I was chatting to a friend this morning and she was telling me a story that, under typical circumstances, would not be worth remembering. It was your normal kind of conversation we girls often have, about skipping the gym too many times, about possibly feeling fatter than usual…She described the horror she felt as she stood in front of a full length mirror the night before. 'I told my husband', she said, 'Just look at this!'
The husband tried to comfort her. "Amore…"
'Don't you amore me!' she replied. 'I am getting fat!'
Now, what made the whole story entertaining, of course, was that my friend's husband is Italian. How cool, I thought, when your husband refers to you as amore? Mine usually calls me wifey.
I told my other friend, who speaks English with her husband, just like I do, that we made a huge mistake. We should have chosen more wisely. Look, I said. I already spoke English when I met Husband. I had a job where I talked in English all day long, I sent emails and watched movies…It sort of became my second language pretty quickly. So it was not really something very exotic anymore. Also, let's be honest, what's so exciting about English language? Not much. Now, thinking about it in hindsight, would it not have been cool to have married someone who spoke some other, more you know, romantic language? Like Italian. Or French? Oui. Definitely French. You know how they say…if you haven't dated French, you have not dated.
In that case, would all the mundane situations become so much more exciting? Imagine…
Your Spanish husband says to you Sacar la basura...
You go all googly eyes, but really all he said was Take the rubbish out. ( Not that any husband would ever say that, in any language.)
Or he might come home and ask Que hay de cenar esposa?
Should he ask you that in English, i.e. What's for dinner? it might not turn out to be such a good evening for him; but in Spanish it suddenly sounds so much better.
And, of course, thinking about marrying into different cultures made me wonder what it would have been like should I have married someone from my own country. Not someone very traditional, like my first boyfriend was; as that would have been a fiasco from the very beginning. But someone more like myself. But then, I cannot even imagine that situation, somehow. I don't think I'd ever even
I asked Husband. Surely, I said, you must have thought about this? What would it have been like if you were married to someone English?
Husband (who, come to think of it, had girlfriends from all over the world), shook his head. 'Nope, he said. 'Pretty dull'.
'But have you thought about it?' I pestered.
'No, not really', he replied. 'But I do often wonder what it would have been like to have married money'.
Hmm. Not sure he isn't Azeri after all.