I sat with my prima in DR Lounge sipping a Bacardi and Coke when two young men approached us. One wore his hair in a ponytail while the other looked like the rest and sported a clean cut. Pony Tail immediately asked me to dance. He led me to the small dance floor and spun me throug a great salsa song. I was impressed with his skills: A man who can dance salsa is sexy! And then, he opened his mouth.
“¿Cómo te llamas?” he asked while the song switched to a slower salsa. Every man I've ever dated has been bilingual, speaking both Spanish and English, like me.
“Sujeiry, what’s your name?” I replied in English, testing his bilingualism.
“Carlos. Qué nombre más lindo, como la dueña,” he replied.
Uh oh, I thought as we sidestepped and then twirled. Two attempts at speaking to Pony Tail in English and he had yet to answer back in the tongue I was most fluent in.
“So,” I continued, trying again. “Where are you from?”
“Soy dominicano y solamente tengo cuatro meses aquí,” he replied. “I don’t know mucho English,” he finished with a choppy accent. My feet stopped moving and Carlos looked at me, surprised. Could I date a man who spoke only Spanish when I was more comfortable in English? Did I have the patience to teach someone about American culture and liberated women?
“I know…no sé mucho," Carlos admitted, "But I like you and want to take you…cómo se dice…dinner?”
I smiled. He was a sweet monolingual boy and this bilingual girl was hungry and needed some love. I realized in a flash that I was being silly. I pulled out my Blackberry, asked for his number and dialed. His phone rang and he smiled before saying, “Got it,” in his thick Spanish accent.