I studied Spanish in school for about seven or eight years. I can understand it enough to get at least the gist of what someone is saying, but that’s pretty much it. It’s sad really. And I don’t want to offend anyone with this post, because I love the language and culture.
However, we just weren’t meant to be.
After working in the restaurant industry for six years and then living with my roommate who is Mexican for three years, I honestly know more Spanish slang than whatever I learned in school. However, I still can only speak Spanish as well as that Russian chick on For The Love of Ray J show speaks English.
I’m with Ray J on that one, she’s hot, but wtf is she saying? I guess on VH1 it really doesn’t matter does it?
For someone who is fluent, having a conversation with me is probably like talking to a retard. I wonder if Hispanics really do think I’m retarded? In fact let me clear that up now.
No estoy retardada. En serio.
Anyway, I still like using my battered Spanish from time to time. It’s fun and most of the time people humor me anyway. They act impressed that I can say, “hi, how are you?” or “those jeans make your ass look fat”, in Spanish.
Unfortunately, when I get drunk and I’m around other people who speak Spanish it’s all bad, because I tend to try and get into the conversation too. And if alcohol isn’t enough to help me make an ass out of myself already…Remember the night that I puked in my hair?
Well that was the night that I thought I would become a Spanish speaking intellectual. Uh huh. My roomie and her friend came to pick me up that night. They had also been out partying and decided to stop for some food on the way home.
They stopped at this Mexican restaurant called, Tacos al Carbon that is open until 3 a.m. Kind of like what Jack in the Box is for white people. I decided to stay in the car, but after I puked (not in the car), I felt better and ended up joining them inside.
I remember it being crowded and I probably was the only biracial, non-Hispanic person in there. We all sat at a table, my roomie and about five of her friends’, guys and girls. To the far left of us sat a table of about six Hispanic guys all decked out in black and tan cowboy hats, western buttoned up shirts, tight jeans, the works.
My roomie ordered me some nachos to try and sober me up. Surprisingly even after just recently vomiting through my nose, I was starving. Eventually, in between bites of chips, cheese and chicken, I noticed one of the guys at the other table to the far left motioning for me to come over. Yeah right. I had beans and cheese dribbling down my chin, how was I even going to be able to walk? And how the hell did he find me attractive?
So I decided to mess with him. I started yelling across to his table, “¡¿Tienes Papeles?!”, “¡¿Tienes Papeles?!”
The whole table I was sitting with and his fell out laughing. I looked around and was like yeah, yeah. I’m pretty badass. My Spanish is muy bien. So I started up again, “¡¿Tienes Papeles?!”, “¡¿Tienes Papeles?!”
You see in my mind, I thought that meant, “do you have paper?” Roughly similar to saying, “Are you ballin’?” Like if you want to talk to me you have to have paper, money, cheddar, etc.
I guess what I was really asking the guy was, “Do you have your papers?” Like as in, are you even legal in the United States of America? Like as in I’m a total drunk jackass.
Needless to say he left me alone after that.