November 18, 2010
There are things that happen when you live abroad; things that saunter so slowly into your everyday life that you never even know they're there until someone from your homecourt calls you on it. I remember one of the first times I wrote home, my sweet mother called me a week later, panicky and somewhat ill at ease. The minute I picked up the phone, she said, "I know now that you're gone, J. I know you're gone for good". Totally confused and still somewhat sleepy, I asked her what was going on, what had happened to make her so sure that I "was gone for good". She took a long, hard inhale and said, "You.spelled.garden.with.a."t"".
My spelling and grammar is slowly going to pot. I hate to admit it, but it's true and I have begun to understand it's inevitable. My folks were huge grammar and spelling fanatics; oddly enough, I loved it. I take care. I proof-read. I wished for dictionaries as a child. Just the other day, though, I commented on two blogs and misspelled the same word twice, two different ways. The first time I typed "h.u.n.g.e.r.y", looked at it, ignored my gut that something was wrong, and pressed enter to send the comment off. The second time I typed "h.u.n.g.a.r.y", looked at it, ignored my gut, clossed my eyes and again pressed enter. I wasn't concerned enough to google it. I mean, seriously, that's like the easiest word in the book! Obviously not so easy as I found out later that night. There I was reading my book and what word jumped out at me?? None other than h.u.n.g.r.y. It killed me. I fully surrendered at that moment, throwing hungary and its sidekick in the corner with garten, schoes, drink it out, ausfart, and I'll pick dich ab. These are the delightful casualities of living abroad; all you can do is look left, look right, and keep on keepin' on!