Monday, November 12, 2012

Mama was just misunderstood

This is where it all went down, my grocery
I told a homeless man to die last week. Bless his heart, he was standing in front of the supermarket trying to sell his homeless society newspaper to make enough money to sleep in the homeless shelter and I told him to die.

As I walked out of the supermarket he said "Hi" and I happily responded with a big friendly grin on my face in a my slow southern accent "Die" (which probably sounded more like Dyyyye) So not only did he get insulted but nice and slow in case he didn't understand.

Of course I didn't mean to tell the guy to drop dead, what I meant to say was either "Dag" (the Dutch equivalent to hello or goodbye to someone you don't know) or "Hi" which was what I normally said in English. Instead he got one of my brain dead Mama Denglish combos "Die".

I walked past him feeling good about myself hoping that my sweet smile and salutation would maybe somehow just make this guy's day a bit brighter. It wasn't until a few seconds later that I realized what I had said. Jezzzzz! What an idiot I was, how could I get so confused! But then again I had just put pure coconut oil on my hair thinking it was conditioner, so obviously the elevator was not going all the way up.

I stopped walking away and thought to myself, maybe I should go back and explain to him what I was trying to say. But then again maybe he wasn't really paying attention. Besides, what would I say to him, "Hello mister, I am a mother who speaks two languages and I haven't slept in two days, my son has been awake all night last night and my daughter the night before and my hair is dripping with coconut oil and I had two really busy days at work and actually I haven't really slept in five years and I never know what language to speak in anymore because I am so confused because I can speak two languages.

Why would this guy care about my problems? At least I had a roof over my head and money to buy food. God, I felt terrible but I decided it was best to keep walking. I hoped that he didn't hear me or the blinding warmth of my smile made him temporarily deaf to my faux pas. I hoped that if he did indeed hear me that he wouldn't remember me the next time he saw me. I hoped and hoped feeling rotten all the way home...and then it faded into the back of my subconsciousness...

Until I went to the supermarket today and he was standing at the door. My heart raced when I saw him standing there, but surely he saw hundreds of people a day so how could he ever remember what each person said. So I sucked it up and began my walk of shame into the supermarket. I was brave and looked at him in the eyes and said "Hi".

He glared back and turned his head! He remembered! And he snubbed me! He snubbed me the way I often saw others snubbing him! Jez, I felt terrible! I wondered, was this how terrible he felt every time people turned their heads when he said hello.

As I walked around filling up my shopping basket, feeling horrible, I thought to myself, I was just misunderstood. I could fix it! I had to fix it! Besides, I can't afford to shop at the other supermarket and he was at the door everday. I had to face the problem and solve it!

So on my way out of the door I took a deep breath and walked straight up to the man. I touched his arm gently and looked deep into his eyes and gave him a slow wink and the word "Hi" rolled off my tongue like a bowling ball getting ready to go into the gutter.

With a surprised look he said hi and then a smile spread across his face and his eyes began to sparkle. SCORE! Forgiven! Finally, Mama was no longer lesson learned...gonna stick to my trusty mother tongue, FLIRT!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks April, I just hope now he doesn't ask me out! haaaa
      But he knows I have kids so maybe not!

  2. Oh god. That is so funny.

    Just think about the amount of other times you might have been misunderstood with out realizing.

  3. I don't even want to know about the times I have been misunderstood in Dutch. Last Sinterklas, I had to write a poem in Dutch and ended up saying the man should give oral pleasures...I have never been so embarrassed in my life!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.