HeartNote, 9/23/19: Te Amo

This is the only term in Spanish that I've remembered. Well, that and "Donde esta el bano? (where is the bathroom?)

I have wanted to learn Spanish. Living in a county that borders Mexico, I think it's intellectually lazy to not meet our neighbors to the south at least halfway in their attempts to integrate into this country. A bridge of language helps to ease the challenge of their physical and emotional journey.

But I'm not really consistent with learning it. I pick up a few phrases, then forget a few more. I don't come in contact with many people that speak anything other than English. I had an App that promised if I practiced I'd be fluent in three months.

I didn't practice. I may do it again. I don't know. I feel like a lazy slug typing such an empty intention.

I at least wanted to memorize a few phrases if I was presented with somebody that didn't understand or had trouble with the language. I hoped that, by memorizing a few words I could bridge the air of uncertainty that comes when people are presented with differences. It what I've done for a living, only in English.

Unfortunately, as most of my linguistic studies have gone, I'd forgotten all of the phrases I learned except one: Te Amo. In English, that means I love you.

The two greatest cooks in San Diego County, per recent Yelp reviews, are from Mexico. When I say "Te Amo" to them, they say "Gracias, Cabron." But I still say it anyway (I won't explain what "Cabron" means. You might have children reading this.)

Think about it: Is there another phrase that is more important? If somebody from Mexico or Albania or another non-English speaking country came up to you on the street, pointing to a road map for directions, and all they kept repeating were the words, "I love you," wouldn't every one of you stop what you were doing and help them find their way around?

If you know this phrase, it covers a great deal of emotional territory. And if it's the only one you ever learn, you'll paths of support and friendship will become clearer.

But it's nice to know the words that help you find your way to the bathroom, too.


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