January 26, 2012
Un Nuevo Mundo
As I placed the car into park, turned the key off and stepped into the crisp cold winter air, I begin to feel my pulse raise. With each step we took drawing us closer to the door, I felt my heart beating faster. With a quick turn of the ice cold door knob, I found myself standing in a whole new world. The food, the music, the faces, the language, everything was different than what I knew. For the first time in my life I was the minority in my small home town of Winamac, Indiana.
New Year's eve was the first time meeting my Hispanic boyfriend's family, of course I had taken a few Spanish classes back in high school, but not even the most advanced class could have saved me here. As the night grew longer,the room began to flood with people. The live mariachi band was over the top and rambunctious;they were the life of the party, but I felt as if my ear drums were about to burst. Everyone was up and about dancing, chatting, eating and visiting with one another. It seemed like everywhere I looked I saw family and friends hugging and exchanging handshakes throughout the night! The room was filled with love and joy, everyone reminiscing over the years and catching up on lost times.
All the perfect ingredients for a great night were there, yet I couldn't help but feel like a lost puppy trying to find some common ground. It was most difficult to hold a conversation past the basic components of “Hi, how are you?” Here I was, the white girl, feeling as if she has flown miles away to Mexico itself.
December 31st was ending soon and by this time I was warming up to everything. I tried some of the delicious authentic Mexican cooking, met a few more people and was talking myself into learning how to dance to such different music than what I was used to. I guess you could say I was having a great time. Midnight was right around the corner, the band stopped performing and began the countdown. 10,...