In my daydreams, I speak french wonderfully, typically to an incredibly, handsome french man. It is quite the daydream and so far from the scope of reality that its astonishing.
In reality, I've been meeting with Mme Tutor for three months and my french is no better than it was before. Well, no, that isn't true; I have a bevy of new words in my head, the amount of french vocabulary is vast but I'm having the same difficulty constructing a sentence. I have only begun getting anywhere in this uphill battle – me against french. (French is still winning.) I figure by September that my mind should be able to register the moment I need to construct a sentence with the imperfect as opposed to passe compose, for me to feel like I'm actually winning this battle.
Then Mme Tutor tells me that her family is leaving New York on the 5th, they'll be vacationing in Europe until the end of summer.
As she kept talking to me, telling me of her travel plans, I blanked out and saw all the progress I've made flying out the window. What should I do now….find a new tutor? When I placed the ad to find a tutor, Mme Tutor was only one of two people that responded, so I don't think that's going to work. Perhaps I should invest in Rosetta Stone? And learn more vocabulary which isn't what I want….maybe there's a little person inside the box that will aid in having conversation (which would be a good reason that box costs nearly 500 bucks) though I doubt it.
After wishing Mme Tutor – Bon Voyage – I decided that immediate action needed to be taken. I checked meetup.com and reregistered for a couple of french meetups. Now, the thing is, that I've been to these sorts of group outings before. It will go like this: The appointed place to have drinks and conversation will be completely out of my way (like, some cute little trendy bar in either Soho or the Lower East Side) and I'll spend the better part of my day convincing myself to go (unless I've invited Caraballo to come with me since she's the only other friend who speaks french).
Upon arriving alone, the group coordinator will be greeting everyone at the door and will introduce me to a few people so that I can get involved in conversation. This is where it all goes wrong. How, you wonder, does it go wrong? In these sorts of settings the conversation always defers to the more experienced speaks. I'll put some badly composed question out there and those people who are either french and came to speak their native tongue for an evening or those Americans who either study it full-time or lived abroad for a bit – whisk away the conversation at full speed (which is exactly what happened when I invited Caraballo to one of these events. Actually, it happens whenever I'm with her and french needs to be spoken. She speaks and I stand beside her nodding my head like her own personal side kick; where she then explains that I fully UNDERSTAND everything that's being said, I just don't SPEAK the language. Which is funny because that's why I'm there in the first place).
Leaving those of us – who need to think long and hard at where to place the adverb in the sentence – in the dust.
So, I'm back to square one. Saying bon voyage, not only to Mme Tutor, but to speaking french for the summer. Unless, that daydream comes true and I meet the incredible delicious french man who wants to teach me in his own special way….a girl can hope, can't she?