By Anne Silva
Dear Spanish, you drive me crazy sometimes!
Now, I know I said that it was love at first sight between you and me, dear Spanish. And it was. But every relationships has its ups and downs, and I just have to get some things off my chest, especially given my short-lived love affair with English…
WHY must you have such a tricky double-r sound? Rrrrreally? You know it makes me sound like I’m trying to get rid of a hairball every time I talk to your tía Raquel Rosita Ramírez. Go easy on a girl, will ya? I mean, I do love the way your vowels all stay the same no matter what. (My relationship with English definitely didn’t have that going for it.)
And since we’re getting it all out into the open, can we talk about how tense and moody you are? Take the imperfect subjunctive, for example. Talk about tense and moody at the same time!!!! You and I have been together for so many years, and I STILL have a hard time understanding that part of you. “If I had known…”, “If you had only told me…”, “I wish we hadn’t gone there…” Jeez. English gave up on the subjunctive mood long ago, although I could still see that tendency peeking out from time to time.
And your past… Ah, your past. It’s imperfect. (Or is it preterite?) Sometimes, I have a hard time keeping straight what your bad habits were, and which of them were just a one-time deal. But I suppose we all have imperfect pasts, don’t we? Even English had an imperfect past, but he used to tell me he was “progressing” through it. (He lied.)
But you know what? I still love you, Spanish. Your romantic poetry is second to none. Your relatives Portuguese and French are a barrel of laughs, and a big hit at family parties. You know how to dance salsa and merengue and bachata, and because of you, I’ve learned to cook like nobody’s business. Yes, sometimes you use eighteen words to say what I would have said with two. And sometimes we have our miscommunications. But more and more, it’s like you’re inside my head.
And now… how about you? What does Spanish do that drives you crazy? What about it do you love?