L'oreille distraite est l'organe du malentendu.
The distracted ear is the organ of misunderstanding. --Albert Brie
Recently, the kids and I were invited to my husband's office for a "Welcome the New Employee" apéritif. The three of us Q-tipped our ears and shined our shoes in hopes of looking our best before heading over to Jean-Marc's new office to hear him speak.
After the apéro, a few of the employees, along with the director and company's founder, decided to dine at a nearby eatery. When we were invited to join them, I signaled sharply to the kids, reminding us all to keep our act together.
At the reception desk, we waited patiently for our table. To pass the time, the men smoked clopes, the children played a game of pool, and I maintained my new role of Delightful Wife.
Our act was running smoothly when one of us began rocking from foot to foot. No matter how hard I tried I could not hold it any longer and so tottered over to the reception desk to ask a pertinent question:
"Where is the 'vaysay' please?" I posed my question in French, trying hard to prounounce the unusual word for "restroom".
"Vaysay?" the receptionist questioned. Confused, she turned to her colleague, who tried to translate.
"I think she's asking for un whiskey."
Shocked as much by the misunderstanding, as by the indelicate manner in which the women spoke about me (as if I was invisible!), I shot a casual look over my shoulder, to assess any damage to our family's carefully put together first impression. What a relief to find the director and the boss carrying on as if they hadn't heard a thing.
"No! Vay-say. I would like....un toilet!" I whispered, hoping to shush them up, but it was too late.
"Madame wants a whiskey!" the receptionist shouted, this time to the maître d, who stood across he room at the bar.
It took a few flailing arms to get the point across, at which point the maître d personally escorted me to the restroom. So much for slipping out unnoticed. I hadn't meant to make a scene but isn't that what happens when you put on an act?
une clope = a cigarette
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Joyeux Anniversaire!... to my dear dad, who encouraged me to follow my heart to France. And happy birthday to Marsha, left, his beautiful bride of 16 years.
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