Jesus Follower | Word Stringer | Avocado Eater

Kicked Out of El Banco: When Rejection Strikes

A few years into Baja living, my husband learned to roll with the inconvenient punches, knew exactly how to pay all the bills in person, and understood the cultural norms. 

But of all the places we visited in the city, going to a Mexican bank never felt fun. 

  • Funky restaurants? Yes. 
  • The Italian gelato shop? Always. 
  • The pediatrician whose colleagues delivered babies downstairs? Sorta.
  • The gas stations where they pumped your gas and washed your windows? Maybe. 
  • The bank? Never. 

Between 230 cars jockeying for 13 parking spaces, sketchy holes in the sidewalks and a general feeling of being a tad nervous carrying too much cash, I preferred to stay in the car. Or at home.

At least their banks had real police officers packin’ heat at the front door. None of this rent-a-cop packin’ snacks nonsense you find in the States. 

ANY-who… one day my husband drove into Ensenada, did the parking spot dance, greeted the guard in Spanish, walked into our bank, and stood in line. The sound of dress shoes and high heels reverberated off the tile-only floors. It felt like a chore to always leave his flip-flops behind, but when in El Banco de Baja….

This particular bank had an agreement with Bank of America that allowed customers to bank in both countries without fees. So convenient! Our typical routine included taking cash out of our account in the States and then exchanging it for pesos in Baja. Easy breezy.

My husband waited for the teller to call him over for a typical transaction he’d done dozens of times. But this one went from normal to sideways faster than he could say hola. 

He slid his card and envelope of American dollars across the teller threshold and asked her to please deposit it into his account. He then asked for that same amount in pesos. 

She ran his card, looked at her screen, and politely excused herself.

Minutes later she returned with a larger-than-normal envelope, gave a half-smile, and looked timid. “Señor, you only deposit American money, only take out pesos, and you’re not using your card around town.”

“Si? And?”

“You can’t do that,” she said.

My husband looked baffled. “Porque?”

“Because you can’t.”

She slid all of our cash back across the teller threshold and stood her ground. 

“We’re closing your account. Here’s all your dinero.”

Photo by Sandra Gabriel on Unsplash

And that was it. Packed up, closed down, kicked out. 

Frustration bubbled. Even if she broke out her cheery voice and sang, Go on, take your money and run, the thought of opening an account in another bank with no connections to the States would have still furrowed my husband’s brow. He would have loved to stand there and politely spar about why this didn’t make sense, wasn’t fair, and felt discriminatory, but arguing in another language requires a different level of linguistic knowledge. 

When I was in middle school I got kicked out of our little town’s public library for talking too much. And too loud.

When my husband was in middle school he got kicked out for selling something slightly illegal on campus. 

But getting kicked out of a bank as an adult because you’re exchanging dollars for pesos and not using your card enough? Loco rejection. 

Which Got Me Thinking…

Besides the normal complicated chaos of friendships and family-ships, it feels like 2020 grabbed us all by the throat and threw us out on the street. Rejection at its finest. 

  • Our plans? Deleted.
  • Our vacations? Canceled. 
  • Our jobs? Furloughed.
  • Our non-life-threatening procedures? Postponed. 
  • Our jobs, round 2? Laid off.

Our kids got kicked out of their classrooms, off the playground, and into the kitchen.

Our teachers got kicked into the guest room… the den… the basement.

Our nurses got kicked out to the hallway… the parking lot… the courtyard.

We were all forced to deal with being kicked out of places—forced to deal with rejection. 

  • Church on the couch
  • Reduced restaurants
  • Closed theaters
  • Delayed deliveries
  • Empty shelves

How did you deal?

In the county where we live, churches now have to meet outside again, but tattoo parlors and salons can stay open.

To be clear, Governor, we can’t sit far apart with masks on and listen to a Christian talk from a stage 50 feet away, but an aesthetician can get within 50 millimeters of our spittle to wax the eyebrows off our faces?

Noted. 

Time to Bounce

Will we bounce back? Of course we will. We’re strong, resilient and determined. 

Until we’re not. 

  • Have we given ourselves permission to despise the sting of rejection? 
  • Have we given each other space to mourn the losses?
  • Have we sometimes felt like God has been silent?

Do you see us down here? We’re gettin’ our butts kicked!

If you’re a “pull up your cowboy bootstraps” kind of human, you might be tempted to let your eyeballs roll away while muttering something about being wussy and entitled when people complain. I’m married to an Enneagram eight; I get it.

But remember, sometimes those with hard shells have soft interiors. Therefore, I made a kinder quote. One might annoy you, the other might resonate with you. I respect you either way.

What have you been kicked out of recently? Are you feeling rejected? I’d be happy to pray for you if you want to share in the comments. 

P.S. Click on “Comments” right next to the title. 🙂

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8 Responses to Kicked Out of El Banco: When Rejection Strikes

  1. Great article. An 8? Hmmm What are you? I’m a 3 with a 2 wing “the star” and Mike is a 9 with a 1 wing, “the idealist”. Makes for interesting combo. Aaron and I just got back from visiting my brother and his family in TN. Talk about eye opening. So great being in a red state where the rona is not the focus. Everything is open. Kids are in school. Masks are suggested, not mandatory (at least in his county). They live in Hendersonville which is a slice of Mayberry. Makes jumping the CA ship so tempting. If Grewsom keeps up with his ridiculous mandates that’s killing small businesses, we might just move. So many people I know are leaving. Overall, I’m praying more, especially for our president. This whole thing is a cover for a spiritual battle of good vs evil, chaos vs justice. I’m praying truth will be revealed and trusting it will be.

    • When I took an enneagram test years ago, the results literally said “You are hard to diagnose.” Really? As if I don’t have enough to be insecure about? Thanks, computer. It said I’m so closely a 1 and a 2 that it could barely differentiate the two. I think I was 51% 1 and 49% 2. As strange as it felt, you can see why decluttering and organizing people’s spaces ranks high on my list of fun things to do on a Monday morning. Haha.

      I hear what you’re saying about leaving Cali. We have no plans, but when I read the Thanksgiving mandates I wasn’t sure if I should laugh or call a realtor. Good gravy. Praying more is the best thing we can do at this point!

  2. As always you have brought a new perspective to the situations we all face. 2020 has brought some wonderful changes for our family and also some real struggles. I feel like the government has, for the most part, rejected our comfortable way of life and has bullied business owners to enforce their unlawful and ill-conceived mandates. I have started my own resistance movement. At my age I spend way too much time counting my remaining days. As you know, I certainly qualify as part of the elderly population. I have also been diagnosed with multiple organ failure. I am going to die. The government classifies me as fragile and want me to remain at home 24/7 until they tell me it is safe to emerge and resume my life. Sorry Uncle Sam. I’ve got some living to do NOW. I want to hug my kids and grandkids and ggrandkids and friends. I’m willing to hug anyone who wants a hug. Let’s talk. I want to see your face and let you see mine. I want to meet with other Christians and worship and sing songs of praise to my Lord. I want to pick up the tab for that family at another table in the restaurant. I refuse to cower from the government or ‘Rona. I want to actually live until I die.

    • John, you’re my hero! I’m inspired and so happy to hear this! You’re so right! None of this is legal nor constitutional. I too am being my own rebel 😉 Keep up the faith and standing up for your rights and hugging your peeps! And in the end, God wins!

    • Thanks, John. I would not count you as part of the elderly population–we have a bunch of friends and family older than you. 🙂 I’m so sorry to hear about your diagnosis though! Ugh. That must be a lot do deal with, mentally and physically. I applaud your attitude and the fact that you want to do some living NOW. It’s a privilege denied to many. Stay strong, amigo. I’ll be praying for your health as God brings you to mind.

  3. Love this. Especially as I sit here in Rosarito. One thing I noticed is now that I’ve let my hair grow into its natural salt and pepper vibe, I am invisible. I’m now part of the AARP senior citizen grandma generation. It’s a weird feeling.

    • You’re close to where we used to live! Sorry to hear that you feel invisible, Jane. I’m sure that’s a weird feeling indeed. If we would all just give one another the benefit of the doubt without judging people by their appearance… what a wonderful world it would be.

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