©2012, Mirror Image Presentations
Well I did. And here’s how it went: Recently I did some volunteer work stuffing envelopes for The Los Angeles Goethe Institute. In exchange, I had been given a pass to attend a couple of events. When I looked at the invitation (on the afternoon of the event), I realized that it said, “RSVP.” I wanted to know if I could still attend in spite of not having replied, so I called.
Sylvia, the office secretary, answered the phone and passed me on to Margit, one of the office assistants. It had been just four days since we had worked together, but Margit didn’t remember who I was until I reminded her that she had served us orange juice and coffee.
“Margit,” I said, “I just noticed that it says to RSVP to the event and I forgot to do so. Can I just show up?” She responded with alacrity (without hesitation, I like that word I learned from author Horatio Alger), “well Sylvia must have told you to RSVP.” In spite of my inability to communicate effectively with Sylvia, Margit gave me the address of the event and told me that she had enlisted me. It was okay for me to show up. I wanted to verify the address so I asked her, “that’s on the north side of the street, right?” “No,” she said, “you are mistaken. It’s on the south side of the street.” I felt just like I was in Germany, tacktlessness and all!
Then I asked Margit about a brochure for a German restaurant which I had picked up on their front desk. I began, “I read through the brochure and noticed that there is no address on the card. Can you tell me where the restaurant is located?” “Ja,” she said, “it’s on Fairfax.” “Where on Fairfax?” I asked. “I don’t know,” she said, “but most people today would go online to find out.” “Escuuussse ME that I bothered you by asking,” I thought.
I gotta love those tactful German ways. My heart felt so warm, just like if I was talking with Mummy Dearest.
And so it was.