originally posted Monday, June 15, 2009
I must start off this post by saying that I love Carlos to death; I adore him; he makes me laugh leap cry curse moan scream bitch rant sing dance. But … and ain't there always a but … Carlos is what I like to call The Absentminded Professor, or as they say en Espanol, Profesor Distraido. He has a lovely habit of not listening to me when I speak, or to most people, when they speak.
It's his thing, if you will.
Years ago, before I found him, or he found me, he had people at his house in Miami and they — there were three of them — decided to order Chinese Take-out. Carlos was the designated food, um, getter, and off to the restaurant he went to pick up dinner.
At the restaurant he told the cashier he was picking up an order for Carlos — just Carlos — and just the cashier told him the food would be $89.00, and he paid the $89.00 and was handed several boxes of food, which he brought home. It was then that he discovered he'd picked up, and paid for, another Carlos' food order, and my Carlos' food order was still at the restaurant; it cost $18.00.
You see, my Carlos didn't think there would be another Carlos in Miami ordering Chinese food, and didn't think that $89.00 for dinner for three was an issue. However, the $89.00 Carlos did have an issue that his dinner for eleven had been sold to someone else and he had a dinner for three waiting.
That's my Carlos. El Profesor Distraido.
Flash forward to yesterday. We were out looking for shades for the skylights in the sunroom, so we stopped in at Lowe's. Carlos had seen the shades at the Lowe's near our house, but because we weren't near our house, we chose another Lowe's.
Just our luck, they had no idea what we wanted. We talked with a woman for half-an-hour while she searched design books and order forms and computer websites, but she couldn't help us. So, we left, and then decided to stop at the Smallville Lowe's where they actually have the shades that Carlos had seen just the day before.
As we're driving, Carlos tells me that his car, a Chevy Malibu that he named Patsy Edwina after that AbFab gal, is a going to be a classic. I ask why it's going to be a classic, and he says that with GM closing some of its auto makers, Patsy will be a collector’s item, a classic, if you will.
I say, Really? Classic?
And he says, Well, then change the radio if you don't like it.
Huh? What? Huh?
He thought I was talking about the classical music on the radio, not his comment about a classic car — that we'd been discussing a nano-second earlier!
El Profesor Distraido!
We arrive at the Smallville Lowe's and sure enough they have the shades we need for our skylights. We begin talking with a sales rep, giving her the dimensions of the opening, the color we want, the size of the cell — I have no idea — and such. She prints up a breakdown of the costs for two shades, in our size and color, and asks if we'd like to submit our order. Carlos looks at me, and I shrug, saying Sounds like a good deal to me.
So the sales rep submits the order and then tells us we need to take the estimate sheet to the front and pay for the shades, and when they arrive we can pick them up. Carlos says, Pay first? and she says, Yes, always on custom orders. She asks if we want to apply for the Lowe's card and we can save an extra 15%; Carlos says we'll think about it, and proceeds to walk away. I think we're going up front to pay.
But he stops, and he gets this cat-who-ate-the-canary look on his face, this evil I-tricked-the-sales-girl grin, and whispers in my ear, We'll take this estimate to Neal,[one of the Round-The-Way Gays] and see if he can get us a better price.
I stop. Better price? We. Just. Ordered. Them.
Yes. That's what you did when you said "submit the order."
Carlos does the scramble and finds the sales rep and turns beet red and begs and pleads; she gets her manager and they cancel the order. There's a lot of apologies and red faces — okay, just the one apology, but two red faces: Carlos...from embarrassment, and me from laughing at my professor. The sales rep thanks us and off we go. Crisis over!
The next day Carlos finds out from Neal that we cannot order the shades from him, so he goes back to Lowes, finds another sales rep, and places the order for the shades we’d already ordered before we canceled them so he could get a better deal that never came.
Later that same day he nearly burned down the kitchen making his special Pollo en Fuego, but that's another Carlos-ism for another day.
Please keep in mind, as I said at the onset of this post, I just love Carlos. He makes me laugh. A lot.
Permission to submit this post granted by the interested parties.
Happy now, Carlos?