Some times in life, I just have a knack for ‘pooping in my own nest’ (how Australian is that!). Usually it is caused by not thinking through my actions. I am all about enthusiasm, less about long term affect.
It is now 22 years since I first planted my foot on German soil. I can still remember how scary the machine-gun toting police looked at Frankfurt airport. And it was my first meeting with the parent’s of Mr Dear Husband. All I could think of was making a good impression. Hoping they would like me, really like me (hello Sally Fields) and therefore, accept that this Non-German, Non-German-Speaking, Non-Catholic Australian girl was good enough for their Golden Boy (believe me, for them he is).
It didn’t start well.
All I could think about after a 24 hour flight was a hot shower, comfy pants (preferably with elastic waist and maybe holes in the knees), and flaking out. But the parents had other ideas. Straight from the Airport we went to their graceful home. I saw the glint of crystal and antique china cups. A beautifully pressed damask tablecloth. All set for ‘a little bite to eat’.
The bathroom mirror was not my friend as I frantically tried to make myself suitable to sit at such a regal table. I scrubbed my face, pulled my hair back and slapped my cheeks. It would have to do. Smiled and nodded as I took my place, and accepted a delicately made open sandwich. Watched as my cup was filled with a dark, evil looking, black liquid. I can still smell it now. My eyes started to water and I took my first sip of real German coffee.
Before I could stop it, the taste overpowered my tongue and went into involuntary spasm. This was no ordinary coffee, this coffee had been brewing since Golden Boy had left 3 years ago. The unfamiliar strong acrid taste of the coffee caused my lips to contort into a fish mouth and I watched helplessly as a long, thin stream, shot out, leaving a perfect arc of brown half way across the pristine white table. Silence. This is the moment when aliens could have come to collect me and I would have offered myself up to their probing.
To their credit, the parents didn’t say a thing. Mr Dear Husband had those little red spots on his cheeks that come only when he wants to be someplace else, and I just tried to pretend that nothing had happened.
Not a good start.
With a slight of hand, Mr Dear Husband’s mother surreptitiously moved a few of the plates around to cover my disgrace. Nothing was ever mentioned. I should have realised right then and there that I had just shown them my true self – and they were never going to let me forget it.
Today, I am still a tea drinker, and have never been offered coffee since.
PS: Thinking I might make this a regular feature of my blog, telling you all about the ridiculous calamities I have managed to get up to over the years. And believe me when I say there were plenty… what do you think?