The other day, I went running with my friend Celine. She is my friend that lives here in Caen and with whom I only have French conversation. She has really been nice, introducing me to her friends, involving me in activities and sports and even inviting my children over to her house to play. So anyway, the other morning after we went running I said goodbye and walked home. When I got home, I started to think about Andrew and decided to send him a quick text message that I missed him, as he had been out of town for almost a week. So I picked up my iPhone, quickly typed "Miss You", and hit send. Except I realized right after I got the sent confirmation that I hadn't sent the text message to Andrew, I had sent it to Celine. I had replied to a string of texts and Andrew's was right below Celine's and you know the rest. Oh my god, I felt like a complete DORK! I just saw her 10 minutes before and all of the sudden she is getting a text message from me on her phone that I miss her? She must be thinking I am a freak, but whatever that word translates to in French. Anyway, I quickly sent her a text trying to explain myself - basically admitting that I am a scatterbrain. Thank goodness she was nice about it, but man, total dork alert for sure.
Later in the day, I went to the grocery store and at the checkout line I decided to pay with cash. I believe the total of my goods was 54 Euros and some odd change. I was feeling very confident in my conversation and counting in French that day so I decided to show off my skills counting out loud. So I took out a 50 Euro bill and I said "Cinquante", which is 50 in French so that is right. Then I took out a 2 Euro coin and said, "Trois", which is not right - that is 3 in French - but I didn't know I was wrong at that moment. But when the checkout lady looked at me like I was from another planet - that is when figured out my interesting counting. I tried to correct myself on my new coin, another 2 Euro coin - I said "Quatre", which is not right - that is 4 in French. In my mind, I was tallying up the money to equal 54 Euros (which I had actually done) but my counting out loud was confusing and incorrect. I knew I had paid the right amount but I felt like such a dork that I rushed out of there quite quickly. Total dork alert. Imagine going to Target and giving the checkout person a quarter but you stated the value to be 50 cents. And then you gave her a dime but you stated the value to be 20 cents. That checkout person would look at you weird, because coins just don't come in those denominations. I don't know, I probably made too much out of it, but I felt like a real dork!
I can't tell you how many times I have showed up for an appointment on the wrong day or the wrong time. The plumber said he would come over "lundi ce matin" - which is Monday morning, but my head heard "matin" and translated that to mean evening. So I missed him and called him to see where he was that night only to find out I am just a big dork who wasn't there to meet him that morning. Celine invited me and the girls over one day. We were going to have coffee while the kids played and then a short while later head over to the library for story hour. So I had heard a time and jotted it down as 12:30 p.m. Celine had said quatorze et demi. That is actually 2:30 p.m. Running slightly late, I had notified Celine around 12:25 p.m. that we were running a little late but would be over shortly, to which she replied, "you have plenty of time since we are not meeting until 2:30 p.m. and story time at the library doesn't start until 3:30 p.m. And here the girls and I were 200 feet from her front door. I meant WHAT a DORK!
Every now and then I think about a funny dork alert of Andrews. He was at work one morning, meeting with his French tutor. They were talking about their weekends, just warming up a bit. I don't quite remember what specifically Andrew was talking about, but he was trying to explain that he was very excited about something. And in the French language, there are a lot of words that mean the same in English, but just pronounced slightly different. So Andrew said, "Je suis excité" which in French translates to "I am very horny." His tutor politely explained to him that in this particular case, the two words do NOT mean the same in the French and English languages. He felt like huge dork. But at least he didn't say it to someone less understanding.
There are so many other examples I could share, but I think you get the point. Day to day life in your home country presents you with dork alerts - but add a new language and a little pressure to the mix and you find your dork alerts happening at an increased frequency.
So goodnight to all you fellow dorks out there and for all of you that are perfect - you really are missing out on the fun!