© 2011 Aaron Atkinson

Found in Translation

My college girlfriend grew up in West Texas and she proved it whenever she opened her mouth and spoke in the heaviest drawl you can imagine. After dating her for a couple of years, I pretty well learned the subtleties of the twisted Texas version of English and this understanding came in handy on a recent trip outside of Dallas….

I was visiting a lovely hotel in Fort Worth a few weeks ago. During a pre-dinner reception a charming woman named Barbara joined the table for a chat. While a few slight wrinkles around her eyes hinted at her age, those same wrinkles also earned their place thanks in large part to a lifetime of smiles and laughter. Barbara’s big hair, chunky jewelry and vibrant wardrobe perfectly match for her thick, Texas drawl. A third generation Fort Worthian, she made a perfect host for my visit.

After a glass of iced tea, the conversation shifted to dinner.

Barbara: Yeh know, Aaerin. Wea’ve got sou maanie great rest-raunts in teown, it’s a darn shame that yur only weath us fur one niat. What do you fel like fur deanner?

Me: (with a smile) If it no trouble I’d be remiss if I didn’t defer to the local expert. What would you recommend?

Barbara: Wheal, wea’ve got great steaks as you’d be inclined to imageane. But wea’ve also got duzens of rally wunderfulll Mexican plasses. And the great thang is that they’re all close to this here hotel. I thank they’re even close enough to walk iffinyawana.

I nodded, smiled, and slid my chair away from the table.

And walk we did and Mexican we ate, because iffiniwantedto.

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