I get into the Seaman Car Service taxi and tell the driver where we’re going in English. Then I switch to Spanish. At which point, the driver turns around and says, “You speak Spanish?!” And I say, “Yes, I’m Dominican.” At which point, the driver turns around again and stares, “YOU’RE DOMINICAN!”
If it weren’t against some Jewish laws, I would get a tattoo. On my forehead. I’m Dominican. I’m Jewish. I’m American. My forehead is rather large so I think a great many things would fit on it.
Also, maybe I could even put “I have fibromyalgia” or “Please don’t touch, that hurts!” somewhere across my cheek. It would attach a TINYURL link to WebMD so they could understand why even the slightest touch is sometimes the worst sort of evil they could have done against my sorry, squishy little body.
I just don’t want to explain myself every day. It’s boring. I’m tired. I don’t want to be asked every day, “Where you from? Where you really from?” No, it’s not just the white Jews that are asking. Even Dominicans can hardly recognize me as one of their own on sight, I can’t tell you how refreshing it is when they do. Invariably some little old Dominican lady will turn to me out of nowhere and ask me for help in Spanish and I will bounce over to her feeling overwhelming relief.
I still can’t understand the guy who asked me in Los Angeles if I was born in America. I just know that I wanted to slap him. But maybe, it’s easier to get an eagle tattoo or a Star – Spangled Banner head scarf? Would that be going overboard? Would that be trying too hard?
I want someone to come up to me one day and say, “Well, hello, you’re obviously a nice Dominican American Orthodox Jewish future rabbi’s wife with fibromyalgia. Now, isn’t that nice!”
I know, I know but I can dream.