Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Bullfight


In 1974, I was in Mazatlan, Mexico for a short honeymoon with a short-term husband.

I saw the posters for the bullfight posted all around the Plaza, and decided that it was a spectacle that I really wanted to see at least once.  My blue-eyed blond husband wasn't particularly enthusiastic about the venture, but I finally wore him down and he got us event tickets for the next day.

The seats we got were in the shaded area of the stadium and we were not exposed to the blazing Mexican sun.  The first ten minutes were full of pageantry   I was enjoying the marvelous colors and the ritual of the opening ceremony, and enjoying myself until I became aware of the first sighting of blood on the bull.  I expressed dismay, but my husband insisted that he had "shelled out good money" and said we were staying for the entire bullfight, like it or not.

I stopped watching the travesty in the ring, and began watching the other attendees.  Most of the local Mexicans had the cheaper seats in the sunny area of the arena.  They were keeping hydrated with copious amounts of tequila, swallowed directly from the bottles they were pulling from pockets and backpacks.

Since it looked pretty unlikely that the bull would gore the matador, I excused myself for a restroom break.  I did take a moment to touch up my lipstick and then headed for the bar.  I ordered a margarita and was soon approached by a handsome young Mexican guy.  We chatted in both Spanish (mine is halting) and English (his was abysmal), and spent about 15 relaxing minutes getting acquainted.  I saw my husband walking in the crowd looking for his bride with a touch of fury in his eyes.  I bid Angel (pronounced Ahn Hell) adios and hurried over to meet my spouse.

I explained my delay by saying that the brutality of the sport really had upset me and I was just trying to compose myself before I returned.  (Actually, I had considered running off with Angel, but I doubted that he had serious intentions toward me beyond an hour or so of entertainment.)

My husband was angry.  We left the arena and the bullfight.  I got my wish..  Even better, I got a divorce.

23 comments:

  1. mikewjattoomanymorningsJuly 8, 2014 at 7:14 PM

    You killed that bull shortly after stepping into the ring. Without the help of your Picador.

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  2. Linda Gennai HyndmanJuly 8, 2014 at 7:48 PM

    I'm glad they are starting to ban them in Spain. Even in Portugal, where they don't kill the bull, it's still cruel.

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  3. I hated every minute of it. I don't know what possessed me to go see it, but it just wasn't what I expected at all. (Dumb, I know.)

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  4. Actually, that is very true, Miguel (I mean Michael).

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  5. I could never ever ever go to one. You are more woman than I! I would cry through the whole thing. Glad for your divorce.. wish I could afford one myself! ;)

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  6. http://ladyfi.wordpress.comJuly 8, 2014 at 10:57 PM

    I'm one of those against bullfights - I find them barbaric. But your short flirt with Angel sounded fun.

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  7. That's what I like about you Linda. Just the facts. No bull. Ole.

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  8. I think I had always heard of bullfighting in a romanticized way. The reality was strange. I loved the pageantry but the brutality toward the animal cured me of any romantic notions about it.

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  9. I am totally against bullfighting too, Fiona. But I guess in my youth and stupidity, I had envisioned something noble and romantic. It was neither. It was brutal and stupid.

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  10. Katherine, I was still in my 20's when I went. I'd never do it again and wish all countries would outlaw them for what they are. A horrid form of animal abuse and there is no excuse for the brutality of it.

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  11. Good for you. I would need a bucket-load of tequila to stand a spectacle like that -- and probably a husband like that, as well. Hugs.

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  12. In retrospect, I would have been better off with Angel than I was with my then husband.

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  13. Bullfights are way too brutal for me. But I grew up with tales of glory surrounding the blood sport. (Remember, I am Mexican.) I don't know what I expected. Maybe a fair fight? No, it was to horrific for me, and it's a "sport" that should be outlawed everywhere.

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  14. The bullfight was a great parallel with my my marriage. Both would end ugly, and in death and despair.

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  15. I agree. Even in bull-riding competitions I root for the bull.

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  16. Thank you for the blog! You are at your best when you talk about your life experiences. You are so much fun to read! Dwight

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  17. Dwight, thank you for your always kind comments. I've missed you.

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  18. Ah, the things we can learn about each other when the gore of bullfighting is around. My husband once took me to a rodeo. The minute it started with the calf roping and I saw the poor things running hard and then reaching the end of the rope with a jerk, I started screaming 'animal abuse' and upset the kids behind me. Notice I said, ONCE he took me. Never again. Yikes! I wonder what happened to Angel.

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  19. I love your stories! Any man who'd take his bride to a bullfight is kind of asking for a divorce, don't ya think?

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  20. Actually, I was the one who wanted to go! I'm sort of embarrassed to admit it now.

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  21. Angel is still pretty. I know he is!

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  22. The Equestrian VagabondAugust 21, 2014 at 3:52 PM

    : )

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