Monday, January 31, 2011

Thinking in French

Could it actually be that I am beginning to think in French? I just began to jot down an appointment that I scheduled for Wednesday and I stopped myself when I realized that I was writing the letter "M" rather than "W." Since I sort of do this sort of thing all of the time - have a thought one minute and then actually verbalize something entirely unrelated the next - I don't want to read too much into this yet. But, damn if that "M" didn't stand for Mercredi which is the French word for Wednesday!
Oh, and the appointment I just made? It was in response to an advertisement for a canopy bed for Caleigh in the french equivalent to Craigslist, "Leboncoin." Yes, that means that the person selling the bed was French and I called them. Just like that. And I think that I successfully made an appointment to see it on Wednesday at 1pm (one can only hope).
The best part was that I wasn't scared or nervous. And nor was I fluent, but the woman was friendly and we actually conversed back and forth for quite some time. I definitely have got to give Hank credit for this new confidence I feel. He knows about half of the vocabulary that I do and hasn't a clue on how to conjugate a verb, but he has confidence and an ability to improvise (and I am sure he is very appreciative that there are quite a few english words that mean the same thing in french, especially when using his Pepe Lepiu accent). We've actually become quite the husband and wife tag team with him jumping in to start the conversation and me in the background feeding him important words for "now" (maintenant), "tomorrow" (demain), "today" (aujourd'hui), "at 2 o'clock" (a quatorze heure), "etc" (ectera!).
This newfound confidence has also transferred over to when the phone rings now. Just a week ago, when the phone would ring, the three of us would look at each other wide-eyed with hopes that one or the other would pick it up in case the caller were French. Now, I still get that little knot in my gut when it rings, but I at least pick it up. As Hank said, it's a lot easier than having to call the person back. And I might add, it's a hellava lot easier than trying to retrieve voicemail in french. I have listened to the prompts over and and over again to no avail until I finally felt like I was taking a multiple choice test that I didn't study for and just praying for 50% accuracy. Most of the time I end up unintentionally dialing back the caller because I press 3 and not 2, which was of course the last thing I wanted to do and then quickly try to hang up before anyone can answer...doh!
But, maybe losing some of the fear of the language has to do with our making this major move even after all the obstacles we faced. We've acquired such a sink or swim attitude that speaking French is now probably the least of my worries. Too bad there's plenty of other things that can rouse me at 3am, but hell, at least now I'm thinking them in French!

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