Mata Ortiz Pot Fever
Courtesy of Ron and Sue Bridgemon, who typically read this to their caravan visitors who nod their heads in agreement during the recitation.
(Adapted from a 1999 e-mail by Lesley Bailey, UofA, and modified by the Bridgemons)
The ‘virgins’ really enjoyed the entire Mata Ortiz trip; the beautiful ride down, the village, the food and margaritas, the Posada staff, and of course the pots. They went through all the stages of pot fever that we had gone through before (and on every subsequent trip):
1) DENIAL (on the drive down): I’m really just interested in being in Mexico, am not really that interested in pots or, in our case, we have enough pots.
2) ANTICIPATION: Mounting excitement about having a first look at pots in the gift shop in the Paquimé Museum.
3) ANXIETY: At the shop, which you’ve been told is the place you’re least likely to find pots at a good price, you’re sure you’re never going to find any pots as nice for the rest of the trip; and that if you put off buying something, one of your friends or someone else is going to snatch it up before you can make it back, so you’re sorely tempted to part with half your money before you even catch a glimpse of Mata.
4) MOUNTING IMPATIENCE (at Paquimé): You’re tempted to bypass the world-class ruins and exhibits and go straight to the museum shop and maybe you do.
5) OVERWHELMED (by the end of your first meal at the Posada): After the drive from the museum, and after many villagers have come in while you’re still eating with pots to show, you realize you can hardly remember what the first pot you fell in love with and bought back at the museum store.
6) COMPETITION: You recover and now enter each potter’s house with the fear that one of your friends will spot the best pot before you do and get their hands on it first.
7) ANY EXCUSE WILL DO: By now you can think of at least three aunts, two uncles and six fairly close friends you haven’t heard from in five years who need pots for Christmas.
8) RUNNING OUT: You’re down to counting every last dollar bill in your wallet and planning out what pots you might sell to your fellow travelers to get more cash, in case that perfect pot is just around the corner.
9) OUT: You leave Mata Ortiz with maybe enough money for lunch and gas and barely enough daylight to make it to the border before dark.
10) PLANNING: You mentally check your calendar to pick a date you can return and get those pots you missed on this trip and pick up the five pots you ordered.
To help you with your fever, the Bridgemons established OA, Ollas Anonymous. If you are ever considering the purchase of another pot, just call OA and we’ll convince you that you need to buy it!