I openly admit that I suffer from chronic foot-in-mouth disease. I manage to stick my foot into my mouth quite frequently. This has gotten me into some rather humorous (albeit embarrassing) situations.
Thankfully, James is a man who was gifted with a wry sense of humor. When we were dating, I promptly told him that I often lacked a “filter” between my thoughts, words and actions; so he needed to either be aware or decide to leave right then. 😉 He chose to stay; and I am so grateful that he did.
While in high school, I telephoned a guy friend of mine. He answered the phone, I asked for him by name; and he responded, “This is him”. I replied, “Do you know who this is?” He paused a moment, and said, “No, I don’t”. I quipped, “Good. That’s the way I like it!” to which he hollered, “Oh my. Wrong guy! I think you want my son!” I stood there stupidly in my bedroom, holding the phone while my mouth was agape and my cheeks were turning crimson. I heard laughter on the other end of the line; and was stunned into stuttering while staring at the phone in my hand.
The thought never occurred to me that I could hang up the phone; I was in horrified shock that I had just flirted with his father! It didn’t take my actual guy friend long to deduce who was on the phone, and after that I was careful to check BOTH names that were listed in the directory.
The first bilingual pinking happened while I was a Camp Counselor. In my cabin this particular week, we had one little girl who only spoke Spanish, as well as some girls who were bilingual. I welcomed the chance to practice my fluency. One day, the sweet little girl asked me, in Spanish, if I had a boyfriend. I meant to say, “No, but I have many boys who are my guy friends.” I rattled off my answer; and was confused by the horrified little faces before me. Their eyes were wide; and one of them said, “No, no; Gracie!”. Quizzically, I repeated what I had said. My co-counselor started to giggle. That’s when I realized that I had actually said, “No, but I am really hungry for my many male friends!”. I actually won a “klutz award” for that one, and eventually all of camp knew about my usage of the wrong verb.
The second bilingual pinking is the “Pièce de résistance”. I was working as a placement specialist for a staffing agency; and was speaking in Spanish for most of my day. I was soon pleased as our applicant base kept increasing; and my boss consistently commented on how quickly I was attracting new applicants that spoke Spanish. When a new applicant arrived, I would have them fill out their application; and then, in Spanish, I would request that they take a “little test”, otherwise known as a quiz.
One of our placement specialists had been studying abroad in Spain, and she returned to our office. She quickly made note of the fact that the Hispanic population was deeply devoted to me. She quipped, “I am even answering the phone in Spanish, but they all insist that they must speak only with you!” I grinned, feeling pretty good about my caring way that I made the applicants feel at home in our office. Later that day, a new applicant came to the window; and I launched into my now-memorized spiel while I handed him his quiz. My co-worker grabbed my arm; and directed me into a side office. “What did you just say to him?”, she growled in a stage whisper. I told her that I had asked him to take a quiz. “Repeat exactly what you said in Spanish!” I did, and she began laughing so hard that she had to sit down and gasp for air. I looked at her incredulously, as a feeling of dread washed over me. Finally, she regained her composure enough to gasp, “Testiculo is NOT a little test! It’s TESTICLE in Spanish! You have been asking our applicants for THAT! No wonder they won’t talk to anyone except you!”