“I’ll buy it!” I cried.
The angry shopkeeper, her surly companion, Sin and Guenaele all turned to look at me from where I’d been standing off to the side.
“It’s pretty,” I cheerfully chirped, “I like it.
Well, I didn’t really think that poncho was pretty. And I didn’t really like it. I was just scared of what might happen if somebody didn’t shell out 80 pesetas and buy the darn thing.
So I enthusiastically pretended I that liked the poncho and shelled out the 80 pesetas. Subsequently the recently truculent shopkeeper and her buddy forgot their grievances and turned friendly again, ceremoniously slipping my newly acquired poncho over my head, smoothing out the material on my shoulders and arms, and seemed to be commenting in Spanish how nice it looked, though for all I understood they could have been saying what ever they felt like about me.
Then Sin, Guenaele and I left the shop with me feeling a little dumb but greatly relieved in my new poncho and we headed off to explore the rest of Seville.
We hadn’t gone very far before we ran into several members from our tour group, who immediately began ooohing and aaahing over my striped poncho.
They were amazed that I’d paid only 80 pesetas for such a cool poncho. One of the group asked if there were any more ponchos like mine at the shop and I replied, “Mais bien sur, il y en a beaucoup! J’y t’amenerai si t’en voudrais un!” Which is French for: “Oh sure, there’s a bunch! I’ll take you there if you’d like one!”
Well, all three or four of them in the group decided they’d like one and on our way back to the shop we met a couple more of our fellow tour groupers who, when they learned of our destination and purpose, decided that they, too, would like to be stylin' an 80-peseta poncho.
“But no bargaining with the shopkeeper, okay?” I beseeched them, “I assure you, She won’t like it.”
So Sin, Guenaele and I returned to the shop where the happy shopkeeper’s eyes lit up, probably with peseta signs, when she saw all the customers we’d brought her.
Our fellow tourists cleaned the shop keeper out of 80-peseta striped ponchos, with Guenaele nabbing the last one off the rack.
And it was at this moment that Sin decided that he did want that poncho after all.
But of course by now all the ponchos were gone.
However the eagle-eyed shopkeeper was on top of the situation.
Anyway, a few more of our fellow tourists admired the look sported by those of us of in the poncho crowd so I pointed them the way to the shop where they bought up the remaining shirts like Sin’s, so Sin didn’t have to feel like a ponchoesque outlier and it was all good.
I ended up loving that poncho. It was loose and afforded freedom of movement and could be worn for just enough warmth in cool weather or as a layer over a sweater or coat when it was colder. I wore it for years. I don’t remember when or why I stopped wearing it. Maybe I thought I was getting too old to wear it anymore. I thought I might even have thrown it out but a few days ago, when I was thinking about writing about it I looked through my closet and there was my poncho, still hanging around and looking not a day more worn than when I bought it for the equivalent of eight dollars 43 years ago.
I wonder if I’m old enough to start wearing it again?