I know that it's not important. What's the worst that can happen? I might have got some of the words wrong when reading from the Bible or I may look like a fool when dancing. Even if I were to be temporarily struck dumb or to fall over it wouldn't matter much.
We've just been out for the evening. On Wednesdays I generally only work till eight. We decided against the pictures tonight. We did a couple of bars instead - tapas, a couple of beers and some very pleasant live music.
We've been to the music bar a few times recently. We got a warm welcome. I asked for bottled beer, the waiter told me they had two new beers that were worth a try. He explained that one was powerful, 8º, whilst the other was a Christmas beer. In choosing I used a phrase about seven words long and made two grammatical errors. It wasn't a big deal. The lad behind the bar knew what I'd said, he was friendly, my grammatical lapses didn't fase him but it upset, really upset, me. Later, I wanted a whisky. I chose a brand that I can pronounce easily. Not something impossible like White Label (Gúite Labble) or Cutty Sark (Kattysarrk) The woman behind the bar leaned forward so I could repeat my order - she got my pronunciation the second time. Then there was the inevitable confusion over ice - no I don't wan't ice, just whisky, no ice, nothing more.
I can say everything and anything I want to using Spanish. I make lots and lots of grammatical mistakes. I don't always have the precise word but I can find a way round. I can't say the letter r adequately which is a big problem but in context they get the idea. My Spanish accent sounds very English and it has an English cadence but then again Bruno Tonioli and Antoine de Caunes make the most of their accents. Often there is some sort of confusion but I'm no worse at Spanish than lots of my "advanced" students are at English.
I told my work colleagues that I don't want to go to the Christmas do. They're nice people. We go to good places but I don't understand their Spanish conversation sufficiently. I get angry with myself, I drink whatever alcohol is to hand very quickly for something to do. Soon I can't speak English either and I sit there, quietly, until I can eventually flee. For the next few days I'm ashamed of my behaviour and I keep out of everyone's way. It doesn't make for a pleasant experience. They are still trying to persuade me to go sure that, like dancing, I'll enjoy it when I get started.
When I changed phone contract I lost the use of an email reader application that I liked. I can't get it re-instated it on the Internet. I need to telephone someone. I have decided that I can check my email easily enough on my phone a different way if I need to.
It's only a bit of a pain - who needs a doctor? I won't go on but I'm sure you get the idea.
The problem isn't really the Spanish it's the terror of the Spanish. That terrible, overacted Marlon Brando sort of terror. It's the terror of standing on stage in front of an audience, it's the same terror as having to dance. It's not the Spanish. It's me.