The Invitation

A slip of white paper was placed on my desk. I smiled my thanks and slowly opened it; I saw a picture of a witch and sighed in relief. I had been invited to the Halloween party too. While I didn’t even really want to go to the party or celebrate Halloween at all, I was excited because it was my first invitation to an Italian party and even though their moms probably forced them to invite “the American girl”, it was still thoughtful.

The next day at P.E. I told Enrico and Bernardo* in broken Italian that I could go to their party. They gave me a thumbs up and I was good to go. Though as the days grew closer to the party I started to get nervous. I asked my friends what they were going to wear and what they thought we would do. After I found out that we would be watching a horror film and none of the girls (except my two friends) were going, I was less enthusiastic about my first Italian invite.

The day of the party I was much less enthusiastic, in fact I didn’t want to go

at all. My mom said I could stay home on one condition, I had to call them and tell them why….have you ever tried to call someone in a language you don’t speak? It’s pretty terrifying. Even so, I knew I’d rather attempt to call than have to go so I got a piece of paper and a pen. I had to be prepared. Here’s what I wrote (remember, this is in Italian):

Is (insert name here) there?

It’s Courtney (from school). I can’t come to the party. I can’t come because tomorrow I’m leaving town for the weekend (conveniently we had to go to a conference the next day, the perfect excuse). Have a good party. See you on Monday. Bye.

Now that I had my lines written out I was ready. I took a deep breath and dialed the number. *Ring Ring Ring* I secretly started to hope that maybe they’d never answer and I’d be off the hook. But on the last ring someone picked up. I froze. After a few seconds of awkward silence I quickly stumbled through my lines. After I’d finished the person on the other line said something that I didn’t understand. I ran through my lines again. It was obvious that we weren’t understanding each other. Finally I just hung up. I quickly called my friend and told her to relay my apologies for not coming to the party. After that I slammed down the phone and got as far away from that phone as possible.

I stayed away from the phone for the rest of the night, blissfully eating mac and cheese and watching Scooby Doo in English. So if you ever happen to be invited to a party in a foreign country where you aren’t exactly fluent, you could do what I did, though a party would probably be more fun, so be courageous and go for it! Don’t spend your evening alone eating mac and cheese and watching Scooby Doo like I did. But then again, mac and cheese and Scooby Doo isn’t too bad.

*names changed


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