You Say Lima, I Say Limón

Posted on June 15, 2011


Who doesn’t love Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers’ roller-skating dance number from Shall We Dance?  In case you haven’t enjoyed it before, this video definitely deserves the next 4 minutes of your life:

Click on this picture for the classic dance number via TCM

It’s a funny love story with which I think we can all  relate a little: he’s a ballet dancer, she’s into tap.  There are plenty of communication problems, friendly bantering, real arguments, but in the end they realize that with a little adaptation the whole thing works out in the end.  It’s a lively little ditty that reminds us that differences are a-okay, so let’s call the calling-off off.

A Spanish version of the poTAYto / poTAHto scenario occurs with the word limón.  Not so much the pronunciation as the meaning.  For example, if I order a lemonade in El Salvador, I do not get a lemonade but rather a limeade — limonada.  It’s funny because in Minnesota you can’t find true limones except for in Mexican markets or in some funky health-foods stores.  And here in El Salvador I’m hard pressed to find either those lovely yellow lemons or those plump, deep-green limes.  Since the actual items, depending on where you are, might not even exist, they make for tough translating.  So (cue  breaking into a show tune) “you say lemon, I say limón, let’s call the whole thing off!”

The general idea of this linguistic conundrum somehow transformed into Lima/Limón, the cafe-lounge that Juan and I opened last weekend here in Santa Tecla, El Salvador.  The name of our spunky little joint reflects both the difference and fusion of cultures, perspectives, and flavors.  Lima/Limón is about being distinct but complementary, about coming together so that separate elements create one delicious burst of bright flavor.Cool limeade

On the relationship level, this project has also meant coming together as a couple.  Arming this endeavor has been a whirlwind, sweeping us up in activity that in all honesty still has me feeling a bit breathless.  But as they say, when life gives you lemons … grab some tequila and salt and make margaritas!  Within a month, we went from vague imaginations of “someday” ideas of establishing our own business, to seizing an opportunity that suddenly presented itself, to plunging forward full speed ahead.  This is the exciting part of pursuing ones dreams — the thrill when you realize that someday is happening today.

A lot of really great verbs exist to describe this phenomenon: jumping right in, diving in, taking the plunge, plowing ahead, flinging your whole self into something, leaping out in faith.  Do you notice how physical these expressions are?  Reaching for your dreams somehow goes beyond the mind – those heady plans and goals – and becomes manifest in physical action.  Making your dreams into reality is about DOing something; it necessitates implementation, transformation, and growth.  It’s about the body.  And as such, it makes us vulnerable.

Which is precisely why it feels so great to undertake a life-goal with a partner.  Even thought there is risk and insecurity involved in the decision to initiate a big endeavor, you have the assurance that you’re not going it alone.  When you take that jump, it feels comforting to be holding someone’s hand as you close your eyes, hope for the best, and LEAP.  The journey changes from a personal quest into a joint adventure.

What can YOU do in your life to move forward — really, physically — on a dream or project?  How can you share an adventure jointly with your partner?  If you don’t have a partner, what friends can hold your hand along your personal quest?

YOUR ACTION STEP:  Dream a little.  What do you want to do (to use a Mary Oliver verse) “with your one wild and precious life?”  Share this dream with your partner.  Ask him (or her, or your friends) to share his dreams too.  Talk about plans.  Just dream together, out loud, about potential adventures.  You never know what can happen — maybe one day soon, a sudden opportunity will arise and it’ll be time, ready or not, to take the plunge.  Then you can take a cue from Fred and Ginger and just roll with it.  😉

Lima Limon

Juan shaking it up at the bar.

(Featured image source: mapper-montag)