Clementino, ya no me quiere

Image source: Flickr user Elvis Batiz

(New to the Clementino saga? Start at the beginning.)

With my supply of Bubu Lubus at dangerously low levels, and my attempts to find another local dealer of my favorite Mexican candy having failed, I swallowed my pride and found myself outside Clementino’s store. Weeks had passed since our last encounter – since the day he had gotten into a shouting match with my husband. Carlos granted me permission to go to the store on the condition that I “act like una mujer casada and not like a school girl.” … Fair enough.

The bells on the door tinkling behind me, I went inside the small dimly lit store. As I got in line behind a little woman wiring money, Clementino looked up and smiled. There on the counter top sat the familiar blue box full of Bubu Lubus – his previous threat to no longer sell them had only been a bluff meant to make me feel badly for not accepting his piropo.

The woman in front of me shuffled out of the store and I approached the counter.
“Buenas tardes,” I said.
“Buenas tardes…¿Qué quieres?” he asked in a friendly way, lifting his chin toward me.
“Cinco dólares en Bubu Lubus,” I said, looking at the box.
“Cinco dólares…en… Bubu Lubus,” he repeated, taking the box down and counting them out on the counter.

I thought about saying something, about asking why he had been so rude to my husband that day – but what acceptable excuse could there be? I asked no questions and he offered no apologies. The unspoken thing sat between us like an unseemly fence between good neighbors.

After a moment passed, Clementino cleared his throat. Breaking the silence, he finally said what was on both our minds.
“Estás enojada conmigo.”
“No, no estoy enojada,” I replied, immediately chastising myself for being too nice.
“Sí, estás enojada,” Clementino insisted, “porque ya no vienes a visitarme como antes.”
“Bueno, estoy un poco enojada,” I said. He lifted his eyes from the counter top and looked at me.
Before he could say anything and before I could lose my courage, I forced myself to say what I knew I should.
“Portaste muy mal con mi esposo,” I said, tsking him.
“No,” he said shaking his head.
“Sí,” Now it is I who insists. “Sí, portaste mal.”

Clementino switches to English as he slides my debit card through the machine.

“Your husband said I sold the phone cards to him, but I didn’t,” he said meekly. “You came that day – not your husband. I never saw your husband that day. Maybe he bought the cards from my wife, but he said I sold them to him, and I didn’t.”

“Yes, you did. Yo estaba en el carro cuándo él venia a comprarlas. Bien recuerdo que fue tú.”

Clementino shakes his head, puts the receipt and pen on the counter. I sign while he puts the Bubu Lubus into a small, black plastic bag.

He holds the bag hostage as he tells me, “He came with your mother-in-law. Your mother-in-law always has problems with the phone cards – nobody else. If she was a more regular customer, I would care, but she only comes for the phone cards and to cause problems. N’hombre. I don’t care about her.”

I’m not sure what he expects me to say. Not liking my Suegra didn’t give him the right to yell at my husband that day. I look at Clementino. He doesn’t apologize. Qué terco. He shrugs as he hands me the bag.

“Okay then,” I say, sighing. “Hasta luego.”
He lifts his chin in my direction and mumbles “hasta luego.”

Standing on the sidewalk in front of the store, blinking against the bright afternoon sunlight, I feel a little like a deflated balloon. Clementino ya no me quiere… this is a good thing… but I was so hoping we could go back to being friends.


      • He’s not moody. He’s jealous. He’s jealous that you have a husband who won’t just look the other way. He’s upset he hasn’t seen you in a long time. And he’s mad he has the name Clementino. :P Maybe that all adds up to moody but really it likes in the fact el esta un hombre celoso!

      • Tal vez tienes razón.

        “…he’s mad he has the name Clementino…” jajaja… LOL, but he doesn’t know that’s his name. That’s our secret nickname for him ;)

      • I’m not defending Clementino, but I’m not defending Suegra either. LOL. She is a tough customer in every sense of the word and she has been rude to him in the past before all of this started. They deserve each other ;)

  1. Clementino = Bipolar with a hint of Alzheimer.
    Find a new Bubu Lu provider my friend.
    Y qué fue eso de que suegra no es “regular” y por eso le vale como cliente? Un grano de arroz que ella vaya a comprar la hace una cliente y por ende MERECE buen servicio y buen trato.
    TARADO ese Clementino!

    • I’ve been trying to find a new provider for the past few weeks. I tried markets an hour away from here.

      Carlos’s co-workers know a place though. We’ll have to ask them where it is. I think it’s about 30 minutes away, (instead of the 5 to 10 minutes it takes to get them from Clementino.)

      As for Suegra not being a “regular” — I think what he means by this is that she only buys phone cards – and I guess on the phone cards, they don’t make a profit… but you’re right – still not good business to treat any customer rudely.

  2. Asi estás mejor Tracy! Para qué quieres a un pelado (grosero) diciéndote cosas y molestando a tu familia? Besides, I´m sure you have some other admirers that you don´t even know of yet, no?

    Clementino se le pierde! Y tu, tu ganas el cuidado y las atenciones de tu esposo, amigas que te mandan Bubu Lubus y muchas buenas historias para contar!
    Un abrazote!

    • Thanks for the links, Amanda. LOL. (The ringtones!)

      And I can’t imagine having a donate button for Bubu Lubu money. You guys shouldn’t enable me. jijiji…

  3. I agree with Mama, doubtful that its over. He’ll be butthurt for a day and then he’ll be all schmoozy again. That’s how married men work, as they really have very limited options. I’m proud of your honesty, I have a hard time admitting I like the attention.

    • So happy I wasn’t drinking anything when I read “butthurt”. LOL. I haven’t heard that for awhile. Such a good visual… jiji…

      As for admitting I like the attention – I think that it’s frowned upon because people assume it means you’re unfaithful or looking for something on the side. People can assume what they want. I just like to flirt. Y qué? :)

  4. Lmbo @ all of the comments! Perhaps Clementino is a Gemini? lol I think this awkwardness will pass with time. Hopefully the worst is over. However, I don’t think he has entirely given up his love for you…it just seems his ego is a little bruised right now. I think he try to win you back again when you least expect it. Enjoy those Bubu Lubus while you can ; ) You have me wanting to try them now. I’ll have to look for a supplier around me.

  5. Treisi no te aguites por el Clementino! No vale la pena, jajaja! For a minute there I thought you were going to defend Suegra from his attack…like they do in those sitcoms when one person can’t stand another, but when a third person talks bad about them they stick up for them, and realize they really do like them more than they’d care to admit…but then again that’s just my imagination running away from me! Toda una novela el cuento de Treisi, Clementino, Carlos and Suegra :-)

    • Now you’ve made me feel bad for not defending Suegra! LOL. Shame on me?

      The problem is, what Clementino said was true. LOL. She only goes there for phone cards, she causes problems and she isn’t very nice to him, (even before all this started she disliked him.)

  6. Poema para Clementino:
    C ucú está este hombre!
    L unes y Martes normal, pero el resto de la semana, qué tal?
    E n su poder tiene los dulces que Tracy tanto ama
    M ás te vale te comportes o te acuso con tu mama!
    E nojón, respondón, piropeador
    N o te pases o te doy con el trapeador!
    T u actitud confunde, tienes una manera algo mugre
    I magino a tu mujer, pobre, creo que sufre!
    N o vuelvas a salir grosero
    O si no,te regalo a mi suegra y te conviertes en mi suegro!

  7. No Bubu Lubus and no Clementino? I disagree with most of the comments above! I think you need to continue going just to have this amazing writing material (and some bubu lubus you deserve).

    Clementino la está jugando bien. Se nos está haciendo el interesante nada más para picarte, mi Traisy!

    • Aaah good one Ana! Si es cierto, es más material pa la novela. Pero nomás que no ande de pasadito este tipo si no va a ser un duelo Carlos vs Clementino… y no sé porqué presiento que el Clemen ha de ser mucho ruido para una pistolita (de agua!).

    • Yes! I will continue to “sacrifice” myself for the writing material. LOL ;) … Seriously, I don’t know any other way. Life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, right? … Pues, if life gives you a live-in Suegra and bodega guy with a serious crush, you write blog posts. Jijiji…

  8. “N’hombre. I don’t care about her.” He just wants YOU to come buy from him.

    I’ll be on the lookout for more Bubu Lubus here.

    Clementino wants to keep you prisoner! Where’s the donate button?

    • LOL… No more Bubu Lubus for me via mail. As much as I appreciate the love, you guys are only encouraging the addiction at this point ;)

      I will find my way to get stocked up. If anyone feels moved to donate Bubu Lubus, you can donate the equivalent $ to people much hungrier than me. There’s a very cool charity that allows you to do exactly that. If anyone is interested:

      The cost of 10 Bubu Lubus at 50 cents each feeds TWENTY kids! … That website is cool – just type in a favorite food of yours, like a Starbucks coffee and how much it costs, and it tells you how many children you could feed with that money. Makes me realize how much money I waste on things I don’t need!

  9. ouch!
    My male admirers are few and far between, so I feel very sad for you to have lost one. Even though I KNOW it’s inappropriate for a man to have a crush on a married woman such as yourself (and especially be so forward about it) there is a part of me that secretly WANTS that little bit of heat and danger that comes when someone (other than my husband that HAS to like me) finds me attractive! So I am releived there was no bloodshed, but sad the heat is gone too.

    • Ah, you get it! LOL. I have the same conflicting feelings. It seems Clementino has only two temperatures – hot and cold. I would have preferred a little luke warm flirtation, but oh well.

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