Weirdly, I’m friends with my son’s mother-in-law. I like her. She loves her grandchildren, cares deeply for her family and she’s got a wicked sense of humor.
I like that last part, especially. We sit around and pick on one another, cheerfully so. She likes it that I’m a year older than her. I like it that I’m taller. She teases me about my inability to cook worth a crap. I let her, because then she cooks and I eat. Win-win!
So last night, she told me something that happened the night before. She and her sister were at a mall speaking Spanish to one another (they’re Puerto Rican and ease between Spanish and English in a way I deeply envy). A woman interrupted their conversation.
After some small talk the woman — whom they’d never met — said she was happy with the new president, because once he takes power, people like my son’s mother-in-law and her sister will be sent back home.
Back home is Ponce, and this kind of person is not worth the time it takes to explain that Ponce, Puerto Rico, is the United States, so they’re already home, even though — like me — they landed a little north of where they started.
My son’s mother-in-law’s reaction was to tell the woman to go find God, a lovely message I’m assuming was lost. I’m most appreciate the sister, who responded in earthier terms.
It’s confounding to think someone would be offended that someone else knows more languages than they. Is that jealousy? I do not know what motivated that woman to chastise my family members for speaking Spanish. I don’t actually care. All I know is that despite my love of the turn-the-other-cheek passages, and my understanding of the importance of forgiveness, I am having a hard time forgiving this woman for speaking like this to my family. My religion tells me to pray for the asshole, but the biggest thing I hear in my head is: Wrong family, pal.
We all have skin the game and if you think otherwise, think a little harder.