Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Proselytizing en Español

[Disclaimer: As noted when I started this blog in November 2007, I already possessed a file titled "If I only had a blog", beginning in November 2006. While I am not planning to post all those proto-blog entries, I will post and back-date any that are relevant to future posts on an as needed basis.]

Well, today I had a unique experience. Not that having someone hand you a piece of paper telling you their religion is the right one is so unique in the US, just this particular incarnation of it. First of all, normally I spot such people coming and put on my I’m busy don’t bother me attitude, and it generally works. However, today I was in CVS looking at shampoo, and thus off my guard. What happened is this: a little old lady approached me in CVS and asked “¿se habla español?” I responded affirmatively, expecting that she needed help with something, which after all is normally the reason people ask me if I speak Spanish. Of course, why they pick me to ask is another question. Sure, I speak fluently, but how do they know? Any Jewish person can pick me out in a heartbeat. But also, in my experience, many Latinos pick me out as one of their own...mostly they think I’m Mexican/Chicana. (More stories on that subject another day!) This is particularly true in LA. Today was a first in Boston. Anyhow, without missing a beat she handed me a paper to read on the fact that the end of the world is approaching and we all need to find the true religion now. (This was all in Spanish, so I’m summarizing the jist of the headlines, since that’s as much as I read). Actually, I found this less grating than other experiences of proselytizing I’ve had, probably because I didn’t feel targeted by being Jewish. After all, she probably was assuming I was Catholic!!