I'm listing this as an "overheard" because I am positive that there are some people who will be talking about overhearing this exchange this weekend...
Don has been telling me for several weeks that I need to get a pedicure.
My feet got so crazy swollen and dry during the last couple of months of my pregnancy, in addition to the fact that my brother and I both have hardcore outdoor-feet. I could walk on pine cones and feel no pain as a kid. Anyway, lotion wasn't helping at all and Don was threatening to break out an industrial sander so I wanted to go get a pedicure. I got Mom, Melissa, and Paige and off we went.
The place was packed-- it was about 96 degrees outside on Saturday, so I guess that's pedicure weather. Sliding into the pedicure throne, I saw my 19 year old pedicure girl eyeing Wanda curiously.
I felt the need to explain.
"Um, I just had surgery. This is just a you know, a thing..." and let my voice trail off. Hopefully my response to her questioning look was awkward enough to help disuade further questioning.
"Oh, you have surgery? What you have?"
This is where I should have just made something up. Look, I don't mind talking about Ben, but the reality is, saying "my baby died" is an unecessary bummer that people are NOT expecting when they ask me about what I had surgery for (which is why I need to say that I had an appendectomy or something in the future). There's no casual way to say it ("But it's okay! We're over it now!") and there's no easy response ("Okay, well... good luck with that").
But we had something worse than social ettiquette between us.
Serious language barrier.
So, looking around, I saw that we now had the attention of two or three of the people sitting close by at the manicure desks. Openly looking at us, they were waiting for my response. Hm. Quietly and quickly, I said, "Um, it was a C-section" --and really wanting to stop her from her embarrassing next question, I quickly tagged that with "and the baby passed away."
I know that translators hate working with me-- when I had to speak in YWAM with a translator, I was always told that I had to slow down for real. I talk FAST. I was counting on the girl being uncomfortable with asking me to repeat myself, nodding at me and smiling.
She waited a couple of minutes, working away on my tough-as-nails feet, humming quietly to herself. She looked up at me and asked,
"So, what kind of baby you have?"
"Um, it was a boy. He passed away."
Smile, nod, keep scraping away on feet.
"How your baby?" This was starting to be funny.
I glanced over at Paige, who was trying not to laugh, and suddenly it was hysterical. Again, I quietly said, "He passed away" and did not look up at the faces watching us. I don't know why I wasn't thinking about the fact that my phrase was not translating to this young Vietnamese woman, or if it did, she simply could not hear me. But she wasn't getting it and I was about to start laughing. I looked at Paige and she leaned down toward the girl and said, like she was talking to a 98 year old granny,
"She SAID, the baby died."
Let me just tell you about the quietest, best pedicure ever.