Sunday, January 22, 2012

Parlez-vous francais?

Bonjour!

The little yellow Rosetta Stone box sits on my desk, calling cheerfully to me from across the room. I focus on my laptop, pretending I don't see it.

Excusez-moi, mademoiselle? Bonjour!

The polite little box is adorably persistent; I refuse to look.

Allo, mademoiselle? Parlez-vous fran├žais?

Annoyed, I glare at the box. The people on the box wave excitedly, happy to have grabbed my attention. They're stoked for us to learn French together.

I am too, I really am. I wanted the box. I asked for it. I love French, I love France and Paris and travel and languages and learning. I can't count the number of times I had told Sir how wonderful it would be to brush up on our French and go to Paris together. I'm pretty sure I even said the words "we should get Rosetta Stone!" and sat, eyes wide, waiting anxiously for his reaction. I was beside myself to find it under the Christmas tree, such a thoughtful gift.

And yet here we are, middle of January, and still it sits in its cheery yellow box, unopened and causing me delusion. I don't know why I am being such a baby about this.

I march across the room and snatch up the box, sliding an emboldened finger beneath the lovely smooth magnetic seal. I rifle hastily through the instructions and slide the disc into my laptop, adjust the ridiculous headset, and pause to breathe.

God, it would be so embarrassing to be bad at this.

But why? Why would I be bad at it? I've learned French before, happily dissecting the whole language into hundreds of color-coded flashcards to be memorized. Why would this time be any different? Because I'm OLD? That's ridiculous. People take classes and go back to school all the time. There's not even anyone here to compete against. And if I were to somehow fail, why would it be embarrassing? Who would know?

Me. I would know. And then I would have to own up to being a twenty-six year old who's past her academic PRIME, for pete's sake. Not to mention one who's afraid of a box.

Enough, I tell myself. No more foolishness. This is an opportunity, not a hardship. Where is my confidence? Where are my cojones? More importantly, where are my highlighters?

Bonjour!

Bonjour, box. Let's do this.

11 comments:

  1. Keep in mind, once you learn the language there will not be *any* (!!) reason not to use all those frequent flyer miles for a jaunt to Paris. And give me a break. Twenty-six is OLD? really?

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  2. Ha! I like your description of what the box is saying to you. Also, I am reading your blog to procrastinate my own learning, so merci et bonne chance!

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  3. DP - i have EXACTLY that in mind. those flier miles are currently helping nobody and i think i deserve them more than anyone (except maybe you two). also, i do say old a lot on this blog - i know that i am not actually old, but i do feel it in comparison to my teenage years. i guess i should spell that out better.

    LG - glad to be of service! also, my friend ended up coming over right after i wrote this, so i didn't even get around to it. i am the worst.

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    1. ....I do kinda think that the frequent flyer miles should be shared with the person that keeps the home fires burning:)

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    2. Agree! PS I just learned how to reply. New day new lesson!

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  4. Frequent flyer miles can happily bring you to London where they speak English ;)

    Let me know how you like the Rosetta stone. I am still struggling with Italian!

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  5. I will keep you posted! And, you know I would love to go to London!

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  6. How fun to learn French! You will know exactly how to fit in when you go back to Paris and enjoy macaroons & the Eiffel Tower.

    PS Love the new blog look!

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    1. True - there are many benefits! I am looking forward to the macarons in particular. And, thank you!! I didn't end up being as big of a copy-cat as originally intended.

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  7. 1- Awesome. Rosetta Stone is fun. Let me know if you are forced to learn how to say things like, "The cat is on the table," or, "The man is falling [off the horse]." I am still puzzled as to why they thought it would be helpful for me to say those things in Japanese. Otokonoko wa suberi ochita imasu. What. Why.
    2- See Jen write in pink. I like that.
    3- Don't be daunted -- My mom was forced to learn French at age 36 when my father was transferred to Brussels for two or three years. She still speaks it!

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    1. Eeeek thanks Joh! Sir helped with the redesign, he's very clever. Hopefully I am still very clever also, just like your mom! I am looking forward to learning about the cat is on the chair. Le chat est sur la chaise.

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Thoughts?