People always ask me how I learned to speak Spanish, and sometime, somewhere, while I just sat there going "Uhhhhh....." someone answered for me, "en las calles"-in the streets. That sounded like a pretty good answer so now that's what I usually tell people, accompanied by a shrug of my shoulders. I realize that's kind of vague, so.....I guess I'll put the whole story here! And then when people ask me, I can direct them here. Yay.
We'll start at what I think is the beginning. It doesn't really have anything to do with speaking Spanish, but it led up to it sooo.......here we go.
It all started back in 9th grade. I was kind of racist in the sense that I was afraid of anyone that wasn't white. Mostly men. I don't really know why. This is partly why I now believe the whole thing about 'people are afraid of what they're not familiar with', because that's pretty much how it was. According to the 2010 census, about 95% of the town that I live in was white. And I'm guessing that's gone down from whatever the percentage was 20 years ago when I was born. When I was in elementary school 3 Hispanic kids rode my bus and I was afraid of them. (One of them is now my very best friend.) Anyways, I'm getting off track. Point is, I was kinda racist, now I'm not.
Back to 9th grade, I had drifted away from the girls that I had been friends with since I was a little girl. I felt like they were prettier and skinnier than me, and boys liked them, but not me. (Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but they really were skinnier. I couldn't share clothes like the rest of them.) Boys probably didn't like me because I knew that I was smarter than them and I talked down to them. I had a crush on this boy, and he didn't like me because I was better at percussion than him. Ugh, off track again.
So I got new friends. It didn't matter if they were better looking or skinnier or anything, because I felt like it didn't matter to them.
Meet Tori-Half black, half white, but adopted by white people. Soo.....see how I justified in my 14 year old mind why it was 'okay' for me to be friends with her?
Meet Dotta-Half Hispanic, half white, but doesn't speak Spanish and neither does anyone in her family. (See the justification again.)
Let me say this, if the me today met the me back then, I would bitch slap my silly self.
Anyway, we were pretty punk. We hung out with 'skater boys' and listened to stuff with face melting guitar solos and some screaming. Some people were afraid of us (which was weird, but invigorating). Dotta would say things that made people angry and then expect Tori and I to defend her.
Tori played bass guitar and I 'played' the drums. She had some guy friends a year older than us that wanted to start a band and guess what they were missing! That's right, a bass guitar player and a drummer. Tori convinced me to go check it out. So, we went to the lead guitarist's house.
Long story a little bit shorter, I was afraid of him for like the first day (cause he was Hispanic) and then for every day after that for like 2 years (or maybe more) I was infatuated. This is where the Spanish language comes in, and I'm ending Part 1 of How I Learned Spanish. In Part 2 I'll introduce you to George.