I ask Guido all sorts of questions all of the time. They’re are not exactly difficult or complex so generally he doesn’t have to think too long or hard before he answers them. These can range from what I would consider an important question like – Do you think Melania Trump knows how to boil an egg? To the insignificant, silly and bordering on downright trivial question like – Do you think I’ll get an extension approval to my credit card limit so we’ll be able to survive financially until the end of the month? So as someone who’s normally doing the asking, I was naturally somewhat surprised to find myself on the receiving end of a question in bed last night.
“How would you feel about changing name?” Guido asked from the darkness of his side of the mattress.
I made an immediate attempt to categorize Guido’s statement into my own important, or, insignificant, silly and downright trivial range of questioning. I lay there pondering. (I decided this was a question I would provisionally categorize as downright trivial but, depending what happened following any further probing, I felt it had the potential to possibly be escalated to important). I wasn’t sure where Guido was taking me.
A question about changing my name could be a precursor to a conversation about our impending marriage. This was exciting. I tried to stay calm. If Guido’s line of questioning did turn out to be about anything remotely marital I was already making a mental note to ask him a follow-up question of my own like – How would he feel about New England candle lanterns and white rose petals strewn on the guests tables? (This is a question I would categorize as HIGHLY important). I lay there thinking. If agreeing to change my name would expedite a wedding then I’d be more than happy to drop the “Smith” and become “Vasquez”. That was a complete no brainer. Vasquez sounds so much more sophisticated don’t you think? (This is a question I would currently categorize as insignificant). I tried to play it completely cool. I thought about how I would sign my name and whether I’d join up the e and the z and if I was called Jean-Paul Vasquez if it would mean I’d get a higher credit card limit on account of the fact that it sounded financially so much more sophisticated.
“Well,” I said casually, “I’ve never really thought about it that much,” lying through my teeth. “But, hey Guido, why do you ask?”
Guido turned the lamp back on.
“I think a Spanish name could lend a certain sophistication, don’t you think?” (This is a question I would categorize as spooky as I had already started to use the word sophisticated myself – though I do realise I’d just introduced a new category called, spooky).
“I think it would roll off the tongue,” I said, my mind unavoidably drawn to thoughts of flickering scented candles and strewn petals.
“El café de cebolla espanola,” Guido said in full Andalusian mode,“Yeah, you’re so right, it does roll off the tongue. The Spanish Onion Café really does sound kinda tired now.” He flicked the lamp back off. “Worth considering changing it – don’t you think?” (This is a question I would categorize as getting the wrong end of the stick and sits somewhere between highly irritating and frustrating depending on whether you are planning a wedding or not.)