Two funny stories I must share. Both somewhat related to rock climbing. (Please note: I am originally from Brazil, but have been in the US for almost 20 years. From time to time, I find myself and sticky situations because of linguistics.)
1- One day I was climbing with my OCP (rock climbing pop culture 101 – this term stands for “original climbing partner”.) Let’s call my OCP “M”.
I usually bring one or two bananas with me for energy. I was starting to get a bit hungry and said “M, I’m so hungry! Hang on a second while I go eat my bananas. Do you want my banana?”
Ok! Pause for a second! I know I can always blame the fact that English is not my native language. But I’ve been here for almost 20 years!
Can you find the problems with those few sentences?
a) Do I have “bananas”?
b) Even if I did, how many???
c) And even if I did have 2 or more of my own “bananas”, am I a cannibal?
I could see a grin on M’s face as he tried to hold back whatever he was thinking.
2- This past Tuesday, I was climbing again with my very own OCP. I was wearing an almost all black outfit. I started chalking up my hands to see if I could finally get to the top of that V2 that had been kicking my butt in the bouldering room.
As I’m looking at my outfit, I think to myself “Oh, I’m all covered in white stuff!”. ONLY I DID NOT ONLY THINK IT TO MYSELF, I SAID IT OUT LOUD. In a volume high enough that other OCPs around me (mostly men) heard me.
M goes “Oh yeah, it’s the chalk.” (trying really hard to be polite and subtle).
Pause for a second again! I’ve been climbing with M for a few months now. This type of “relationship” requires a lot of trust and reciprocal encouragement, right? Furthermore, my sense of “boundaries” is a bit off sometimes. And, finally, M is just a very nice guy…not one of those “sleazy” guys.
Pressing “play” again – I said “Oh M, I’m such a little kid! I just had some very wrong thoughts right now. And the worst part is that I’m actually saying this to you. I’m so sorry. You have a crazy climbing partner.”
M goes “It’s like you’re 17 all over again!”
(I lost count of how many stories like this I have…the wonders of linguistics and slips of tongue)