Time for a humorous story! Things have gotten a little heavy around The Empty Inkwell lately, so I thought I dig deep into my abounding arsenal of awkward experiences and serve up some self-deprecation for everyone’s amusement. Enjoy a cringe on me. 😉
One instance stands out particularly well in my memory because it is forever etched with the hot iron of mortification.
It was at a hair salon where I’d never been before. Now, anything that involves hair, for me, is emotionally scarring. At that point in my life, my hair frizzed and puffed on the brink of hopelessness. Even if the hairdresser smiled politely from behind the bush in the mirror, the look in her eyes said, “I can’t do miracles, so don’t ask for any.”
Chit-chat is not one of my strong points, but apparently I’d said enough for the hairdresser to know I wasn’t from around those parts. She asked how long I’d lived in the country, etc. Five minutes into the haircut, when the poor hairdresser’s brow was tighter than the fists I was hiding in my lap, she ventured another question. Unfortunately, I didn’t hear it clearly. (It must have been all that hair she pushed over my ears.) Given that she was studying my hair, I thought she’d said, “How do you like your hair?”
So I told her…and with utmost honesty. After all, when everyone in sight is either suppressing a laugh at your expense or feeling sorry for you, this was no time to feign contentment. And besides, she might have been asking so that she could recommend something.
But when I finished my “It’s obviously not something I take delight in” monologue, there was silence.
And then it hit me.
She’d asked me how I like it here.
My eyes grew wide as I looked to the mirror. My cheeks were red and the hairdresser was busy not looking at me. After all, I’d just insulted her town and her country. “Oh, how do I like it here?” I gasped. “Yeah, it’s fine, it’s great, I like it. Um…”
Strange how the conversation never picked up again.
Not so strange that I never went back.
When has a pronunciation or spelling ever gotten you in trouble? I’d love to know I’m not the only one! 🙂