Skip to main content

Lost in translation


I often wonder if I'm speaking in some off-the-wall language that no one other than me can understand.

My husband and children for example regard my words with the oddest, glazed-over expressions on their faces like I'm a talking dog -- they're amused by the noises I'm making, but they don't give a crap about the kid in the well.

I'll ask Jerod a straight-forward question that requires nothing more than a simple yes or no --

"I'm really tired. Will you please take Ashlyn so I can go to bed?"

"What do you mean?"

"I'm tired, and I want to go to bed. Please take the baby."

"You want me to bring her upstairs so you can lay down with her?"

"I want you to keep her down here for a while so I can get some sleep."

"You want me to go to bed?"

"MORON! sit HERE with Ashlyn until she falls asleep. It's YOUR turn."

"Huh?"

Call me crazy, but it doesn't seem too complicated -- "Will you please take Ashlyn so I can go to bed?" It's certainly not deep enough to garner the existential "What do you mean?"

There must be an electrical glich in the speech center of my brain -- a short circuit that scrambles my words into gibberish somewhere between the thinking and the talking.

My daughter asks me which shoes she should wear to dance on the coffee table. I tell her to dance barefoot on the floor, and she comes to me 10 minutes later with two mismatched pairs of heals she lifted from my closet.

"Should I wear these ones or these ones to our party."

I ask her nicely to return the shoes to my closet -- "I already told you; you can dance barefoot."

"What did you say, Mommy?"

"I SAID -- mwa-mwa, erm mwa, erm mwa, erm mwa ..."

I'm starting to fret about all of the tax forms and other such legal documents I've signed through the years attesting under penalty of perjury that English is my first and only language. The authorities might conclude that I'm not in fact me -- that I stole Alexis Bacharach's identity.

Perhaps I belong in a mountain cabin like Ted Kaczynski or Nell from the 1994 movie starring Jodie Foster.

One thing is certain -- either my English is very poor, or my husband and children suffer from occasional selective cognitive impairment.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The insecure writer's support group

The ground is important -- for several reasons.

Among them

Gravity makes no sense without it -- there's no mandate that science be logical so long as our scientists are the smartest smartypants on the planet, in which case "because I said so" is an acceptable explanation. The ground is important, because it's something to build on -- a starting point, a foundation.

I respect the ground, because it has on occasion fallen out from under me, and it's rather unsettling to watch your life in free-fall mode -- to see your accomplishments disintegrate in an instant or a decade in some cases. It all depends on how fast you're falling.

Most of us drop in slow motion. We'll catch a ledge or an up draft every once in a while and think "this is it!" But then we go on falling. Or do we? Is the "bottom" just a figment of our imaginations? Can we lay new ground wherever we choose?


Ask Alice

None of my friends growing up were impressed with Disney's…

Writers get laid

Writers get laid -- or they would if they tried -- because people -- especially women -- are impressed by the phrase, "I'm a writer." It's romantic.

Introducing yourself as a writer insinuates substance and depth of character; people like that. They don't know why, except that one-dimensional characters on T.V. sitcoms and big-screen romantic comedies prattle on and on about the whole package -- a good looking, funny, intelligent single with rock-solid values and money.

People admire the skill and dedication it takes to be a novelist or a journalist or a screen writer  -- "I always wanted to be a writer," they tell you with stars in their eyes.

Whether they know it's a myth or not they imagine us in rich, thrilling lives with sports cars and beach houses and Louboutin shoes like Carrie Bradshaw. So the woman at the grocery store doesn't feel bad when she puts back the US Weekly she read cover to cover before she checks out.

Or downloading unauth…

TOWANDA!

I am one dumb-luck happenstance away from a full-fledged nervous breakdown -- no kidding this time.

My back is pretty sturdy by now -- random bouts of unemployment, mounting debt, hooligan children, crazy family members (they're all nuts including me) -- I can carry a shit-ton of crap in my nifty ain't-life-swell backpack, but I'm no frickin' body builder. And it's not even big things that are pushing me over -- random bouts of unemployment, mounting debt, hooligan children ... it's the shit-storm of stupid people raining down on me like poops from Heaven.
The latest was a Florida couple--a mullet-sporting, NASCAR-loving twat and her top-heavy husband -- in a movie theater parking garage. I was so close to knocking their teeth down their throats -- that's assuming they had teeth -- I could taste blood.
For starters they came fishtailing into the garage and nearly plowed into a row of parked cars. They raced around the place like a couple of Earnhardt wannab…