My husband and I are both very much word people. We love to read, and we often make up our own words and phrases when we talk to each other. And now that he is having to learn Spanish for his job, we often throw in some foreign words to give our conversation a little international flair.
But sometimes I forget this fact, like today when we were opening Christmas gifts with his family.
It is their tradition that we all sit in a circle and open gifts one person at a time, so everyone can admire what everyone else receives. This means that before each round of gift opening, one person is assigned to retrieve gifts from under the tree, making sure that everyone has something to open.
This time it was my mother-in-law’s turn to play Santa, and she was having trouble finding a present for me.
“Oh wait,” she said finally, “this one might be for you, Jenny.”
She held the gift out at arm’s length, squinted at the tag, and then asked, “Are you…’queasy’?”
“Um, no,” I replied, thinking that she was asking about my illness. Then I had an idea.
“Do you mean ‘queso’?” I asked.
“Oh yes, ‘queso’,” agreed my mother-in-law.
“Yep,” I said, holding out my hand. “That one is definitely for me.”