By Any Means Necessary, a Pentecost Reflection

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By Jacqueline Lewis, published by Leading Ideas:

Her name is Essalia. She is 25 years old. Ella no tiene tampoco novio o esposo, no sweetheart and no husband, but she is going to have a baby. She also does not speak English. Once we got our names straight at the nail salon when I was on vacation, she commented on my ring. “Que bonita! Su esposo es muy especial.” Your husband is very special. “Yes,” I said. She called in her younger, más joven, and more salty amiga, Alejandra. “See the ring,” she said in Spanish. Alejandra liked the ring, but she liked my $5.00 sunglasses more. I sensed they often rehearsed this scene, commenting on the goods of clients. I found myself embarrassed, a word close to the one for pregnant in Spanish. I thought: I am so full of wealth and benefits; and these gals have so little relative to what we do. “Cuánto cuesta eso?” asked Essalia. How much did the ring cost? “Yo no se,” I don’t know, because I don’t. “Mi esposo es especial y muy simpático, pero él no es loco. Es más o menos mediante,” I said, not sure if I got that right. My husband is special, and very kind, but not crazy. He would spend a medium amount on a ring because we have bills to pay. They laughed, perhaps at my very rugged Spanish, or maybe they got my joke.

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