My brain at times has a devious nature (exhibit a: https://breadispain.wordpress.com/2012/04/11/the-beau-reve/). It is not particularly cooperative…never wanting to remember the names of movies I like and always forgetting exact statistics. Not to mention the fact that my Brain is constantly enlisting the help of its comrades: Conscious, Subconscious, and Speech Filter…among others, to mess with me and leave me feeling utterly confused or embarrassed (especially when Speech Filter comes into play, I basically think that my Brain has given Speech Filter early retirement and that Speech Filter spends its days relaxing on the beach with a margarita while I perpetually say dumb, ill-timed, and inappropriate things…but I digress).
Lately, my brain has developed a new and nefarious form of torture.
Yesterday, I was at the pharmacy with MB picking up a prescription. While the pharmacist was typing information into the computer I turned to MB and had a conversation in English before asking her a question in French. She responded to me in English (obviously she had heard me talking) and I responded to her in French.
“Quoi?” She said this while laughing. “I was trying to speak my English but you speak back in French!”
“Huh,” was the dignified response that I mustered (thanks again Speech Filter).
MB quickly jumped in and explained to the pharmacist that I have a lot of conversations like that because I want to practice my French and the French people often want to practice their English, blah blah blah. On the way out of the pharmacy I asked him what the whole thing was just about.
“I don’t get it,” I said to him.
“She just thought it was funny that she was speaking English and you were speaking French.”
“She was speaking English,” I asked him, confused.
“Uh…oauis.” MB looked mildly concerned at this point.
I just continued walking scratching my head like a confused character in a Charlie Chaplin film. I hadn’t realized that she was speaking in English.
Yeah, so that’s right, my brain has now decided to not always acknowledge the differences in language, meaning that people can switch back and forth and I don’t always catch on immediately which in the end leaves me more confused than ever. Thanks a lot, Brain.
BRAIN: Oh please, I mean, like it matters, it’s all up here in the same place anyway. Did you understand what was going on or not? HUH?! HUH?!
I tacitly state that I did, in fact, understand.
BRAIN: Right then…get over it. Gawd…I try to make things a little bit interesting, vary some thought process and BAM…rejected. You know, it is very high maintenance being your brain!
This whole thing started a few weeks back when a friend of mine was visiting us from the U.S. During her trip we spent a few days with MB’s family and so there was a lot of French being spoken. My friend doesn’t speak French so I did my best to translate back and forth what I could (I would love to see the transcripts on that tragedy). This seemed to work okay for a little while but eventually I got confused and sometimes I would give her the French version and give his family the English version. Uh…wait, am I talking to…who? Who’s on First.
Basically my Brain has decided that it will be hilarious for me to be constantly scrambling to concentrate on what language is being spoken instead of automatically recognizing it…you know, like normal people. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to pull a Madonna (“I swear I can’t help my English accent) but it does get confusing up there in my head. Basically my Brain is Abbott and I’m Costello.
ME: What do you call French?
BRAIN: I said yes already. GEEZ.
ME: *SIGH* Okay, what do you call English?
BRAIN: What? Of course not, What is how I call French.
ME: I don’t know how you call French!
BRAIN: I don’t know’s how you call English.
BRAIN: Seriously? This is exhausting. What is how you call French.
ME: AGH! I don’t know!
BRAIN: I don’t know’s how you call English!!
ME: I don’t know how you call English!
So next time you run into me don’t be alarmed if I start spouting off to you in a different language; I haven’t gone crazy, it’s just my Brain having a laugh.