The Spanglish señor/ita

Madre mia by LJ Collins

In an earlier article, I introduced you to my adopted mother, Olga. I lost my real mother 23 years ago, but Olga has taken me under her wing, and now provides me with some welcomed motherly love and advice.

It’s strange because I was only introduced to Olga a few months ago, but within those few months we’ve developed a close and special bond. Given Olga lives in Puerto Rico and I live in Tenerife, there’s a huge distance between us, but thanks to modern technology we get to speak to each other at least once or twice a week and it lifts my spirits when I hear her excited voice at the other end of the line.

We are both blessed with the ability to speak Spanish and English, so when we talk we tend to flip between both languages, because there are ways of expressing yourself better in one language than the other. For somebody listening in, it must be very confusing, and no doubt amusing.

Olga has two daughters, but confided in me she always longed for a son. So, I’ve become that adopted son. At seventy-one, Olga could legitimately be my mother, and she has the most wonderful way of making me, a fifty year old, feel young again.

It gives me confidence in what I’m doing, and the path I’ve chosen to trod, when Olga tells me how proud she is of me for having learned Spanish, and being an author. Afterward, when I reflect on our conversations, I understand she has good reason to be proud of her new-found adopted son. I’ve lived in Tenerife for 15 years now, and it’s shameful how many Brits have lived here for a lot longer than I have, but can’t speak a word of Spanish. Also, now when I introduce myself to people as an author, the reaction I mainly get is “Oh wow! I’ve always felt like I’ve got a book inside of me.” Yeah right! It’s one thing thinking you’ve got a good story inside of you to tell, but it’s a completely different thing being able to put it down on paper, find a publisher, go through the editing process, and get sales! Anyway, I won’t dwell on that for now because that forms the subject of a future column. So, moving on…

Something I learned very quickly about Olga is, like me, there are two very distinct sides to her. The good side, and the fiery latino/a side. Let me explain…

Shortly after I’d met Olga, a fellow best-selling author friend of mine posted on social media about making a simple gesture to support what we thought was a good cause. I posted something back, to show that I’d done it. The next thing I know some unknown person posts on my thread. You sad bunch of losers. I frowned, cupped my chin with my hand, and tried to decide what the best course of action was. I’d previously received some inappropriate comments from unknowns on my thread before, and very discretely deleted their comment and sent them a private message warning them not to post on my thread again. However, on that particular occasion, after looking at the person’s profile, my patience was well and truly tested, so I decided to go into battle. I named and shamed the unwanted person in my life, by tagging people in my messages. After I’d sent about five messages, I sent a message to the moron. Do you want me to continue? Because I will if you don’t back off. Within minutes I saw a response from Olga. Pardon my language, but who the f**k is this person, and what is he doing here? After I’d stopped laughing I responded. I have no idea. Some jumped up Yuppie (who plays golf) who thinks he has the right to post inappropriate comments on my thread when he hasn’t been invited to. I thought nothing more of it. Then I saw another message from Olga. You won’t be hearing from him anymore. I burst out laughing, then wondered what in blazes name Olga had done to scare him off. I sent Olga a personal message because my curiosity got the better of me. Mum, what did you say to the guy? Her response came back very shortly. Not much. I just told him I used to work for the US Government, have some pretty heavy weight contacts, and I’ll arrange to have his cojones (balls) chopped off if he messes with me, or my son. Of course I knew she’d made the latter part up, but that little experience cemented my feelings for my new-found adopted mother. Somebody who’s there to keep a watchful eye over me, and do the very best she can to protect me during what are proving to be pretty testing times.

The other thing I love about Olga is because she’s bilingual she has read all my books and relays to my Spanish friends how wonderful she thinks they are, and what a talented author I am. Whilst I explain to my Spanish friends what my books are about and they marvel at how creative I am, and what a vivid imagination I’ve got, the last thing I want to do is blow my own trumpet and claim they’re some of the best books on the market. But Olga can, and does so with pride! (Bless you, my darling.)

That’s all for now folks. See you in a couple of weeks. LJ

www.LJCollinsauthor.com

http://www.extasybooks.com/men-in-love-and-at-war-1/

My YouTube channel, where you can see all my book trailer videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfkmKmxNye4J2aWQeMT3QAw

Twitter: @LJAuthor

LJ Author

I was born and raised in London where I worked as a senior management consultant. At the age of 35 I moved to Tenerife to pursue a more fulfilling life and focus on my writing.

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