une ringy dingy…. deux ringy dingy..

The moment I volunteered to make a phone call for Bill this morning, I instantly regretted opening my big mouth.
He and Kaitlyn are heading up to Chamrousse to go skiing. We’ve gotten two feet of snow down here this week; they’re sure to have more on the top of the mountain. It’s sunny, there’s fresh snow… it’s perfect.
I’d love to go but before all this snow fell I accepted an invitation from a girlfriend to go shopping in Lyon.. which means a grown up lunch, a stop or two at Starbucks and some window shopping… not a bad alternative. It’s not like I’m staying home to mop or something. I’d never take that option. Never. Just look at my floors and you’ll believe me.
Since this is Kaitlyn’s first time on skis this year, Bill figured it would be a good time for a refresher course with a real instructor. He planned on piling her into the car and getting to Chamrousse when it opened at 9. At 9, Kaitlyn was still eating her oatmeal and coloring some Barbie cut-out doll she’d printed off the “dot com” as she calls it. He was getting increasingly frustrated and that was when I boldly volunteered to call the ski school and see if we could even get a lesson for Kaitlyn this morning. Now it is far FAR easier to conduct such business in person. In person you can point, you can look confused, you can act things out if necessary. (I’ve gotten very good at charades.) On the phone you can ask someone to repeat himself… over and over and over.
As they were finally heading out to the car, Bill asked me if I would make the call. I hemmed and hawed then realized I had made the offer, I couldn’t really refuse. So I looked up the number, looked up some key words on the ski school’s website, and dialed.
Certainly, the moment I opened my mouth, the woman knew I don’t speak French very well. Still, she rattled off her answers and questions at a pretty rapid pace. About three questions in, I had to ask her to repeat herself. That’s when she slowed down and I could, amazingly, understand her. I managed to tell her Kaitlyn’s age, the level she’s completed in lessons already (they have very clearly defined levels for the kids at the French ski schools… all the same), that she wants a teacher who speaks English, that she wants the lesson for an hour and a half, that I know the meeting point she told me about, Bill’s phone number (although I kept trying to give her a number that doesn’t exist), and finally our credit card number.
Bill and Kaitlyn are about halfway up there now. I guess we’ll find out in about a half an hour if I did the whole thing correctly. I sure hope I did. It’s one thing when you goof up your own matter. It’s another when you try to do someone a favor and end up sending them into a quagmire of lingual misunderstandings.

3 Responses to “une ringy dingy…. deux ringy dingy..”

  1. D.A.D. says:

    quagmire of lingual misunderstandings . . . . hmmm, that sounds like interpreting contracts from some of our how-can-we-get-out-of-this-deal clients. I love calling the internet the dot com. When she encounters a dot org, there may be some quagmire of lingual misunderstanding, however.

  2. Mark says:

    So what happened? Did she get her lesson?

  3. mandy says:

    sorry, yes, she got her lesson.

    by the time Bill called me to tell me, her lesson was over and I forgot to provide the update!

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