Technically, It's Not Polygamy


My husband speaks three different languages. It’s like being married to three different people. He takes on a different personality with each “language”. When he talks with the guys at the coffee shop or at a party of college-educated peers, he speaks perfect English. He appears to be current, articulate and clever.

He rarely shares this side of himself with me. I think he does it on purpose to make me die a long slow consonantless death. He reserves his consonants, the way women only wear their expensive perfume when they know they’re going to be around people they want to impress.

When he’s talking to his glider-flying redneck friends, he speaks Colorado Cowboy – dropping consonants and adding “big ole friggin” and “hunka” or “heapa or “loada” before each noun. He might even start off a sentence with “man” or “boy”. So a simple roadside guardrail to you and me, in Colorado Cowboy, is “Boy, tha’ was one big ole friggin’ hunka rusty metal.”

In Colorado Cowboy, the tongue must never reach the parts of the mouth where a sharp t or d or k or g are needed in order to be understood. Articulation of any kind is frowned upon.

I catch him talking to me like that when we’re in two different rooms. He doesn’t exaggerate his enunciation to counter for “wall muffle”. He thinks I can hear when there are competing noises and tries to talk to me when I’ve just flushed the toilet or am washing my hands. I know he’s talking because I can hear his voice, but I don’t bother to answer with a “What?” because he won’t factor in water or wall muffle...[read MORE HERE]


Amy Kehoe


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