Thursday, September 26, 2013

Day 53 of 365: Switching Cultures

There's something incredibly amusing about the fact my husband knows more about Celtic culture and folklore, where I'm more interested in the culture (and language) of Latin America (well, most of Latin America. Sorry, Brazil. Eu não falo Portuguese).

For a third generation immigrant, I'm about as Irish as they can get. Or, should I say: I'm about as Celtic as they get. My dad's almost full-blooded Irish (with my paternal grandmother being full-blooded) and my mom is somewhere around half-Irish. And what DNA isn't copied from my Irish ancestry is copied from my Scottish ancestry. While my paternal grandmother was full-blooded Irish, my maternal grandmother was almost full-blooded Scottish.

Which means two important things: I burn like paper and I shy away from alcohol.

On the flipside, my husband is half Argentinian. His mother actually immigrated with her family to America when she was 5. There's an interesting story about how my mother-in-law learned English (while simultaneously teaching the neighborhood kids Spanish), and then used her newfound knowledge of English to enroll herself in Kindergarten á la Matilda (minus the language barrier), but that's for another time.

By some twist of fate, my husband has always been fascinated by the Irish culture. His favorite genre of music is Celtic Rock. His favorite type of novel includes elements of Celtic folklore and fantasy. He knows more about the old legends than I could ever hope to. He could listen to traditional pub music for hours on end. In fact, he has: during our micro-renovations and repainting projects, my husband had traditional Celtic music playing from the moment we drove away from the apartment to the moment we returned back.

Meanwhile, I have fallen in love with Argentina. I could eat milanesas until my stomach explodes, only to cover my toast in dulce de leche and eat a little more. I'm in love the movie Evita and listen to the soundtrack a little more often than I care to admit. Full disclosure: in an alternative universe, I imagined that I'm cast in the 2014 remake of the movie and/or the Broadway revival of the play (because Madonna looks as much like Eva Peron as I do in a blonde wig). I'm excited for the day when we finally visit Buenos Aires and my grandfather-in-law's farm. All the while my husband is excited for the day that we finally visit Ireland together (as we've both been to Ireland, but at completely separate times, and more or less solo).

It's funny how things can flip like that. Just like how, I was the English major and my husband was the sensible Engineering major, but his library of books completely dwarfs mine. I'm the one hoping to become a published novelist, but he's the one who has a better grasp of rhetoric and syntax. As a result, he's been my righthand man/unpaid editor for my first manuscript, but, again, that's a post for another time.

I kind of feel like this particular post is a little pointless, but, oh well. It's Day 53. There's 312 of these left to go. In the words of Carlos Mencia, they're not all going to be winners.

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