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Making Blanket Statements

| Working | March 10, 2017

(My husband is Italian-Spanish, born and raised in Italy. He didn’t learn English until after he graduated high school; it is his third language, as Italian and Spanish precede it. His accent is pretty thick, but not impossible to understand, as long you’re paying attention. One night we are staying in a hotel for a convention, and my husband calls the front desk for some extra blankets.)

Husband: “I’d like a few extra blankets, in room [number].”

(Pause.)

Husband: “I said, I would like some extra blankets. We are in room [number].”

(Pause. I can see that he is growing frustrated.)

Husband: “Blankets! I am asking for extra blankets. Can you send some up, or do we have to come get them ourselves?”

(Pause. He turns and thrusts the phone at me.)

Husband: “Will you please—”

(I take the phone.)

Me: “Hi, we need some extra blankets for room [number].”

Employee: “Oh! Okay, I thought maybe that’s what he wanted, but I wasn’t sure. I could barely understand what he was saying.” *laughs* “I was like, ‘Is he even speaking English?’ It sounded like gibberish.”

Me: “Yes, well, he was definitely speaking English. He worked very hard to be able to do so, and every time someone like you makes fun of his accent, all it does is show everyone else how narrow-minded you are. Why don’t you try learning a third language, and see if your accent is perfect?”

Employee: “I—”

Me: “Anyway, two more blankets will be fine. Good night.” *hangs up*

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