Guest post by Mario, first in Spanish (translation follows, for all you monolinguals or just those who don’t speak Spanish):
Mario in Yosemite
Al poco de llegar a los EE.UU., Kaley me pidió que, por favor, escribiera una entrada para su blog en la que comentase algunas diferencias entre los EE.UU. y España que hayan llamado mi atención. Me lo ha recordado unas quinientas veces, aproximadamente. Ahora que lo pienso, creo que esta semana no me ha dicho nada; probablemente, me haya dado por un caso perdido. No es que haya estado remoloneando todo este tiempo, sino que necesitaba la inspiración y, por estas cosas de la vida, las musas me han visitado mientras veía el sexto partido de la primera ronda de los playoffs de la NBA entre los San Antonio Spurs y Los Angeles Clippers (lo bueno de vivir en los EE.UU. es que no tienes que trasnochar par ver los partidos de la NBA). Como las musas son caprichosas y nunca se sabe cuándo van a volver, voy escribiendo notas en el teléfono mientras que con un ojo sigo el partido –bastante ajustado en los dos primeros cuartos, por cierto.
If it’s not obvious enough, I get a lot of blog traffic from people who are curious about dating a Spaniard. Why … It’s not like I’ve written about a lot, is it? Some search terms include:
- dating a spanish man [Better hope you got a man and not a boy!]
- dating spanish guys [What this mean, guy?]
- dating in spain [Sometimes you will go on dates to visit 13th-century cathedrals]
- why are spaniards so hot [They just are, sizzle sizzle!]
- dating a spaniard vs dating an american [You will eat more pork]
Guys, I hate stereotyping. Nah, just kidding—stereotyping is the best! So let’s do it. What can I, after five years dating a Spanish man, tell you about the process?
Back when I didn’t know that much but thought I did (September 2009)
Spanish men are just men.
If I’m being honest, 2013 wasn’t the greatest, especially if I compared it with 2012. There were good moments, for sure, like traveling to Amsterdam and Paris, celebrating our wedding in the U.S., and holding our third annual Thanksgiving in Spain. I made friends, met new people, and had a lot of fun.
But 2013 was, for the most part, a difficult year. Mario’s job kept him constantly away from home. I felt lost in a big city like Madrid and found myself missing my Spanish home.
Bicultural and/or international couples (in my case, both) have some habits that can seem odd for an outsider. Most of the time, when Mario and I take a trip, we end up speaking a weird hodgepodge of English and Spanish and Spanglish, which confuses the locals who just want to place us in a little box. (Oh, Americans; or Oh, Spaniards.) But no, we’re not so easily categorized or identified.
Mix up traditions
I wear my wedding ring (alianza) on my right hand because I didn’t have the traditional engagement ring and wedding ring match set. I wanted everyone who saw me, in Spain and in the US, to know I was taken, so I figured I’d wear one ring on each finger. Problem solved. Mario, on the other hand (literally), wears his on the other hand, his left. Why? It’s more comfortable. So we mix up traditions. So what?
We also chose to say our vows both in English and in Spanish, because those words in our native languages were and are really important to us.
Oh yeah, and we had two weddings. We’ve decided we could have one every year. There are lots of states, after all.