First things first: my Good Morning America debut will occur on Monday, not today as I’d initially thought. So set your DVRs for Monday morning (or plan to be out—I’m still fairly certain the segment is going to make me look like a complete lunatic!).
Now, getting down to business:
I once had a neighbor who told me that the best way to learn Spanish was to take a Latin lover. He was a rather eccentric neighbor (I read somewhere that he was Nazi-hunter back in the day) and his appearances at the Hooper Island Martini Bar Soiree were always somewhat bizarre (I used to refer to him as Uncle Drosselmeyer) but I’ve never forgotten his advice.
Take a Latin lover.
Despite being half Puerto Rican on my mother’s side, I’ve never taken a Latin lover before. Unless of course you count the Jehovah’s Witness I met on a cruise ship when I was thirteen. He too was Puerto Rican but on account of being a Jehovah’s Witness, he had to ask his father for permission to ask me to dance on the last night of the cruise.
Obviously things didn’t work out between us (what am I supposed to do with a man who can’t dance?) but he did present me with a love letter during one of the teen nights.
Unfortunately I couldn’t understand much of it.
“What does this say?” I asked one of the other Spanish-speakers in the teen lounge.
“Dulce? Dulce means ‘sweet,’ like ‘sweetheart.’”
“Oh.” Well now, that was pretty sweet.
But that was years ago, and in the interim I decided that French, not Spanish, was my language of choice.
Mind you, I can only speak about six or seven words in French but when my Canadian high school boyfriend once lifted me onto a frozen fountain somewhere in the streets on Montreal and whispered “J’taime, Kat” I just about melted. At least I would have melted—it was, as always, about six degrees below freezing.
But now, nearly ten years later, I’m off my French kick. Now I’m back into the language of Colombian hot chocolate… the language of my ancestors… the language of love.
I never realized just how sexy the Spanish language can be until I started seeing The Wedding Date.
(I know, I know, I’m a little slow on the uptake. But what can I say? I used to think German was sexy.)
Now Spanish… even “tell me” sounds sexy when The Wedding Date says it, probably because he says it all the time when we’re making out, but I think this is one of those causation/correlation things: it would sound sexy regardless of the circumstances.
My newest favorite, however, is cariña, which is (if one is to believe Wikipedia) basically a grown-up version dulce.
Then there’s the quintessential te quiero.
“There are many interpretations for that one,” The Wedding Date explained last weekend (as if I didn’t already know that. I did actually take Spanish in college, and in high school, even though my reliance upon Wikipedia and Spanish-speaking translators in the teen lounge would suggest otherwise).
“We’re going to go with ‘I really, really, really, really, REALLY like you,” he concluded.
“That works for me,” I replied. “Yo tambien.”
Every once in a while, however, my brain will recall that I did spend several weeks in Spain, several times, in fact, and something will click without the requisite Google search.
New Years Eve was one of those times.
I was in the kitchen making myself another chocolate martini when I saw that one of my parents’ friends had cornered The Wedding Date. She was grilling him about something, en español, and even though she was speaking too quickly for me to understand what she was saying, I caught his response: Creo que si.
Creo que si?
“Creo que si” translates approximately to, “I think so” or “Yes, I believe so.”
Only in this context, it was like Jeopardy: I knew the answer but not the question.
I rescued The Wedding Date as quickly as I could and steered him across the room towards my friends. “Did you understand what she was asking me?” he asked.
“No, not really.”
“Well, she was asking me about you. Basically, she wanted to know—
And unfortunately I’m going to have to stop there for today because it’s already 7:52 and if I don’t get out of bed and post this now I really am going to be late for work! More on Monday, I promise.
In the meantime, feel free to share your thoughts in bilingual affairs below and have a great weekend!
- Adventures in Cardio (and Compromise) with The Wedding Date (fieldworkinstilettos.com)
- Feliz Something-Or-Other (katrichterwrites.wordpress.com)
- Biscuits in Bed and Other Shenanigans (fieldworkinstilettos.com)