Even after more than 15 years of study and 4 years of living in France, there are still days when I come smack dab up against the realization that I can still make a ridiculous fool of myself in French.
It invariably happens at the worst possible moment.
Take for instance this week, while working a conference for IT bigwigs in Deauville. I'd been asked to lend a hand, and was more than happy to do so. The first evening, we were rounding up all the participants into buses to go to the organized dinner. The assistant I was helping has a rather laid-back style, in that she doesn't feel the need to do head counts to make sure every one is on the bus. She figures they're all adults, they knew what time the bus was leaving, and if they miss it, too bad for them.
This tends to make me nervous.
So there I was, standing in my red dress and high heels next to our local events planner, nervously scanning the hotel entrance and parking lot for last minute stragglers. The assistant I was helping was in casual conversation a few feet away with the guest of honor, the VIP of the evening. I wanted to do a quick check of the hotel lobby to make sure we had everyone, but not wanting to overstep my bounds, wanted to see that it was okay with her first.
I cupped my hands to my mouth and shouted across to her,
"Hey, Josephine! Don't you think I should turn a last trick in the hotel before we leave for dinner?"*
Everyone burst out laughing.
I am fucking brilliant.
*"Eh, Josephine, tu ne veux pas que j'aille faire une derniere passe dans l'hotel avant qu'on ne parte?"