Friday, June 22, 2007

Willkommen, bienvenue...

Willkommen, bienvenue, bienvenidos…welcome to my blog!

If you look up my name, Marissa, in a Spanish dictionary, the closest thing you’ll find is “marisabidilla”—slang for “know-it-all girl.” It’s derived from Maria (generic term for a woman) + saber (“to know”) + illa (diminutive ending) and many people would say that it’s a singularly appropriate word for me. At a young age I got used to being “the smart one” and I crafted much of my identity around that. Sometimes I embrace the label, sometimes I rebel against it. Currently I’m embracing it again.

I am not Hispanic, though I took 4 years of Spanish in high school. Right now, my second language of choice is French. If you write to me in Spanish, I will have to puzzle it out and then reply in laboriously written Spanish that is guaranteed to have about 10% French words mixed in. You’ve been warned! I do want to go back and re-learn all the Spanish I’ve forgotten…but am too busy at the moment.

So maybe I’m not really a “know-it-all,” if I can learn tons of Spanish vocab in high school and then forget it after three years. And I have moments where I feel like I don’t know anything about how the world really works, even if I have a bunch of trivia stuffed into my head. Good thing, then, that I live in the Age of Irony. When I’m confident, assured, sparkling, witty, “Marissabidilla” can be taken seriously. And the rest of the time, I can say “Oh, I was just being ironic.”

Check back for thoughts on books, theater, movies, culture, politics, and the occasional anecdote from my life. I’m not going to be completely neutral and impersonal here, but this is not an angst-blog or an excuse to share all the details of my personal life with strangers. At least, that’s the plan as it stands now. Thanks for stopping by!

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