I’ve been complaining about my financial situation for a while now. Or better said: I’ve been whining about my absolutely close to none skills to effectively manage my money, disguising it as a general complaint about my financial situation. Basically, like every real good Italian does, I’ve been blaming society/my employer/my landlord/the shop next door/the weather/my ever empty wardrobe to hide my total lack of financial acumen. There. I said it. It actually feels quite good now that I’ve admitted it.
Anyway, since Mr. Brit is a very practical man (I wonder if this is because he’s English, or just because he is a man) he’s suggesting all sorts of side jobs or creative ways I could take on to help my at the moment very slim bank account.
The other day for instance, I got a text with the photo of a note he found at the local supermarket saying: “Conversation Partner Needed: $30/hour to chat with me in English in a cafe or library.”
When I read it, I seriously thought it was something he had found for himself. It turned out it actually was something he wanted me to do. Once at home I politely thanked him for the suggestion, but pointed out that I am Italian, and surely this Japanese guy would love to have an hour conversation with some native speaker and not an Italian lady transplanted into the US.
He got a bit upset. “Your English is perfect” he replied. “You can say that you’ve lived here for so long that your English is as close to a native speaker’s as it gets.”
I was just about to reply “Well, not sure my English is as good as yours” with a flattered blush and a hint of fake modesty, when something happened. He had one of his “Oh My God why didn’t I think of this before, this is genius.” moment. He looked at me with a renewed sparkle in his eyes and said: “Or, I can do it, and I’ll tell the guy that instead of a cafe we can meet at the pub and instead of paying me $30/hour he can pay for my beers all night!”
Paying for his beers all night. God save the poor Japanese guy. He’d go broke at the first meeting.
“That sounds like a fabulous idea!” I replied with forced enthusiasm just to fit in the perfectly supportive in any instances girlfriend role. “However, dear, you are too polite to correct him if he makes a mistake. Let’s face it, you hardly correct my mistakes.”
That was enough to make him change his mind. Even if he pointed out that he indeed does correct my “H’s”, he admitted that in the end it wouldn’t be a great idea, and that he doesn’t have time anyway. He likes it when his British politeness gets pointed out, even if only to say that it’s not appropriate for the situation.
Well, somewhere some day some Japanese guy owes me $30 for saving him from having to pick up an Englishman’s pub tab in exchange for a couple of hours of conversation. Yes, Japanese guy, you are welcome.
And as for my “H’s” and the topic of Mr. Brit and beers — those certainly deserve their own posts.