Habla Espanol

I've always wanted to learn another language.

For years I lied to myself (and others) and said that I just didn't have much of an aptitude for it.  But I no longer believe that's true.  I took French in the 8th grade and still remember enough that I just scored an 80% on the online French grammar test I took.


I took this class thirteen years ago, for one school year - during half of which Mme. Trelease was out on maternity leave and we had a substitute.  So clearly my powers of retention are greater than a goldfish.

So then why do I not know how to speak French?  Or Japanese, which I took for two years in high school and another in college?  Why am I only marginally able to communicate in ASL despite four semesters of it?

I'll tell you why.

Because I am lazy.



A few years ago I was living in an apartment and befriended some of the boys who lived downstairs.  They all spoke Spanish, and often used it when talking to each other.

One day I was down there when one of the roommates, Chad, stormed in.  His usually cheerful disposition was hidden beneath a dark cloud of seething rage.  One of the other roommates noticed, and carefully phrased a question so as to not upset him further.


Chad opened his mouth to spout off something when he noticed me sitting on the couch.  He clamped his jaw shut and muttered, "Nothing."

"Dude.  What?"

With a long glance in my direction while he decided whether or not I should be privy to this information, Chad took a deep breath.

"Bienvenidos y rojor el taquitos rancheros de que pasa Casey un ustados unidos chica de frijoles y pollo mos caliente!" he said.

Or something like that.

I had no idea what he was saying.  But I did distinctly hear the words "Casey" and "chica."  And I, being well aware of the drama going on between our other neighbor Casey, Casey's girlfriend, and Chad, was able to figure out the basics.

Chad's roommates switched into "comforting bro mode."


"Get over it," I chimed in.  "Casey's just a jackass and not worth your trouble."

Jaws dropped and eyes leapt to me.  The boys were aghast, as if I'd somehow stumbled into their secret world.  "You understood me?" Chad asked.

"Yes, Chad, I speak Spanish."

(p.s. No, I don't.)

For several months, however, I was able to deceive all of them into thinking I was fluent in Spanish without every speaking a word of it.  Every time they started having a conversation in Spanish, I'd nod my head or laugh along or roll my eyes and they thought I knew what they were talking about.

I don't understand Spanish, but I do understand body cues.

Also, I'm really good at lying.

I don't really know why I get such satisfaction out of knowing I pulled off a good lie.  But I do.  And I've managed some winners in the past.  But this blog is all about the truth, so whenever I tell a story about a lie I told I'll label it "Less Than True."

So now you know.

Glad we got that out of the way.

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