I was having dinner with the family of a soon-to-be bride. They were very old-fashioned and didn't know that she was living with him before they were married ... until she made some wisecrack about one of his quirks and I blurted out, "Well, you're living with him for crying out loud!"
The other one was a bilingual mix-up. I was living in Costa Rica on a class trip and asked my host mom for a towel because i wanted to take a shower. THe word I was taught was "toalla." My host mom handed me a maxi pad.
!Buenas! I know Costa Rican Spanish uses quite a few different phrase than Mexican Spanish (which is most commonly taught in the US). I only know "toalla" for "towel", too. What was the proper term?
I had my own bilingual faux-pas, although it wasn't technically verbal. I was in Peru and walked downstairs (we were staying in a house-turned-dormitory) for breakfast. I saw a carton labeled leche descremada
and it literally translates to "de-creamed milk". I thought it meant lowfat or nonfat milk. So, I poured myself a glass and chugged. Of course, I was standing in the middle of the dining area... and I hear, "No, no! Es por la cafe! Es por la cafe!" (It's for the coffee!)
Apparently, I was drinking the creamer.
I commit a great many verbal faux-pas, but one person (G) seems to be the victim of my worst foot-in-mouth moments.
1) It was a hotly contested election year and I voted for Party A's candidate. Right before I saw G, I had been on the receiving end of a scathingly rude and insulting rant about Party A by a staunch member of Party B. It wasn't a rant filled with statistics and data, but rather the "All of Party A are idiots and you're an idiot for voting for them!" kind of rant. I was a little scarred and it definitely stuck with me for a while.
A few days later, G was saying that her roommate was making the same kind of rants about members of a political party. It had become so bad that G was taking refuge in our boyfriends' apartment.
Me: "Oh, geez, I'm sorry. Let me guess, your roommate is a member of Party B."
G: "No... I am!"
2) G and her BF marry. Months later, we're all hanging out in a big group and weddings come up. Someone else brings up photography/videography and I say, "I don't understand why people make wedding videos. It seems kind of pointless. Does anyone actually watch it?" (Yes, I feel that way... and yes, I was definitely tasting my kneecap at that point.)
G (very sweetly and with no sarcasm at all): Want to see mine?
I'd like to say that I'm generally not that thoughtless and when I don't think before I speak, this poor woman seems to be on the receiving end of it. Thank goodness she's a gracious person.