Well, perhaps I should have titled this entry NOT Living the Stereotype. Really, I've long tried to NOT fit in to whatever box another person tried to quantify me into.
Let me back up--so that you'll understand what the trigger for my brief (with hope) little entry is. There was some sort of Fall Festival in the downtown area of the not quite as smallish as it used to be town that I reside in. Rachel wanted to go, it was Saturday, so off we went. She was off to shop with the children for a bit while I took the car to fill its tires with air and then try to find a decent parking spot. So, my first interaction was running into a pair of small girls running a quarter lemonade stand with their mother. I politely declined their offer of lemonade, but promised to come back and buy some lemonade from them in a little while.
I figured Rachel would prefer to shop sans children, so I stopped and picked them up and went to see what's what. Immediately thereafter is when I was quickly reminded of what a non-metropolitan town it is that I make my residence in.
The next person I run into yells at me, "Hey! HEY! You speak English?!"
I ran through a gamut of emotions and scenarios within a split-second in my mind before responding with a smarmy, "Uh, YEAH!"
Now, I suppose that it's a valid question--not the question I would have led off with in order to introduce myself to someone else, but I guess they really wanted to know my weapon of choice when it comes to languages (and yes, English IS indeed my primary language--in case one happened to be curious about things such as this). Just a few days prior to this, yet another instance very similar to this occurred in Dillard's. It took about five minute's worth of conversation to get the salesperson to speak English to me. Seriously, they spoke to me in Spanish (fairly well, I will admit) and I replied in English every time. Once it got down to paying for the merch, then it was all English. Wouldn't you know it: I feigned a smile in each instance--though it's doubtful it was a very convincing smile.
I don't know, perhaps I'm stuck in a similar kind of mode that Richard Rodriguez found himself in Hunger of Memory...a kind of stranger in a strange land stuck trying to find his fit where he's at.
Now, I do admit that I embrace the nerdy gamer that I am wholeheartedly. This, however, is something that you may not be able to gather just by taking a look at me. Maybe you could--perhaps a random poll is in order?
I did eventually make it back to those two young girls and bought lemonade for Abby, Jon and myself (I DO like to keep my promises).
Neither the girls or their mother asked if I spoke English, so there is that right?