Wednesday, March 29, 2006
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Lady
Tucked into my hotel room again after a delightful day in two schools--Cumberland Christian Academy in Austell and Whitefield Academy in Vinings. It was school picture day at Cumberland, and the children looked adorable! What fun!
Michael, who is not only checking my elevator accuracy, but is also proving himself to be an excellent editor, asked if "Te quiero" means "I love you" or "I want you"--an important distinction if one's Mexican character is speaking to her mother. So I left my hotel room (in my stocking feet) and padded down to housekeeping, where I could hear several women speaking in Spanish.
So I walk into the room and say that I'm working on a book, and gee, "Habla espanol?" Two of the maids nod. So I say, "If you want to say I love you, mama, es te quiero Mama or te llamo Mama o que?"
They give me blank looks, but a couple of other ladies see them and come to my assistance. I realize that none of them speak English. So I say something about a book, and one of them says, "el libro?" and I jump on that and say, "Si es para mi libro. Es te quiero Mama or te llamo Mama? Como dice que?"
I, of course, have no idea if what I'm saying is the right thing--having spoken very little Spanish since the tenth grade. So one of the girls tells me to go to the office, which, after having gone there (still in my stocking feet), I realize is the wrong thing to do. The office people will have no idea what I'm talking about.
So I run to my room, grab my laptop, and run into two of the women in the hallway. I point to the screen. "Este es mi libro. Isabel dice que Adios, Mama. Te quiero, mama, vaya con Dios." I look at them. "Es bueno?"
And they nod at me. So I can only hope that they understood.
So--if you speak Spanish (well), can you confirm that a girl speaking to her mother would say "Te quiero?"
Later, at dinner, I realized what I must have sounded like. A mad woman in socks running around saying, Book, I want you mama, I name you Mama, I love you mama?"
I'm sure they will run when they see me coming tomorrow morning.