Most Embarrassing Spanish-Speaking Moment

Today I came across a funny article on embarrassing moments while learning to speak Spanish.

I tried to recall my most embarrassing Spanish speaking moments, and while I’m sure there have been many, I think I’ve blocked them from my memory as some sort of instinctual self-defense mechanism; If not, surely the humiliation of it all would cause my tongue to shrivel up to ensure I never attempt to speak another word of Spanish ever again.

There is one moment I do remember though, and I wish I didn’t! In that moment, I didn’t so much misspeak, as misunderstand.

When we were in El Salvador, I received a lot of compliments on my eyes. On my driver’s license, it lists their color as “blue”, but really it is a rather unspectacular blue, in my opinion. Compared to the rest of my family, (both parents and both sisters – all have blue eyes), mine are a dull gray, except in certain light or if I wear a blue shirt.

Despite what I consider to be very normal eyes, apparently they helped me attract my husband. He still comments on how pretty they are on an almost weekly basis, all these years later… And it’s funny, I was attracted to his dark brown “chinito” eyes, which are very common in El Salvador.

In El Salvador, there are not many blue-eyed people. There are some amazing shades of browns, hazels, greens, but blue is probably the most rare, and so it should have been no surprise that when we were in El Salvador, people made frequent comments to me about my “ojos claros” or “ojos celestes”.

One day at my husband’s childhood home, some cousins were over to visit and I was meeting them for the first time. At some point during the conversation, I tuned out and was daydreaming about something else. I realized one of my husband’s cousins was staring at me and saying, “Qué chulos son los ojos, verdad? Bien celestes y claritos…” (How nice the eyes are, right? Very clear and blue…)

Well, of course I assumed the cousin was talking about me and so I blushed modestly and issued a proper “Gracias.” … The conversation came to an awkward silence and my husband leaned over and whispered, “She wasn’t talking about you. She was talking about the dog,” and he lifted his chin in the direction of a blue-eyed Husky, panting, on the other side of the room.

Posted on July 22, 2010, in el macho, humor, Language, Salvadoreños, travel. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. LOL!

    I love brown eyes! Oddly enough, I married a set of blue ones. I often wonder how much he’d get away with if his eyes were brown…lord knows the dog gets away with alot!

  2. jajajajajaja,

    Little dog of mine :p

    It’s hilarious.

    Me ha encantado, niña.

    Besitos.

  3. LOLOL!

    Well I’ll have you wet your pants now… while on a soft-ball trip (In Quebec… the French province of Canada) at about age 15… a friend of mine turned to a really elderly lady (I’d say mid to late 80′s) and started to sing the only French song she knew… “voulez vouz coucher avec moi, se soir?” basicly (for those of you who don’t know) Will you sleep with me tonight…

    yeah! The lady went nutz! and my friend had no idea what she did but those of us who knew enough of what she said basically had to be scraped off of the deck of the ferry we were on! That’s even funnier… we were on a boat and she had nowhere to hide from the woman after!

    I still remember how funny that was almost 10 years later ;)

  4. I have brown eyes (coffee-colored), married a Dominican whose eyes are dark brown, close to black, and go crazy over blue eyes myself. I will see a baby and squeal, “You’re so cute with your blue eyes!” My friend has a red-haired, blue-eyed Husky whom I walk, and his eyes attract everyone’s attention.

    At least you didn’t say something obscene without realizing it. When I was teaching French, I had a student innocently ask me what that song phrase meant, and I replied, “Do you want to go to bed with me tonight.” The student blushed and said, “Well, I’d better stop singing that song around my parents!”

  1. Pingback: My Spanglish « Latinaish.com

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