Hola, me llamo es Pablo.
For those who don’t know Spanish, the above phrase translates pretty loosely to mean, “Hello, My Name is Paul.” It was the first phrase I ever learned in Spanish class, the only phrase I can access in a Spanish speaking environment without having to put much thought into it, and above all — it solidifies one very important thing about myself. My name is Paul. That’s 100% for sure. Which is why my blood really begins to boil…
…when someone calls me Pablocito.
Pablo means Paul. Pablocito means “little” Paul. Now I don’t know about you, and I don’t know how many years of Spanish you happen to have taken at that junior college of yours — but calling someone “little Paul” is very different from calling someone “Paul.” Little Pauls are the guys who do the crappy Mob jobs, burying bodies and collecting money. Little Pauls are the guys who own stereo shops and who advertise on cable between old episodes of The Real World. Little Pauls are plumbers, circus entertainers, lock pickers, indecisive lumber salesmen, golfball collectors, gutter cleaners, parking lot attendants, car wash managers and liquor store clerks.
Me llamo es Pablo. No es Pablocito.
But beyond the fact that I’m nothing like the “Little Pauls” of the world, it’s honestly a little insulting to be called “Little Paul” simply because no man wants to be referred to as “little” in any shape or form. People look down on little people, short people, people with small hands, people with shrunken heads, people with little personalities, little feet and a slew of other little body parts. If you’ve got someone referring to any part of your body as “little” (male or female), you’re most likely being given a subtle put down.
And nobody puts down Pauly D.
If I was stuck at the border, trying to get back into this country at the Tijuana border, and the border police said to me that I could only come back into this country if I could forever be known as Pablocito…do you know what I’d do? I’d stay in Tijuana, build up my gum business, and never leave. I’d live in a dirty little town populated mostly by college students away from home for the first time in 18 years instead of come back into the United States and be called Pablocito for the rest of my days. Sure, I’d stare at the city lights of San Diego on many a night and lament about the fact that the opportunities in the United States were so much better than those in Tijuana — even with a college education and a pickup truck filled with sub-par gum…
But if it meant not being called Pablocito? I’d be fine with it.
A veces cuando es atrasado en la noche yo despierte el griterÃo de un sueÃ±o. La mayorÃa del tiempo, esos sueÃ±os implica a grupo de amigos que gritan en mÃ que mi nombre es Pablocito y mejorarÃa venido a los tÃ©rminos con eso. Pero no . Apenas porque mis amigos ideales y mi subconsciente es diciÃ©ndome que que sea mi nombre Pablocito no hay razÃ³n de validar eso sobre mis horas el despertar. Deseo ser Paul. Deseo ser Pablo. Deseo el “cito” fuera de mi vida por siempre.
You can call me Pablo-grande. You can call me Pablo-malo. You can call me Pablo D. But when you start crossing the line and affecting my main root name by an adjective-like conjugator such as “cito” — you degrade yourself, you degrade me, and you pretty much isolate yourself as a cito-abuser. Someone who goes around adding “cito” to the end of any name or word they can think of, just so they can prove that they know something that other people don’t. When in reality — using the “cito” just makes you even more sad than you were before.
So if you’ve just learned Spanish and you’re looking for a name to call me, stick with Pablo. If you’re simply looking for a way to put me down, tell me my head is huge. If you’d just like to become friends and you’re one of those people who thinks that the “playground hitting scenario” from pre-school (in which by hitting someone of the opposite sex you’re denoting that you like them) is the only way to get my attention…try flowers instead.
But don’t forget one very important thing.
My Spanish name is definitely not Pablocito. And you’d be smart to remember that.
In other news, my American Airlines podcast now has its own video version of itself up at YouTube. You can view it here.
In even more news, tomorrow marks another edition of “Words For Your Enjoyment!” So if you’ve got an idea you’d like used for a post, submit it here.