When I was in college, one of my good friends & roommates used to joke with each other that the only reason we were friends was because we were being paid by the other's mother. When you're too socially awkward to make friends on your own, your mama's got to step in and make some friends for you. It was only a joke back then...
Welcome the day where I am really and truly too awkward to make friends on my own. I now actually pay someone to be my friend. Her technical title is "househelper" but I like to call her my "Friend for Hire." Her blog name will be Gigi I think. You'll be hearing a lot about Gigi in the days to come because she's now pretty much my best friend. She's a local gal who comes over to help my keep my house in order, cook authentic local food for us for lunch, help us handle the myriad of issues (usually involving something breaking in my house) that pop up during daily life here, and reproduce the impossible to find/expensive to purchase foreign foods I so desperately miss. So far, she's wowed us with her salsa, made the most amazing snickerdoodle cookies, and put my dough skills to shame with her pizza dough. Pretty soon she'll be tossing her dough up in the air like a real Italian, singing "When the Moon Hits Your Eye."
But the best part of having Gigi around is the language practice. Truth be told, this was the number one reason we hired her. It's nice to have someone around to correct my bad grammar and to mercifully listen to the endless supply of ridiculous sentences I come up with. Plus, we laugh together, go shopping together, and just do life together.
Here are my favorite Gigi moments so far:
Today my tutor and I learned the sentence structure for "Although...I still." My sentence went something like this: Although he is attractive, I still don't want to marry him. Kevin is the best husband. Gigi looks at Kevin and with a serious face says something to him that we don't understand. After a quick dictionary consult, we figured out what she said: Aren't you moved? Ha! My homework is now an emotionally touching endeavor!
Yesterday, we were making English muffins in the kitchen and listening to her favorite local radio station. It must have been English hour or something because I could understand nearly all of the songs. There were a few songs I could understand but didn't recognize, a Christmas song (don't even bother to ask why they play Christmas songs in the summer...), and then the pinnacle of childhood musical nostalgia: Mariah Carey's "Dreamlover." I told Gigi that I actually knew this song and started to jam out on the chorus. She told me it sounded lovely.
Then I realized she thought I was being serious. "No! No! No!" I wanted to exclaim. "You can't sing Mariah Carey seriously! That's just wrong! You sing Mariah Carey when you're alone in the shower. You sing Mariah Carey when you're driving down deserted Texas highways with the windows rolled down. You do NOT sing Mariah Carey seriously! That's like reciting Spice Girl lyrics as if it was Shakespeare or looking at the back of a cereal box as if it were a painting at the Louvre." But seeing that I don't know how to say Spice Girls, cereal box, or the Louvre in order to explain my position to Gigi, I just stopped singing.
My new friend for hire will certainly provide some hearty Blog fodder, don't you think?!?