I caught a lot of flack for the “happy ending” to my column a couple of weeks about my Girlfriend and I chasing down a copy of the “Jesse James” DVD. It is never my intent to offend anyone so I would like to publicly apologize for our happiness and trying to shove it down everyone’s throat.
Life is not always Vanilla Coke and roses for us, so I thought I would try to balance out the sappiness of that column with a tale of horror and despair regarding our relationship.
The only annoying problem was that I couldn’t come up with anything.
My Girlfriend and I really don’t ever fight or get into arguments about anything serious (a main reason we got together). Sure, we have our differences and disagreements but we’ve always believed that if you really don’t want to take the time and energy it requires to fight and subsequently apologize, then you shouldn’t have to.
Call us crazy.
The truly bizarre phenomenon in our relationship, however, is that while we don’t argue about anything of substance, we have apocalyptic battles over the most ridiculous topics. While other couples struggle with things like communication, family problems and finances, we have almost broken up because of trivial issues like card games, women’s basketball, and walnuts.
Case in point: we lived through an episode recently that took the cake. Blood was almost shed, cops were almost called, and straight jackets were almost necessary.
We had just gotten into the car after seeing the new movie “Vantage Point” (set entirely in Spain) when the following exchange took place word-for-word:
Her: Why do the movies always make Hispanic men more attractive than Mexican men?
(Instead of questioning why she was contemplating the attractiveness of other men, I chose the road less traveled)
Her: In movies, Hispanic men are always more attractive than Mexican men.
(As crazed confusion began to seize my brain, the car and road around me now appeared to be spinning)
Me: What are you talking about? Mexican men are Hispanic! They’re the same thing!
Her: No they’re not. Mexican men are from Mexico and Hispanics are from Spain.
(It’s usually me that lets things escalate. Fortunately for us, I stayed true to form here)
Me: WHAT?? Mexican and Hispanic mean the same thing for people from Mexico. Spanish people are from Spain!
Her: Spanish is a language, not people!
Me: Are you kidding me?!
(At this point, I was questioning my entire existence so I did not clearly think through what I was about to say next. My girlfriend has yet to let me forget it).
Me: People from Spain are called… Spaniards!
(Yikes. Here it comes)
Her: SPANIARDS?? Maybe in the 16th Century!
(Yep, I walked into that one)
Her: Besides, you don’t call people from England “English”!
Me: YES. YOU DO!
(Now we are officially yelling and it only took us 47 seconds. Our personal best)
Her: NO. YOU DON’T! THEY’RE BRITISH!!
Me: AND ENGLISH!!
Grasping for sanity, I gathered my wits and called my aunt – who is a high school Spanish teacher – to settle the dispute.
Turns out we were both kind of right.
Apparently, the term “Hispanic” used to refer to people from Hispania (modern day Spain, Portugal, Andorra, Gibraltar, and a small part of southern France). It now refers to anyone who speaks Spanish, and specifically, people groups in Latin America.
So she was right.
But, it should also be noted, that people from Spain can be referred to as Spanish – or more formerly, SPANIARDS!
So I was right too.
Since we had both been mildly validated, a new set of complications arose as neither one of us was about to concede the argument now. We spent the rest of the evening festering and annoyed.
There you go.
No happy ending. No mushy wrap-up. We are just as flawed a couple as anyone else, if not more so.
And for those of you worried that I might get in trouble when my Girlfriend reads this, don’t worry; this is way too legitimate of a subject for us to squabble over.
Knowing us, our next fight will probably be over something really important like song lyrics or free-falling rollercoaster rides or dogs wearing pajamas or…