My mother has an insatiable appetite for learning about new cultures, which is only further fueled by her exponentially high interpersonal communication skills. For example:
- Amish society. The idea of living without electricity and getting around without cars FASCINATES her. As in, mind blown.
- Guatemala. One of her coworkers is Guatemalan and my mom loves to tell us how she learned that TOMS is not as well-received as we American consumers have been led to believe. She usually tells us this while she’s wearing her TOMS, and I’m wearing mine.
- Louisiana. One of her dream vacations is to visit New Orleans and see the home of Mardi Gras, the French Quarter, and crawfish. The idea terrifies my father.
So when she and Papa Kim were getting ready to move to Las Vegas and she saw that the moving company they’d hired had sent a team of primarily Hispanic employees, she was right there trying to connect with them and utilizing the one phrase in Spanish that she uses on anyone who even looks Latino/a from the two semesters of college Spanish she’d taken:
That morning, I received an urgent text message from her following the arrival of our movers who were getting ready to pack up our house in California before trekking out to southern Nevada.
My mom: Which Pandora stations would you recommend to our movers?
Me: What? Adele obviously, the one you love.
My mom (in exasperation): No, SPANISH SONGS. They are all Spanish speakers!!!
Me: Alejandro or Vicente Fernandez, Jesse y Joy, Camila, Jenni Rivera.
My mom: I only know Shakira…anything else?
Since I was not there during the truck-loading process, I wasn’t quite sure if she had heeded my suggestions. A few days later when the truck arrived in town, however, I heard her iPad blaring from the kitchen. Correction: I heard her iPad blaring from the kitchen playing SPANISH SONGS. Looks like she did listen to me after all.