This weekend we went to a bbq with the families from my 4yr old's class. It was a great way to get to know the parents of my kid's friends, eat some meat, and realize that I don't understand half of what they are saying in Portuguese.
Yes, this weekend was a wake up call in that I have become a selective Portuguese speaker. I speak the Portuguese of our close Brazilian friends and Mr. Rant's family. The Portuguese of a random mix of people still comes out a half jumbled mess.
It was great. We were sitting around tables, Mr. Rant and I separated at one point as the men were having the universal Brazilian conversation about soccer. Sitting there alone, I missed half of what was going on with the women. The combination of background noises, accents, and people talking over each other made me feel like the half deaf and semi-senile Grandpa who falls asleep at family events. Note to self, bring a recliner next time around so I have an excuse to doze off.
All and all it was a wonderful afternoon. I had some good one on one and two on one chats. The kids ran around like cracked out monkeys and thoroughly exhausted themselves. I was even complimented on my Portuguese as it is rare to meet an American who speaks it so well. While part of me wondered if I should be offended for my countrymen, it was too true of a statement to try to debate.
The most ironic part was Mr. Rant afterward. While he was fluttering around like the social butterfly he is, he stated later that it was kind of awkward. He felt that he didn't have that much in common with the other parents other than being a parent. Duh. Of course, I envy that ease as I didn't feel I got to know anyone enough on a superficial level in Portuguese to judge if I have anything in common with them or not.
Yet another reminder that I have hit the glass ceiling in world of learning Portuguese via osmosis. I suppose I will have to get off my lazy American bottom and get myself a teacher. At the very least just being American and understand enough Portuguese to get by is sufficient enough to impress.