One Couple's Stumblings Through Parenthood and Marriage

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Most Awkward Conversation Ever

Last night Annie and I were on the sofa, having just finished watching Lost, when Yuki came walking through the front door. This was the first time we had seen him in a long time, and I jumped on the chance to have a chat with our library-going, ever-elusive Japanese student.

He waved to us and turned to his bedroom. I waved back and motioned to our recliner. It was time to talk. I very much felt like a parent who finally caught sight of his teenager for the first time after a couple of weeks of busy schedules and late nights. Yuki played his role admirably - he was awkward and nervous, having a hard time making eye contact.

Me: "Yuki, how are you? We never get to see you."
Yuki: "Ah, um. Yes. I am good."
Me: "You have been very busy. How is school?"
Yuki: "Ah, eh, um. Yes, busy." (getting increasingly anxious)
Annie: "You have many speeches to give, don't you?"
Yuki: "Um, ah. Hm. Yes, many speeches."
Me: "You have been at the library a lot."
Yuki: [nodding] "Yes, at the library."
Me: "Is there anything you need? Any food you want more of?"
Yuki: (stares blankly)
Me: "Food. Is there anything you want more of. What food do you want for breakfast and lunch?"
Yuki: "Oh. Ah, um, uh." (pauses for a long time). "Yes, lettuce. Lettuce."
Annie: "Okay, we can get you lettuce. Anything else you want?"
Yuki: [stares at her for a moment, then gets up and walks to the fridge]

... at this point Annie and I look at each other. Yuki is so nervous! And, we don't know if he understood Annie's question, or abandoned the conversation to go eat ...

Yuki: [walks back from the fridge and sits in the recliner] "Sausage."
Me: "Sausage? What kind of sausage? Whole sausages?"
Yuki: [looks away, thinking and wringing his hands, then looks back, confused] "Ah, uh, wiener."
Me: [Annie and I give each other a quick look] "Do you mean hotdogs?"
Yuki: "Ah, um. Oh, yes, hotdog. Hotdogs."
Me: "You want more hotdogs. Okay." (Annie and I look at each other, panic stricken - we are both of the verge of bursting with laughter. I see her begin to crack. A giggle escapes her. I stand up, needing to flee the room) "Okay, I will get you more hotdogs right now." (I bolt for the refrigerator in the garage, where we keep our secret stash of food, and from where we mete out our hotdogs sparingly. My departure leaves Annie - alone - to continue the painful conversation and to fight her urge to bust up).

The conversation went on from there, awkward and cumbersome for its entirety. We talked about his classes, his homework, his trips, his English and agricultural classes. But the highlight for us was, "Ah, uh, wiener." As Annie and I got ready for bed, we kept quoting it and almost peeing our pants. How did he come up with 'sausage' and then 'wiener' of all things, instead of 'hotdog' which seems to be his favorite food?

I really like the guy, and I wouldn't mind if he were around more. But he seems so nervous around us - and he is older than us! At least he gives us plenty of opportunity for laughter, even if he doesn't intend to.


stina said...

You have to figure out where he's really going. You can't leave all your readers hanging forever. Doesn't it drive you nuts? Can't you enlist Jared as a stalker?

Raging Wombat said...

Using Jared ... I hadn't thought about that one. That might work. He is adept at the ninja skills.