lesson: giving directions

While I was vacuuming this evening (yes, I vacuum) Bill rushed downstairs yelling that the doorbell rang. It was way too late in the day for the poste lady to be delivering a box, and hours too early for our dinner guest. Honestly, I may not have answered the door if it were up to me. But Bill answered it.

I hung out in the living room, eavesdropping. When I couldn’t stand letting him stand there struggling to speak French, I walked over. As if I could help. That’s what cracks me up about myself… I’m such a know-it-all that I think I know-it-all in a language I don’t even speak. (The other night at dinner… I caught myself correcting another American on her French. Correcting it! That took nerve. But she said the meal was “tres bien”… basic lesson is that when you are speaking of food, you say “tres bon.”)

So back to the door: There were to teenage boys standing there asking for directions. I think they wanted to know how to get from where they were standing in our driveway to town. As if I could answer, I tried to explain to them there’s a bike path at the top of the street. Then they acted like that wasn’t what they were after. Even though they were standing there with their bikes. And that bike path is the only one I know of.

Bill started pointing up and down the street and telling me in English that there are two ways down… down the path or down the street. Which seemed amazingly obvious in any language.

We finally gave up. By we, I mean all of us… Bill and I and the bike kids.

After they left, I thought of all sorts of things I could have said to make myself sound more intelligent while still not supplying directions.

Next time, I’ll just keep vacuuming.

One Response to “lesson: giving directions”

  1. D.A.D. says:

    Wonder how they got up the hill to begin with. Probably came from the town, notably at the bottom of the hill. What goes up must come down. Like Bette Midler says, “I’ve been there when they’ve gone up the ladder, and I’ve watched them come back down”. Other than the spy satellite, which went up then disintegrated when hit by a rocket in a vacuum. But the bikers weren’t about to be hit by a rocket, merely a vacuum. Do you follow my parallel here?

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