According to a goal and a deadline I set for myself five years ago, I’m supposed to be speaking fairly decent Spanish by now, and all I can do is count to ten, ask where the bathroom is, say thank you and ask you your name. I can also tell people “I am fine thank you,” but if I’m not fine I can’t tell a soul unless they speak English. That is about all I can remember from my 7th grade Spanish class, … oh … that and “just a minute, please”.
Lynn and I went to Costa Rica when our son and daughter in law got married (she’s from there). Yeimy (pronounced Jamie) has such a great family that we all hit it off really well … we just couldn’t understand each other talk. So when Ryan or Yeimy weren’t around to interpret we used a lot of pantomiming and talked really slow and loud like we were hard of hearing instead of un-lingual (is there a word for that?) I always thought I was good at pantomiming, I mean I got a perfect score at the State competition in High School, but I almost got myself into trouble trying to explain to Yeimy’s grandmother that I felt bad for her because Yeimy would be moving so far away after they were married, and I knew the Grandma was going to miss her a lot. You try pantomiming that. She was smiling and nodded like she understood what I was saying but the next day Ryan asked me what I’d told Yeimy’s grandmother because she had told everyone I was very unhappy that they were getting married.
I don’t know how people who speak Spanish their whole lives can even understand each other anyway. They talk 90 miles an hour … literally … until they speed up when they get excited. I can’t tell where one word ends and another starts. I can’t even pick a word I know out of a sentence! I didn’t think people could listen that fast! It’s like speed talking.
I bought a good computer program to teach me Spanish before I ever met Yeimy. I mean this is a real good program that talks to you and everything … but I have procrastinated using it for over 5 years. For all I know they have changed all their words around by now. I’ve considered taking a class at the college … but … (place any excuse here). I think I I am just a big chicken about the whole thing. It sounds too hard and too fast … way too many things to memorize … and I am an old dog with a memory problem. I can’t even speak English half the time because of I can’t pull up the correct noun. People, places and things … they just hide out in the closets of my head and can’t be coaxed out until they are good and ready. How will I ever pull out a noun in Spanish?
Wow, this blogging is good therapy. I’m glad I got that figured out. It always helps to know the root of your procrastination … it makes it a lot easier to rationalize about it. I’m not ready to give up … how can I give up when I haven’t even started? Comprende?