Not THAT Kind Of Role Play

| Working | April 20, 2015

(I’m 17 and I work as an au pair in Germany, looking after two children. I’ve asked my employers if I can take a weekend and a Friday off during June to go to Amsterdam with my girlfriend and her father for a tabletop RPG convention, and am now trying to explain what RPGs are. The dialogue takes place in German, which is not my first language.)

Me: *haltingly* “You pretend to be a character and play a story with other people.”

Mother: “Like theatre? On a stage? I didn’t know you were an actress!”

Me: “No, no, just in a room with a few people. No audience. You just make up the story as you go along.” *I mean to say costumes, but instead say clothing* “You don’t wear any clothing but sometimes you have props.”

Mother: *obviously thinking it’s something sexual and being horrified because of my age* “Is that legal?!”

Me: *not understanding her horror* “Yes, of course! People come from all over the world; meeting new people is part of the fun.”

Mother: “I don’t think you should go… Your girlfriend’s father plays as well?”

Me: *suddenly realises my mistake* “Oh… OH! I meant costumes, not clothing! Everyone wears clothing! No one takes their clothing off! Especially not [Girlfriend’s 56-year-old father]!”

(We laughed over the mistake later and I managed to explain better, but I don’t think I’ll ever forget the time I told the mother of the children I look after that I play games with strangers with my clothes off!)


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