Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Monday, July 14, 2008

My Hero

Do you remember the woman I wrote about in my piece titled "Speak English Me?"

She has come out of her shell a little bit and has made a lot of progress in a very short time. I've been really proud of her efforts and pleased that she is becoming comfortable enough with us that she doesn't worry so much about making mistakes or sounding silly.

Saturday night, after a much needed victory at the State Tournament, the team gathered at a local restaurant to celebrate. Normally, when we have such a gathering, her son comes with one of the other families and she and her husband go home.

I truly understand why. Sitting there staring at one another while everyone else socializes must be a humiliating and demoralizing experience. But although I got it, I still found it kind of sad.

To my surprise and delight, this time, she came with us. She sat at a table with Husband, me, and five other adults. She tried really hard to make conversation, and all the parents tried equally hard to include her in the general chatter.

At one point, being the only one at our table to order an adult beverage, I had to show my I.D. As the waitress handed my wallet back to me, one of the other parents grabbed at it, saying he wanted to see my driver's license picture, which is spectacularly unflattering. But I obliged. And soon, everyone else was pulling out their drivers' licenses in the spirit of good natured self-deprecation.

Husband has not had a new photo for fifteen years. Fifteen years during which, he has changed a lot. He has a few more gray hairs, a few more laugh lines, and quite a few more pounds. But nobody ever challenges his request to keep his new old picture.

Needless to say, he got a lot of ribbing over that from the other adults.

When Husband's driver's license made it into her hands, she studied it carefully for a moment or two and then said to me in her thickly accented English...

"Blog Antagonist, you must be cook BERY delicious!"

Everyone at the table howled with laughter. Though her words were clumsy, her meaning was very clear.

She beamed, pleased that her joke had gone over well.

It seems like a simple thing, doesn't it? Making joke or a smart remark comes naturally to most of us. We don't think twice about it.

But think about what kind of courage it takes to attempt such a thing in a foreign language. There are so many double entendres, linguistic idiosynchrasies , verbal nuances...so many ways, in other words, to screw up and look like a complete numbskull.

But she did it. She put herself out there, made herself vulnerable, took a chance.

She made a joke.

And I think she is my new hero.

10 Comments:

  • At 8:19 AM, Blogger SUEB0B said…

    I have been talking about this a lot lately. I spent 3 weeks in Mexico trying to improve my rather poor Spanish language skills.

    When you cannot speak the language well, you lose your adult status. The fun parts of communication, as you said, the subtleties and jokes, are lost. You can only get by on a basic level and everyone treats you with patience at best and pity or scorn at worst.

    I have nothing but respect for those trying to learn english. It is a terribly difficult language.

     
  • At 10:03 AM, Blogger Kim said…

    I just spent the weekend camping with two exchange students - one from Spain and one from France. They are here to learn English but yes it is still very hard.

    Ok a question - did she mean Mr Antagonist was um a lil chubby? or that you must have been a good cook to be able to catch him?

     
  • At 11:05 AM, Blogger the only daughter said…

    It is pleasing to see (through you) her growing confidence and the blossoming friendship(s).

     
  • At 2:04 PM, Blogger cndymkr / jean said…

    She's my hero too. I glad we're getting to know her through you.

     
  • At 2:46 PM, Blogger jen said…

    i love this, BA.

     
  • At 3:18 PM, Blogger Lara said…

    damn, i actually got all teary and choked up there at the end. i'm such a sap. that lady is really quite amazing.

     
  • At 3:45 PM, Blogger Blog Antagonist said…

    Kim...yes, Husband has grown a little portly in our 15 years together, though of course, in my mind, he looks the same as he did 15 years ago.

    Her joke was sort of two fold...you see...Husband and all the coaches have to wear a full baseball uniform, including those ridiculous pants. As a larger man, Husband has not been happy about wearing pants that enable casual onlookers to count the change in his pockets.

    So, she was joking about the drastic difference in his pictures, and ribbing him about his pants.

     
  • At 9:49 PM, Anonymous Lisbeth said…

    That is funny!!

    I once told my boyfriend's parents, aunt & uncle in fumbling German that "my pussy is tired" instead of "my feet are tired" after spending a day on vacation with them.
    Needless to say, my comment was met with complete SILENCE before someone had the guts to LOL and then they all did...after all that my BF explained my mis-pronounciation and I about died!

     
  • At 10:05 AM, Blogger womaninawindow said…

    So wonderful. Glad there are good people out there with open minds and open hearts. It's hard to be a minority - learned that by travelling. And the assumptions that people make aren't always evident.

    Good to see people laughing with her. We've all so much to learn from each other.

     
  • At 3:08 PM, Blogger PJ said…

    And you are a very kind open-hearted person. I'm sure she appreciates your friendship more than she can express.

    (Just wandered over from another blog! so hello there!)

     

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