through in my life, reminiscent of those notes with check boxes that kids pass around during class in grade school.

Will you be my girlfriend?
Please Check one – Yes[] or No []

I knew that latin’s like to move fast, but this pace was a little more then I expected, even for a young man half my age! 

I tried my best to politely tell my buddy, though flattered of his intentions, I was not interested in the Pedasi dating scene and that it was getting a little late in the evening. Due to the language barrier I eventually had to call someone that spoke more spanish than I. So at 10:30PM or so I called my son. He awoke to answer his phone and I quickly explained that one of the painters was at my house with a buzz. His immediate response was “what the hell is he doing in your living room at this hour drunk?” I did not go into all the details at the moment, I just asked Charlie to ask “su nombre es” to please go home for the night. Which he did and “your name is” informed my son that he cared very much about “la Señora Barbara” and any work I needed around the house he would take care of for me. Charlie let him know that his caring was greatly appreciated, but it was a little late for “la Señora” and she needed to get some sleep. My buddy gave me a parting kiss on the hand and headed on his way.

After my painter had left, I had to chuckle – he had come all the way over to nearly propose to me and in the middle of writing down his romantic intentions he had forgotten my name!

Well he may have forgotten my name, but I assure you I will never forget his!

~ La Señora Barbara