But It’s The Way He Says My Name

by Alexandra

bee mineeAs a woman from a long line of people with accents — accents to you, not to me — I have always been at a loss as to why American women’s knees turn to jelly at the sound of a Spanish accent. My sisters are with me on this.

Men are just men. In my case, the men in my Colombian family are brown skinned, long sooty eye lashed, dark haired, and come with the ability, apparently, to make women from the USA tremble just by saying their name. Cynthia trills out of their mouths as Eseentya, Judy is breathed out Hoodeet, Ann becomes the hypnotizing Ahna.

You poor things don’t stand a chance, do you?

While growing up, our home in Wisconsin served as a stagecoach stop to my 500 family members in Colombia that needed a place to stay while they applied for citizenship in this country. My childhood memories are of a Prima/Cousin Paulina, Tio Hernando, Tia Beatriz, or Primo Julio Cesar, and assorted others who stayed with us. Of all the people mentioned here who popped into our lives, it was my Primo, my cousin Julio Cesar who has given me the best glimpse into how a Spanish accent knocks an American woman flat on her face.

Julio Cesar was every bit the personification of his name. He came from South America to stay with us while establishing residency in the US. A single man, he was ready to participate in the swinging life of America. Knowing no one in this country, my older sister and I became his friends. He must have been about in his early 30′s, my sister in her mid 20′s, and I was old enough to go along on nights out.

One year there was a Valentine’s Day Singles Dance at a local community college. Julio Cesar wanted to go, and we went with him. To us, he is just a guy, our cousin, who knows only the bare essentials of English. Latino men are always well dressed, and Julio Cesar took it to the nines that night. He was ready for to meet dah loff.

We entered the auditorium where the the Valentine’s Day dance was in full swing. The three of us, all looking sharp, standing by the bar awaiting drinks. There is a young, young blonde student next to us. She orders a coca-cola, and Julio Cesar pays for it, not saying a word. Up to this point, he looks like the farmhand Eb on Green Acres, but, within seconds of saying ees my plezoor to buy for joo, soh beeeyooteefool,  right before our eyes Julio transforms into Andy Garcia in this woman’s eyes. We see the actual visual change occur in her brain by the dilation of her pupils. Her blacked irises now look like something from a Japanese anime.

Her cheeks flush so fast I’m afraid she’ll burst into flames.

Do you see her looking at him like he’s the last man on earth? 
my sister whispers to me.

Yeah, what he lacked in looks he sure made up for with that accent, I respond back.

Drooldrool, says the young blonde thing at the bar.

The blonde is looking at him, our Eb Dawson cousin, like he’s the
only popsicle left in the freezer on a 90 degree day.

My cousin decides to start a conversation with her, with his near zero English
skills, Joo are so beeyooteefool tonight..like dees always?

Drooldrool is all he gets back.

Dees iss a skoool forr onlee dee beeyoooteefools, no? he prods further.

Drooldrool says blondie.

A few months later, at Julio Cesar’s Barbizon English Today! class the instructors try to tame his accent, suggesting he temper down the short letter i from his current double ee pronounciation.

He came home from his lesson miffed, Dey want mee too echange dee wayee Iee say dee I’s. Why would I want too looos dees accent? I can ask for aneeteeng and get eet.

I will never understand the lure of the Spanish accent, but ask me about what happens when Gerard Butler turns to the camera in Ugly Truth and invites the twins to finish up with it then so I can wrestle you in jello. Bloody hell the accent makes a man sexy, dunnit?

 

AlexandraAlexandra

Alexandra is an overanalyzing, oversensitive mother of three boys who somehow found herself named as BlogHer ’11′s Voice of The Year for Humor. She has been a mother since 1994, which means she hasn’t been right about anything since. She blogs of the sweet and the funny while trying to go unnoticed in her small town. You can find her at Good Day, Regular People. Did we mention socially awkward? We should, which is why the internet was made for her.

Comments

  1. I love you: “He was ready for to meet dah loff.” Oh my god, that’s a good one. Between the accent and the eyelashes, I think I fell for him myself. Then again, in my head he was Antonio Banderas. Not all accents set the women drooling, however. My male relatives either sound like Jerry Seinfeld, Joe Pesce in My Cousin Vinnie or Steve Martin’s Wild And Crazy Guy. Not. Sexy.

    • Kablooey, you make me laugh every time I see or read you.

      Gotcha…thank GOD you were far away from Julio Cesar.

      Ah, dee ladeez, how they loffed him.
      Shall I do a part 2: where they called ME to nurse their wounds as he chased another?

      THAT was a good one.

      xo

  2. I fell in with a Costa Rican because of this. Dang. I can be had.

  3. It’s like the British accent that gets.me.every.time.

    We women are such fools. Sigh.

  4. Any. All. Especially foreign but even Southern accents get me. The only ones that don’t do it for me are maybe New Yawkers. And extreme hick.

    • Oh, yuk: sorry, but yuk.

      The extreme South, NO THANKY.

      AND New Yawk or New Joisey.

      But I’m sure someone will like it, right?

      BUT I like the NY NJ in women…makes them gangsta to me.

  5. Yup. All of this. No matter the accent. From Juan from Meheeco who works in my building (yet I have no clue what he does; he just smiles and nods and asks about my weekend and tells me about my bee-yoo-tee and says my name with five syllables instead of three) to Delonte from France whose English is just every fourth word. They both just make me giggle because it doesn’t occur to them to tamp down the suave. It is the accent. And they know it.

  6. I am a sucker for accents. I am amazed that I didn’t end up head over heels in love after my semester abroad in Spain. I had huge crushes on a few French guys, a trio of college students from Leon & a guy from the Netherlands. I actually joked with my parents about coming home with someone.

    • Don’t you think all women are suckers for an accent?

      I have heard that British women go crazy for the american man.

      Really.

      can’t imagine it, but that’s what I”ve heard…

      Thank you for stopping by!!

  7. Ok, what is wrong with me? Some sort of post Valentine romance deficit (and I haven’t even seen my husband yet)….I can currently only attach this accent to Pedro from Napoleon Dynamite and Puss in Boots (the cat…could I at least move to Antonio!?) I can’t imagine anyone calling me beeyooteeful in any voice today, so I might not swoon as much as laugh!

    Thank you for sharing another wonderful piece of your life!

  8. I have to admit I’m guilty of the drool drool. Antonia Benderas I don’t care if you are only 5ft 2in in real life and as of late only play cats. Say my name and come to mama!
    Dana

  9. *snicker* I suppose I can be easily “had” as well – though, for me, there’s something truly special in the sauce when I flat-out don’t understand what in the flying hell the other person is saying! (Picture Benicio Del Toro in Usual Suspects …. purrrrrrrrrrrrr) – That said, there’s also something to be said for attitude in ANY language. I worked with a Doll of a guy, who only happened to be from Brazil – but it wasn’t the accent that dazzled me so much as the statement he made: “Where I lived, if someone mistreats a lady, I’d kill him. You can do that. Just shoot him. I miss that”… Perhaps I have a deep seeded desire to marry into the mob? haha! Or maybe just that this “kid” had enough respect to always refer to women as “Ladies”! I also have a fetish for truck drivers. I’m guessing I just need help :)

  10. it is exotic, that is definitely the alure…a bit different…rich, textured…

    gerard butler does not have the same affect on me though, but i may steal that line…smiles.

  11. The Spanish accent doesn’t do it for me but a man with an English or Irish or Scottish accent? Whowe!
    I once told my hubs that if I ever become a rich and famous author, I am buying Alan Rickman and moving him in to our house so he can read to me.

  12. oh yes, yes indeed the Irish or Scottish gets me every single time. What’s that they say about “read the phonebook” to ya? I would be the drooldrool girl.

  13. That Gerard Butler accent will get me every time!!

    I love that he said, “Why would I want too looos dees accent? I can ask for aneeteeng and get eet.” brilliant!

    • Just saw your bowling post!!

      Had you been a ‘Sconnie, you’d be born with a bowling ball in your hand.

      and little bitty bowling shoes on your newborn feet.

      xo

  14. My knees are jello just reading this!

  15. going week in the knees (hell, Gerard speaks….I feel it in my Toes!) is just proof that variety is the spice of life. And if you are like me, there’s nothing more appealing that a bit of mystery to solve and perhaps unknown danger to get the heart pumping! Are we truly just damsels in distress waiting for the bold entrance of Lancelot calling to us in cultured prose? I don’t know for sure.
    But I do know when it fails too.
    Beckman – what a beautiful man. but he opens his mouth and speaks….and the fantasy crashes and dies. But I’d follow Sean Connery anywhere, anytime, at age he reaches.

    • Yeah, me too with the Beckham…don’t know what does it.

      class, maybe?

      I know so many men are crazy about the Latinas, though…I think it’s the total package with that one.

      GOod to see you!! Thank you for stopping by..I really appreciate it.

  16. The French accent got to me before a Spanish one did. All I know is that I wasn’t going to waste my time with an American one. m.

  17. I remember watching the movie GREEN CARD with Gerard Depardieu (well, I wasn’t with him, but you knew that, right?).

    Anyway, everything he said with his French accent was adorable. And super sexy. Even though he is not really either of those things at first glance.

    Still. By the end of the film, I was shouting at Andie McDowell, “If you won’t marry him, I will!”
    Even though I was married. And he didn’t really need to worry about his citizenship.

    p.s. Andy Garcia can call me hoodeet anytime.

  18. Oh man, I loved the spelling out of his accent. You are so funny, Empress! And you know, a spanish accent never deed eet for mee. But British? Melt. Melt.

  19. I am in dah loff. Drooldrool all over my computer. Seriously.

    And, ah, Gerard Butler makes me all mushy like buddah.

    XO

  20. Let me tell you…
    Our new neighbors are from Austrailia.
    I can sit there and listen to both of them talk about cricket for hours.
    Who even likes cricket?
    I’ll tell you who.
    Me.
    Because if it keeps them talking…I will like it forever.
    Don’t tell Shawn ;)

  21. This was fun – I could just hear the accent from the way you spelled it.

    I am a complete sucker for a Scottish accent. Not just Scottish, but from Glasgow. And the only reason I know where it’s from is because I wrote on our English mums website here in Paris to ask all the Scottish ladies where the guy from Sliding Doors/Four Weddings and a Funeral was from because I loved his accent.

    Glasgow. My knees are all jello.

    Oh, and the French accent too of course (yawn).

  22. I also could never understand the allure of an accent. Because it’s all I ever hear. Which is fine. But does it make men sexier? HOW?

  23. Love his quote – LOL!! My former colleague’s ex-husband was from Spain and boy did he have the gals in our office melting whenever he came over. On their wedding the photographer couldn’t stop talking about her hubby’s looks, to the point where my friend was like, “What about ME???” I don’t know what it is either, but I like accents too. But I think it is what we associate the accents with, probably thanks to the media. Nobody likes my family’s Cantonese accents.

    Congratulations on your BlogHer honor too!! I am probably about 8 months late I know…

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