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Snickerdoodles Start Fights

, , , , , , | Learning | May 16, 2018

(One of the girls in my research lab, [Labmate #1], moved from Iraq to the US when she was twelve, and although her English is excellent, she’ll occasionally still need an explanation of more obscure phrases and idioms. One weekend she agrees to take care of the lab mice, usually my job, so that I can go visit my family. I bake her a batch of cookies to thank her. When I come in, she’s working with the microscope, and [Labmate #2]’s girlfriend is hanging around waiting for [Labmate #2] to show up.)

Me: “Hey, [Labmate #1]! Thanks for taking care of the mice! I made you snickerdoodles as a thank-you.”

Labmate #1: “Oh, thanks.”

(She takes the plate but makes the, “I don’t know that word and I don’t want to ask,” face, so I explain.)

Me: “Snickerdoodles are basically sugar cookies with cinnamon. I added extra cinnamon, since I know that’s your favorite.”

Labmate #1: “Ooh, thanks!”

(Her eyes light up, and she happily rips the foil off the plate and takes a huge bite out of a cookie.)

Girlfriend: “Excuse me?!”

(I turn around to see [Labmate #2]’s girlfriend glaring at me.)

Me: “What?”

Girlfriend: “How dare you assume that just because she wasn’t born here, she doesn’t know English! That’s so racist of you!”

Labmate #1: *on her third cookie* “Dude, chill. English is my third language, and there’s still some words I don’t know.”

Girlfriend: “But she shouldn’t have assumed you didn’t know! That’s so rude!”

Labmate #1: “But I didn’t know.” *to me* “Was I making the face?”

Me: “You were totally making the face.”

Labmate #1: “There you go. Now I know what these are, and I have cookies.” *goes back to eating*

Girlfriend: “You should have waited for her to ask!”

Labmate #1: “Will you chill out? It might be different for different people, but for us, this is not a big deal. If you keep making a fuss, I’m not sharing my cookies with you.”

Me: “Are you sure you’re sharing at all? You’re a dozen cookies in already.”

Labmate #1: *taking another cookie* “Yeah, I’m probably not sharing. So, do you want me to take care of the mice this weekend, as well? I will totally mouse-sit for more cookies!”

(I had to laugh, and the girlfriend huffed and left. When we told [Labmate #2] later, she rolled her eyes. That relationship didn’t last long.)

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