cultural differences

here's a story that's been sitting in the drafts folder for a while:

one night while working late at the office, a member of the cleaning crew was working his way past my cube. seeing that my desk was occupied he stopped to chat - and, i'm guessing, take the opportunity to work on his conversational english.

he focused mainly on the photos of my family and friends and began to query me on them, quickly learning that i had family close by and had been married for about a year. he then narrowed in on an image of me holding a baby.


"no", i quickly assured him - "it's a friend's baby."

this was apparently a phrase he was not familiar with so after several failed attempts to explain the relationship i landed on "nephew", which he understood.

"you have no children?"

"no children" i responded with a smile

"married, one year?"


there was a lengthy pause and then he shook his head, looked me in the eye and very emphatically stated "one year, one baby".

as he gathered up his supplies and solemnly walked off i got the impression i had just greatly disappointed his view of how the world should be.

as an update to this story, i periodically run into this gentleman as i am leaving for the day. he never greets me with words, but simply begins shaking his head. apparently my married-yet-childless state left a permanent impression.


lady of shalott

i recently stumbled across this video, and it reminded me of a certain iconic scene from the anne of green gables/avonlea films of the late 80s. turns out my geek had never seen them. so, we borrowed the old vhs tapes from my parents (along with their vcr) and watched through them in 5 sittings over the course of a week.

its important to note here that our forays back into childhood favorites have not always proven successful. (murder by death = worst. movie. ever.) and the anne stories are not exactly typical "guy" fare… so for most of the film i was watching my geek's reactions almost as much as the movie itself. at times he appeared to be genuinely interested in the story - other times, not so much. by the end of the saga i was still unsure if he really appreciated it. cue the closing romantic bridge scene:

anne: "i don't want sunbursts or marble halls… i just want you."

music soars.

credits roll.

geek, frustrated: "he should shove her off the bridge now."

"guess he didn't like it much after all," i think

me: "yeah well, mom always said anne should have married morgan."

geek, passionately: "oh, I would have been seriously pissed off if it had ended that way!"

success :)