If you think the world isn't shrinking, consider the impromptu dinner party we threw for this crew. Our good friends Janie and Jack's daughter Jodie was married at San Francisco's City Hall this past Friday. Her brand new husband is from Spain, so his mother and her artist friend came over for the celebration. A few days later they came to our house and we had a splendid party. Let me introduce our European guests.
First, there's Isma, the groom (the handsome dude in the hat). He grew up and lived in Spain for most of his life, only coming to America recently, lured by Jodie (whom we must admit is a powerful attraction). Then there is Lali, the mother of the groom (she with the red hair). And Mayte, the artist (seated to My Beloved's left in the picture).
Janie and Jack speak no Spanish but Jodie is fluent, so she can help out when Isma's English fails him. Lali speaks no English, but she is fluent in Spanish and French. Because I spent a year in France as a schoolgirl, I can speak a little rusty French, so Lali and I could converse, but Mayte speaks only Spanish and Lali had to translate for her. Janie has some French, too, so she chimed in, too. My Beloved speaks only English, so he contributed mainly smiles and Jodie translated his stories for the group. Jack's corny jokes actually need no translation; they work in any language.
You'd think this would be a stilted and awkward gathering where no one could really talk to each other, but it was anything but. Everyone talked and gesticulated and laughed and generally had a fine time making themselves understood. There was toasting and eating and we even did a little dance around the table to a musical duck at one point (you just had to be there - the toasting helps with this kind of thing).
And the world seemed very small and intimate, indeed.