Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Crepe or Crape?

I mention to my students that we will be eating crepes. To the chagrin of one young man, I pronounce crepes with the correct French pronunciation.

He is disturbed that I would call them crepes, with a soft E and insists that crepes are pronounced crApes-with a hard A.

I gently tell him that crepes really are crepes.

"No it's crapes--I've been to Paris."

"Oh have you."

Possibly, when he asked for a crape-the server/crepe maker, was making fun of his pronunciation. Possibly.

But there is no sense in arguing with someone who knows he's right.

Or a person who knows she's right.

Tony and I were at an impasse over a once beautiful hedge that used to drape the staircase leading to the lower yard. I write "used to cover," because Tony saw that the branches intertwined among the deck railing, were breaking the slats, and he took care of the issue with a pair of clippers. When I saw my landscape art, the beautiful hedge I'd been training for ten years, butchered, I could hardly speak to him. Yet, I knew my husband would never do anything to upset me. Still, we couldn't speak about it without each of us focusing only on our own rightness. I only saw crepes and he only saw crapes. The conversation ended twice with Tony walking away.

It wasn't until I started thinking how much I had to be grateful for--for the husband who cared about the care of our house and our deck structure that I was able to feel gratitude, and gratitude brought an epiphany. I could see the bush as the deck-destroying hedge and that he would never have cut it had he known the work I'd put into its creation. So now, we joke about it. And today, I'm going to have him show me the damage, and I'll admit how I can fix the hedge like I would fix a bad haircut--by letting it grow out.

Most arguments are caused when two people both know they are right,  and they usually are. It was only when I allowed gratitude to fill my mind, that I was able to appreciate the rightness of his argument.

Yesterday, I heard my French speaking friend, pronounce crepe in the American version: crApe.

"Why did you pronounce crepe, crApe?" I demanded.

"So everyone would know what I was talking about."

Someone else is right again.