Friday, January 16, 2009

Life's Major Dilemmas

This one is BIG. This one could be HUGE! And I need help figuring out what to do. Okay, maybe it's not huge. That might be an exaggeration, but I had to get your attention somehow. For those of you who don't know, I served my mission in New York City. Lovely place...if you don't mind the smell and the humidity and the drug paraphernalia (I had the best drug bag collection - but that's another story). Anyway...

I met some amazing people, people I still consider friends. Most of the friends I made were from other countries, and I became an expert at understanding accents and languages that were supposed to be English but somehow weren't. For years after I left NYC I could hear an accent and usually guess correctly at it's origin.

Two of my friends, I'll call them Jack and Sandra...oh wait, they really are named Jack and Sandra...are from Trinidad. They've lived in the US for a long time but their accents are still really heavy. So heavy in fact that when Jack talks, and boy howdy does he talk, I have to tell him constantly "Jack, slow down! I can't understand you. Really Jack, SLOW DOWN!" And then the conversation is peppered with "whats" and "say that agains" and by the time we end the conversation my head hurts.'s the dilemma: Jack and Sandra moved to Florida. Now you might be wondering why that's a dilemma. Don't worry, I'm about to give you the reasons.

- Somehow moving to Florida caused their accents to get worse, not better.

- The cell phone connection between here and there is horrible, worse than it ever was in NYC, and when you have heavy accents plus a crackly connection...ahhh!

- I don't have their new address. Sandra has given it to me at least 4 times but I CAN'T understand her. And you can only say 'what' so many times without sounding rude. With an address I can write a letter, and Sandra will respond, and there is no language barrier.

My friend Fawcett is also friends with Jack and Sandra. Do you think she can get the address? Nope, she doesn't understand them either. And it was from her that I learned all I needed to know about understanding accents.

I'm so stuck. Jack calls me and leaves me messages all the time. "PLATT! Answer the phone! PLATT, it's Bad Jack. Why don't you call me back?" "PLATT! When are you ever going to come to Florida?" I need to call him, I really do. He will talk and I will say stuff, and I will hope that the stuff I say fits with the stuff he says...because if not, how embarrassing.


Tiff said...

I'm not sure how to help you....accents are so difficult. They only make you frustrated and angry and you don't even know why you are frustrated and angry. But it just never gets any easier. I wish you all the luck in the world. We could say that you were getting married, and have one of your parents (dad) call to get their address for the invite, but they would know something was up...don't you think? is so FUN!

Mr. Thompson and Me said...

Now you understand what it felt like when we were comps - you in the somewhat "English" program... me in the Spanish. Newsflash: I didn't understand a lick of what Jack and Sandra said during that month!

And so funny that you mentioned the drugs. I was thinking about that the other day. I'm not sure we should have burned our baggies when your mother gave us that guilt trip. I think we would have got rid of the guilt...eventually.

Doesn't every good missionary?

Mr. Thompson and Me said...

P.S. Here's an idea....tell Jack and Sandra that you will write AFTER they do. Then you'll have their address...written!

Unless the write like they talk. In tongues.

Brynn said...

How about email? You should correspond via email.

David G. Woolley said...

Duh. Have him send you an email. Then you have his address. Then ask him to send, in an email, their mailing address so you can do the snail mail thing and you're good to go!


David G. Woolley said...

Oh. I just read the other comments. They alredy said that. Gee. You have some pretty smart friends.

Noelle said...

I do have smart friends. However, my dear friends from Trinidad DON'T have email. Probably NEVER will in this life.

Dave, can I meet you guys at Cafe Rio to see the kids???

David G. Woolley said...

Hey everybody. Sunday dinner at Noelle's house. What do you say?

Jared said...

Hi Noelle! ;-)

Noelle said...

Hey Everybody,

Isn't Dave GREAT to invite you all to Sunday dinner? We'll have to make a compromise. How bout dinner one night when it's warm and we can have it outside, picnic style..and Dave can bring dessert.

David G. Woolley said...

Do you really want me to be in charge of dessert? Really?

Can you say apple slices topped with almond butter? Or maybe warmed wheat tortillas with sliced strawberries and almond butter? Mmm. Mmm. Good.

Put me in charge, give me some authority and you'll find out why Joseph Smith revealed section 121 verse 39.

Dessert is about as unrighteous a domion as there is. And I exercise it too!