Our neighbor from two houses down (for those keeping track, not the 300lb autistic boy and not the irate Filipino) walked by the other evening with her 3 year-old. A little girl named Suzy.
Her Suzy waved at us from the street. My Suzy almost unhinged her shoulder in a full-body attempt at a wave. Nora momentarily stopped shrieking about the green car (and the red car and the silver car) and asked if we could go outside to say hi. So we did.
Her name was Mirna, which I promptly mispronounced. She referred to me, inexplicably, as Ellie. She confessed that she knew very little English. I jumped at the chance to display my own ignorance with her language.
I'm a little embarrassed at how long it took for us both to properly convey that- yes- we both had daughters named Suzy. Hers was Suzenna. Mine was Susannah. Ha hah!
Mirna informed me that Suzenna meant a type of flower. (She may have even said which. But that wasn't covered in the chapter with Gil, so I failed to understand her.) I responded that I thought that was lovely/preciosa- her daughter was named after a flower/flor? Que bueno.
It was only this morning that I realized what an absolute idiot I can be. The Mexican name "Suzenna" definitely means "flower". But you know what else? "Susannah" means "lily," something I knew when we chose it. Flower. Yes. They're the same flippin' name.
But back to the conversation. Mirna was impressed when I informed her that Suzy was cinco meses and that all three of my family members were born in Octubre, but less so when I told her that Susannah was born on the 29th. I didn't say the expected vientinueve, oh no. Dos y nueva, I told her. Instead of "29," I told her "TWO and NEW."
I'm pretty sure I also mentioned the biblioteca, what I was going to do on Tuesday, and various parts of the body.
I didn't say it was the most life-changing conversation.
And even though it was over too soon (we had to distract our children away from slamming each other's arms in the chainlink fence), it felt good to know that at least one person on this block didn't see me as a standoffish jerk.
Just a borderline illiterate one.
|Suzy from the block.|