You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘misunderstandings’ tag.

My parents are coming to visit in July. For five days I will have three extra bodies (two of them large, male bodies) crammed into a very hot apartment, three extra people using my shower, and three air mattresses taking up all of my floor real estate. It would be an understatement to say that I’m a little apprehensive about the whole thing, though I am looking forward to free meals (not from Tim Horton’s).

What makes me most apprehensive is the miscommunications we’ve had already in planning this trip. First they were coming in May, but my brother’s work got in the way. Then they were talking about July and asked if there were any dates that didn’t work for me. All I said over and over and over was “end of June through beginning of July, I am going on vacation, I am unavailable those dates. The rest of the whole summer is up for grabs but end of June through beginning of July is off-limits.”

Then I get an email from my mother saying that they’re planning to arrive July 4.

In the subsequent phone call she inquired about the black-out dates on my calendar, and I told her, and I had told my father 1/2 dozen times “I took the time off to go to ALA conference in Anaheim, but that fell through, so now I’m going somewhere.”

“You don’t know where you’re going?”

“Well, we (my Jewish friend and I) were going to go to Montreal, but she doesn’t have a valid passport right now, so we’re re-planning things. If it doesn’t work out that she and I can coordinate schedules– then I’m going somewhere by myself. I have to go somewhere this summer.”

Of course she asked me to switch the days off to coordinate with when they are visiting, but I refused, then she asked, “really, you’d go somewhere all by yourself? Aww.”

This brings to mind another pair of incidents that came one on the heels of the other recently. I was in a class and we had to group up with different people than usual. So I got to meet a couple women from the other side of the room (the room divided itself, rather handily, into the young side and the old side). One of these women had mixed up my friends Mary and Lisa and asked Lisa why in the world she moved all the way to Rhode Island from Texas.

“Actually,” Lisa told her, “I’m from Connecticut, Mary over there is from Texas. But Andria moved here from North Dakota.”

The woman’s jaw dropped and she gaped at me in a way I’ve never experienced before.

“Why did you move here?” she demanded.

“For library school.”

“Had you ever been here before? Why did you pick Rhode Island?”

“No, and because it sounded pretty.”

“You’ve got balls of steel, girl!”

“Erm, thanks ?”

And then she followed with a question that I never thought I would ever in my life hear, “But how do you meet single girlfriends?”

This question perplexed me to no end. I wanted to indicate Lisa, sitting to my left, and say “She’s a girlfriend.” And also assert, “Single or not, I don’t have a very elaborate screening process.” But I was really wondering if she was asking me where to find girls to go clubbing and trolling for men with or something. Do people really do that? Also, she’s a rather tired-looking elementary school teacher, does she do that? What the hell is this conversation about, is she really asking me how to make friends?

“Well, what do you do on the weekends?” she asked.

“Well, I work all week, so on the weekends I do homework and…” These are questions that are very hard to answer. ‘On alternating Sundays I go to pub trivia, occasionally I see movies, or go to parties…’ I mean really.

Thankfully, the professor asked us all to regroup, so I got to shrug off the rest of the grilling, but I was given her phone number along with the offer “I’d love to show you around Providence.”

So that was weird.

Then the following day at work I was having a nice conversation with someone who I genuinely like when she said, “I hope you’ve managed to make at least one friend since you’ve been out here.”

By this point, I’d been in Rhode Island for 7 months– is she kidding?

But I don’t really think that people want to hear that you have a full social calendar and are, in fact, beloved by many. This seems to be a product of never having left a place, and never having had to make friends, although I’m still baffled. Does the woman who asked me where I find single girlfriends actually not have any, or did she just want a new technique? I’m a bit disturbed by the fact that these people seem to picture me sitting home alone, longing for the prairie and the friends I left behind– but that’s their shit.

I am a scandalous woman.

A while ago my friend from cowboy-ski-pole country, Kelly, came for a visit. We saw some sights, relaxed, and ate a lot of cheese. Toward the end of the visit, she expressed an interest in eating a different type of cheese– fondue.

“Do you like fondue?” she asked me.

“Well, I’ve only had it once, but it’s a bubbling hot-pot of cheese with bread on the side, so it’s really everything that I love.”

We did some web-based research and found out that Providence is very lacking in the fondue restaurant department. There was one in Boston that sounded promising, but expensive; and there was a “Melting Pot” in Framingham, MA, which is a bout 45 minutes away. Even though the brakes on my car were making horrifying noises– we drove to our cheese because it’s important.

When we arrived, I must admit, I was impressed with the decor. Sure the outside looked like a car dealership, but the inside was quite cozy, all booths with lots of privacy. There were lots of families with hyperactive 10-year-olds, and petulant pre-teens, but the hostess led us away from all of that to a cozy booth for two.

Our server, a nice younger guy, chatty, but not too chatty, and knowledgeable of wine, came out, lit our tabletop burner, and we ordered our first vat of cheese. We finished it quickly, and ordered another (cause why not). As we were ordering the second, out server asked us, “How did you two meet?”

“Well,” Kelly said, “we went to college together, sort of, and we also worked together, although we really didn’t like each other at first…”

“And the rest is history.” he finished.

“Well, no, not really…” I started.

“I’m from Montana!” Kelly blurted out, cutting me off. “I’m just visiting.”

I looked at her in complete confusion, but the server rolled with it by asking if she skied.

Once he’d gone, I looked at her still with complete confusion, and she responded with, “he thinks we’re a couple, and I would like to sleep with him, I can’t have him thinking I’m gay. Do you think we could work something out so I can sleep with him?”

A week later, I was recounting this incident to another friend on the phone.

“Yeah, I guess that makes sense,” she said, “fondue restaurants are kind of romantic with the food sharing and the fact that it’s kind of expensive. Didn’t you know that? Why did you go there?”

“Because Kelly wanted fondue, and I haven’t had it since we were in Switzerland 7 years ago, and that was the least romantic meal ever. Don’t you remember, we sat at a rustic picnic table in a building that looked like a ski chalet? Also, Kelly said she always goes there with her mom, and there were tons of families there.”

“Yeah, but it’s totally a date place, at least Kelly’s hot.”

At least Kelly is hot.