Awkward moments #1
A) Our neighbor right across from us is an elderly Arab gentleman. He and his wife are a sweet and friendly couple. They consider themselves the Aunt & Uncle of all the neighborhood kids. He absolutely adores them all, including Audrey. When we first were getting to know him, for some odd reason, he kept calling me Jenny. I did not hesitate to correct him, knowing that we would have a potentially long-term relationship. It’s better to correct wrong name-calling from the beginning because it gets more and more awkward as time progresses. That wasn’t too bad.
B) Since Audrey has barely any hair, many people mistake her for a boy. For a while, Vahik (the same neighbor), kept calling her “this little guy”. He was so sweet though. He would always stop to tickle her and play with her when we were walking outside. I wasn’t sure if he meant “guy” as in “boy”, so I tested him for a few weeks. I knew for sure when one time, he said, “Look at this little guy, he and I are going to be good friends.” That was when I told him that she was a girl. He looked so apologetic. To me, it doesn’t offend me at all if people mistake Audrey for a boy. (Mike and I always say she looks more like our son than our daughter.) I just felt bad for him because he finally realized that he was wrong the whole time.
C) Right after that, I told Vahik that her name was Audrey. He mentioned that it was a pretty name, but the day after, he started to call her Adrian. That was probably 4 or 5 months ago. I just felt too bad to correct him for the third time! The next awkward moment came a few weeks ago. We were on our way out and Audrey was holding her toy shovel (seen below). On it is written her name, “AUDREY”, in blank permanent marker. When I saw him approaching us, I thought, “Should I hide it? What if he sees it and feels bad that he’s been calling her ‘Adrian’ this whole time!” Well, it was too late. He gave her his customary tickles and saw the shovel and stared at it for a few moments. I could tell he looked puzzled. Well, he must have forgotten about it because that hasn’t hindered him from calling her Adrian to this day.
Awkward moment #2
We were at the kids’ section at Barnes & Noble this week and I thought Audrey would have fun with the train set there. Another little boy was playing there already and had some of the trains in his hand. His mother, noticing Audrey, kindly said to her son, “Alex, why don’t you give some to him.” It is not unusual for strangers to refer to Audrey as a boy, so it wasn’t a big deal at all. In fact, I didn’t even correct her because she really DID look like a boy that day. However, this mother soon noticed the pink flower in the middle of her shirt as well as the girl sandals she was wearing. I felt bad because I knew she felt bad, but neither of us said anything to avoid further awkwardness. I think I should make sure to put a headband around Audrey just to make it easier for other people to correctly identify her.
Awkward moment #3
After we left the kids’ section, I grabbed some books (50% of paperback classics!) and headed toward the line to make my purchase. I was surprised to notice that my cashier was a former student of mine! I was so happy because although I don’t miss working outside the home, I do miss the relationships I had with my students. I said excitedly, “Hi Jill!!!!” She replied, “Oh my goodness, I was JUST thinking about you! I was thinking, wouldn’t it be nice to see Miss Kim again!” (Miss Kim was the other asian teacher at my school and many of our students mixed up our names quite often.) That was when my happy face turned into a happy but perplexed face. I was going to correct her and say, “Didn’t I talk to you everyday of your Junior and Senior years? Don’t you remember calling me Madame Lee everyday in class?” But I think she noticed from my face that she said the wrong name and I knew she felt bad. So instead of correcting her, I continued to ask how she was doing in college and where she was at now. At the end, she did confirm she knew who I was by introducing me to her coworker as her high-school French teacher. I was glad to see her again, but felt bad because she felt bad.
Oh, what to do in those awkward moments?