You know those nights when you simply can’t catch a break? Sometimes I really should not talk.
So I met up with a friend to go to a bar to see another friend performing a concert. He had with him a traveler who was passing through for a visit, she was Italian. They were speaking in English because she does not speak French. Since her English was accented, I kept trying to speak to her in French. That didn’t work.
I’ve also discovered that it’s not a great compliment when another foreigner tells you they can understand your French better than that of French people. 'Thank you' isn’t exactly the appropriate response to “your vocabulary matches that of a five-year-old and the speed at which you speak reminds me of someone slowing down a record, except that you don’t sound all bass-like and masculine.”
We arrive to the bar and head in. We happen upon some empty chairs and grab a seat. At this point, I instinctively grab my phone. You see, my wife is my best friend. But now that we have two kids and live in a culture where a lot happens at night, we often take turns going out with friends. Yet, I want to share with her everything I experience. And being a member of the 21st century, I want to do so right now. So I usually text her the random things that go through my head when I’m out. Here’s what I send:
“So this place is kind of a dump.”
“But hey, it’s the arts district.”
This reply comes in: “Yeah, I was expecting something like that... or maybe not so much :-P”
Then something makes me laugh inside and I must share it, so I text:
“Dude sitting in front of me has way too low pants, and no discernible underwear.”
The reply comes back: “I know :), I noticed it too...”
Wait, what?! Ok, that’s creepy. And weird. And not possibly correct. Am I wearing a spy cam? Are my kids at home alone? Then I get smart, check the header of my SMS conversation and see that I’m not at all texting my wife, but rather my friend who’s sitting right next to me. Yep. I’d not thought anything of it when he pulled out his phone around the same time I sent my first text and began typing away. He grinned at me and laughed.
Later I strike up a conversation with the Italian girl in our group. Seeking common ground, I ask her where she’s from. “Sardinia,” she says. A quick scan of my brain reveals nothing... my European geography is terrible. But, thinking that Italy’s a pretty small country anyways, I say, “oh, cool! I have a family member from around there. I can’t remember the exact village, but it’s nearby.” To which I receive a couple stares that something was clearly not right.
“I don’t think so,” she says.
“Sardinia’s an island,” my French friend informs me, “you can’t be from ‘around’ there.”
Yeah, my bad.