They say karma will always get you. It may not happen today, or tomorrow, or next week or next year – but it will happen. At some point, when you least expect it, karma will come around and bite you in the ass.
Karma’s a bitch.
For the last five years I’ve often retold the story of how I truly discovered my word snobbery – that I went on a date with a man who was quite proud of being an aff-eh-KON-dee-oh of weapons, how I giggled at what I thought was his deliberate mispronouncing “aficionado” and how appalled I was to discover that no, that’s how he really pronounced it. And that I didn’t go out with him again. Oh, the horror, to mispronounce a word!
You know what’s coming.
The other night I was out on a date and we went to an Italian restaurant for some pasta and wine. While I’m not a wine “aficionado,” I don’t think I’m an idiot, either. I looked over the wine list and made my selection. When the waitress came to take our wine order, I asked for a Bolla chianti. Make that a Bolla chee-AHN-ti. Heavy on the C-H.
As soon as it was out of my mouth I knew I’d screwed up. It’s not CHianti, it’s KEE-ahn-ti. I knew that. But it was already out there. I stole a quick look at my date and saw a slight smirk (or was it a grimace?) and an “Oh, you poor thing” look from the waitress.
I slouched just a little lower in my seat. I wanted to take it back, to say, “Wait! I know this! I know how to say it!” Actually, I think I really did say some of that …
Then it hit me. This was karma. Sitting right there next to me in that booth, helping me read the wine list and nudging me to that particular glass. Karma helped me find a wine that sounded appealing and then, quietly, sat back and watched it happen.
So, to the unnamed guy whose future date offers I declined because of the way you mispronounced a word, I’m sorry. So, so sorry. That doesn’t mean that it won’t still make a great story (I’ve forever ruined the word “aficionado” for many of my writer friends), but it does mean that I’ll be a little more gracious in telling it.