For my last post of the year, I thought I would regale you with an amusing anecdote that happened to my mom.
She was standing in line at the post office, talking to my grandmother. As I may have mentioned, my grandmother is pushing 100, so it’s unlikely that she will learn English at this point. Therefore, my mom was speaking to her in Spanish.
Of course, that’s just asking for it.
A blustery man standing behind my mom yelled, “This is America. We speak English.”
Really, he said that.
My mom turned around and said, “Yes, this is America. And that means I can speak whatever I want.”
The man gasped and struggled for a rejoinder. Either he didn’t think my mom spoke English (and was stunned that she had understood him), or he just didn’t believe anyone would have the nerve to question his simplistic assertion to his face. Or maybe my mom’s statement — with its firm basis in legal, cultural, and historical fact — just flummoxed him.
Regardless, my mom let him have it for another minute or two, using such terms as “freedom” and “civil rights” and “pride.” And he just kept jabbering for a proper rebuttal.
With the dressing down complete, my mom turned back to my grandmother. Before she could resume their conversation, however, the man’s companion — presumably his wife — tapped my mom on the shoulder.
“Good for you,” the man’s wife said. “I keep telling him to shut up and keep his stupid opinions to himself. Now maybe he’ll listen.”
And the man said nothing.
So that’s your anecdote. OK, maybe it’s not as amusing as I implied. But it is funny. Parts of it, anyway.
Happy New Year.