One Saucy Redemption

I know a guy named Rodrigo. But, I call him Roddie.

Roddie is Mexican. Roddie loves to eat.

In addition to not calling him by his actual name, I always have made so much fun of Roddie. And as I lack even a teaspoonful of creativity, this fun poking would often be of the most unimaginative, stereotypical sort. Case in point…

I mean come on, what Mexican doesn’t love chicle, large belt buckles and a Made in China sombrero?

Roddie endured this relentless teasing with a smile and an abnormally loud voice. We worked together for the majority of my fatter years. Yes, I admit that I was quite the porker. Speaking of pork, the first time I ate an (entire) pig leg was with this guy. This pig leg (with hoof still intact) was enjoyed whilst dining with Roddie at Au Pied du Cochon in Mexico City. But, I am not blaming him for my trend towards obesity. Seriously, he bears no responsibility. Ok, maybe a little.

Did I mention that Roddie was from Mexico City? No, I probably left that out because it makes the culturally-insensitive belt buckle even more ridiculous. Speaking of ridiculous, let’s talk a bit about the way our lives came together. He moved to the U.S. to attend business school at UT, which is where he met his lovely wife, Leticia.

Look at this absolutely adorable couple pictured here before the birth of their wee one. Come’ere lemme squeeze those cheeks!

These are two smart and driven people, kids. It’s worth mentioning that Roddie’s father is a successful advertising executive in Mexico City and has always offered him the honor and burden of taking up where he leaves off. It is all there, right before him, all he has to do is take what is being offered. Instead, he insists on setting his own path. The harder, less certain path.

After grad school, Roddie and Leticia landed jobs in Dallas and a few years later, Roddie’s resume landed in my inbox. Presto, we meet, begin working together and the heckling has commenced.

¡Fiesta!

I soon learned that Roddie’s father had been best friends with my husband’s godfather in Mexico City. Seriously, kids it’s a city of 25 bazillion people and Roddie probably played cars with Rene whilst the adults drank copious amounts of tequila in the days of their youth. Did I reference tequila because I crave yet another stereotype? Most likely. Weird coincidence? Puf, there is no such thing…

Since the thought of me eating an entire pig leg during my larger years may have caused you to black out, here is a friendly reminder from the beginning of this post. This guy loves to eat. But, it is more than that. He loves food. But, it is even more than that. He lives food. Roddie is the man who taught me about the beauty, delicacy and intricacy of Mexican cuisine. He is like a Culinary Carlito. This fella even got me to eat my first grasshopper. Tasty little devil it was. Pass the tortillas, please.

Roddie endured Mittens and my relentless ridicule for over three years before deciding to pursue new opportunities and greener pastures (I can’t even imagine why). I knew then it wasn’t what he was destined for, but it was his next step. Then, I learned recently that he had been part of a big layoff at The Agency (I shall not name names) and now finds himself among the ranks of the unemployed. Damn it.

Did I also mention that Roddie has a very loud voice? How loud? You’ll just have to just trust me – L-O-U-D. See, the teasing continues even now after so much time has passed and he has been dealt a slice of life’s shit pie. Between heckles and hoofed pig legs, Roddie and I would talk about his dreams (while I would hold my ears) of launching a line of Mexican food products or opening a restaurant. He and Leticia would even spend their weekends developing recipes and making plans. Although the passion was there, it seemed the timing was never quite right.

Then life came along and handed him a slice right out of that nasty, stinky pie. Sure, being laid off must have felt like a giant sock to the stomach. Did he run to daddy and scoop up that cushy offer on the table? Nope. Did he cry in his tortilla? Nope. Instead, he is set his new course and is following his dreams. Now, these two are cutting where they can to make it happen and Leticia is holding down the financial fort, so to speak, so Roddie can whip up culinary genius in his Lakewood kitchen.

The Product: Sauces to make your mouth water and your abuelita green with envy.

Coming to a shelf near you.

Why do I tell you this story? Because sometimes life just plain sucks. Socks you in the stomach and asks, “want some more, bitch?” Roddie is not one to let this sorta talk get him down. Instead, he has viewed this setback as his golden opportunity. Did his dad offer him once again to come run his agency? You betcha he did. But, Roddie refuses to take the easy path. Instead, he’ll take the hand he’s been dealt and run after his dreams. One pot of sauce at a time.

The time is now. Get cooking, Roddie, cause we are hungry. And, I can hear your singing all the way from over here.

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