Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Can I have a duck?

Ok, with yesterday's "daddy issues" behind us (and thank you so much for all the kind words; for having never actually met many of you I feel a profound attachment to you and your support is overwhelming) we can move on to more pressing matters. ... like my mom's butchering of the Greek language.  God bless the woman - for as pitiful as my dad was/is/will be, my mother is a saint and the only reason I remained sane long enough to find Gina.  But she's pretty white bread none the less.  That's what happens to a lot of white families transplanted from the Midwest, where they've been rooted for generations. ... they lose their flavor (keep in mind I said "most" not "all". ... keep your shirts on Midwesterners).  But my mom. .... she tries so hard and I love her to death for it.  I can tell that she's a bit overwhelmed sometimes by the culture that Gina's brought in.  There are different foods, different traditions. ...and then there's the whole language thing.  My sister speaks Spanish, the other sister French.  I've got years of Italian and Spanish under my belt, but my mom is an English speaker.  She's really good at it, but that's it.  We teach (and by we I mean Gina - I'm only about a grade level above the girls in my learning. ... trying to stay ahead of the curve here) the girls Greek right along with English, so any words they know, they know both ways.  Kind of like Dora but with less practical applications in Southern California.  So my mother is always hearing these strange sounding words and left with a bewildered look on her face as to what we are talking about.  I remember she once made a joke, spouting gibberish at the girls only to have one of them bring her a bottle of milk in response.  So this past weekend we were at my sisters house for my nephew's birthday party and we were packing up to get the girls home for a nap.  When we leave we either tell the girls to give kisses or "maikia" one of the words for kiss.  Well my mother pre-emtivily struck and leaned over asking Arianna to "give Grandma papakia". ... close, but no.  Basically my mother asked Arianna to give her a duck.  So Arianna just stared at her, eyes questioningly darting from side to side.  If she didn't think Grandma was a little off before this, she does now.  "What the hell does the woman need a duck for?" her facial expression read.  But next time I'm sure she'll be prepared with a water fowl of choice for Grandma, since she's got some kind of desire for a duck.  I hope she keeps up her attempts at Greek though -  for one thing it's always good to learn a new trick, and for another it should provide lots more interesting flubs.  After all, it's all Greek to her.

1 comment:

  1. LOVE it!
    My mother in law is like your mom, she's very sweet in her attempts to engage in the Jewish culture that's entirely foreign to her Misouri Synod/Minnesotan roots. Which is why one memorable Christmas Eve had her dancing the "Can Can" to Have Nagila. You know. To make me feel at home.

    It's also always a great source of entertainment to hear her butcher the word "challah."