Wednesday, September 28, 2011

How Cleaning the Bathroom Improved My Spanish

It's no secret that I don't like to speak Spanish. In fact, if you ask me if I can speak it, I will say no. I know that I can speak it if I absolutely have to, but other than that, I'd prefer not to. Does passive bilingualism ringing a bell for anyone?

Anyway, I have just discovered the reason for this.

Deep down I knew that it was my inhibitions holding me back, but I never really realized that until I had a situation where inhibition went out the window.

As I've mentioned before I am expecting. I don't enjoy pregnancy as it's difficult for me, I am cranky all the time, I feel like crap, and I just don't like it. Now that I've given that disclosure, let me tell you what happened...

So I am at a store that I hate going to, but it was on the way home and I needed a few things. The baby was practically tap dancing on my bladder, so I ran to the back of the store.

When I get there, the bathroom is closed for cleaning. I was thinking "Oh no. This is not going to work because I am going to pee on myself."

So  while bouncing back and fourth and holding my stomach I said "excuse me, I know you are cleaning, and I am sorry, but I really need to use the bathroom."

The lady says, "NO. Bathroom is closed."

I said, "I understand that, and I apologize but I need to use the bathroom now"

Then she gets all in my face waving her fingers saying "NO, is closed! Is closed!"

Suddenly it clicked that maybe she didn't understand what I was saying. (I guess the large stomach and bouncing up and down like a newly potty trained toddler wasn't a big enough hint.) At the same time, a rush of anger flooded over me; and all of  a sudden I could speak Spanish like I grew up in Cuba. *Imagine Ricky Ricardo* Don't ask me what I said, but I just went off on this lady...all in Spanish, no English required. 

Wow. I didn't know I had all of that in me.

So after I used the bathroom and washed my hands, I realized the secret to unlocking my potential....I have to stop caring.

Who cares how I sound, who cares if I can't roll my r's...if I have something to say then I just need to say it. Stop being so worried about making mistakes and just speak!

Oh, and I also learned to always stay out of a pregnant woman's way when she has to pee. And please, keep your fingers out of peoples faces.

1 comment:

  1. Good for you! It's amazing what you can say when you stop thinking so much about it and just go for it! I always try to encourage my students to talk, no matter what. It's the best way to learn. And if you don't do it, you'll always feel awkward about it. It doesn't matter if you make mistakes or can't pronounce everything perfectly. What really matters is that you can make yourself understood or have a conversation. Or in this case, that you can use the bathroom in a pregnancy emergency! :)