Everyone assumes I speak Spanish. It’s not an unfair assumption to make. After all, my skin is brown and I did grow up in Texas. What most people don’t know, however, is that I’m a third generation Latino. At least once a week, someone starts a conversation with me entirely in Spanish. I listen politely, waiting for an opportunity to explain that I am a traitor. I’ve spent the majority of my life satisfying diversity requirements for colleges and commercial roles. But I cannot speak Spanish. If you’re like me, you might be able to relate to the following.
I have brown skin, but I can’t speak Spanish.
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Coconuts are as delicious as they are relatable.
Most of the Spanish I know I learned from watching “The Simpsons.”
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I also learned everything I know about bumblebees from “The Simpsons.”
I can understand simple words, but never with any confidence.
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This is yet another reason I need to wear adult diapers when I leave the house.
I hate how dumb I look when someone speaks to me in Spanish.
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I’ve contemplated playing dead just to get out of a conversation.
And when I read from the menu at a Mexican restaurant, everyone around gives me this look.
I butcher Spanish worse than the inquisition.
Then the waiter brings exactly what I ordered:
I’ll just eat my words instead.
There was that time I lied to my girlfriend’s parents. I told them I was Persian so they wouldn’t be disappointed in my lack of Spanish.
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Unfortunately, they were both also fluent in Farsi and quickly realized I was not good enough for their daughter.
Then there was that time I lied about being bilingual in a job application. I thought I’d make more money. I didn’t think anyone would fact check me.
When the interviewer began speaking in Spanish, I knew I was in trouble.
I set my phone to Spanish in an attempt to learn some basic words.
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Siri’s Spanish skills were so intimidating, I reset my phone to factory settings.
I would like to read the great authors in their original language. García Márquez! Esquivel! Paz! Rowling?
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This seems like it’ll be easy.
After the first paragraph, I know I’m losing something in the translation.
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I’ll stick to something less complicated than a young adult book.
My friend recommended I get back to basics if I really want to learn.
Okay, I had no idea what was happening and felt like I was on acid.
Alright, I’m going to speak the little Spanish I know and get started on learning more tomorrow.
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Drinking is a universal language. Margarita, por favor!