DEAR HARRIETTE: A woman was introduced to my circle at our club. She seemed great and spoke about how her worldview had changed since marrying a Spaniard. I asked where she was from, and she told me she was born and raised in Connecticut. I nearly laughed out loud -- she speaks with a fake Spanish accent!
This woman claims she picked up the accent from her husband, but they have been together for only five years. Can I call her out on this bizarre behavior, or is it easier to label her a loony? -- Not Your Accent, Brooklyn, New York
DEAR NOT YOUR ACCENT: Leave the woman alone. Don’t call her out on anything. Resist the temptation to tease her about her accent, too. Maybe her worldview really has changed, and she is trying her best to assimilate to her husband’s way of living, being and speaking.
I totally get that her fake accent could rub you the wrong way, but remember this is her life. You are peripheral to it. Instead of judging her, listen to her stories. If you choose to get to know her, listen to learn what her experiences were as a child growing up in Connecticut. What did she like? What does she wish to forget? Even more, how did she meet her husband? What drew them to each other? Clearly, she is immersed in him. His way of living is deeply informing who she wants to be. Be kind to her.