Stop Me if I’ve Told You This…

Okay, stop me if I’ve told you this one before.   One time, we were sitting in the kitchen, and Emma was telling us —

Stop.

What?

Stop.  You’ve told me this one before.

Oh. You can tell already? Okay, well that was actually just an expression.  It’s like a way of entering into storytelling mode.

I know, but, I literally know this story by heart, and it’s not that funny, so please, just stop.

Really?  But it’s such a good little slice of life from when you were little.

Yeah, I know, and I was so cute.

Well, you were.  And you were funny.

Not on purpose.

I know, but it was one of those, “Kids say the funniest things moments.”

Still, you tell it all the time. Don’t you know any better stories?

No, but if you really know it so well, why don’t you tell it.

Okay, fine, but I’m gonna tell it a lot faster than you tell it.

Go ahead, I wanna hear it the way you remember it. 

I DON’T remember it.  I just remember hearing it…a LOT.

Go, then, just tell it.  I’ll be a good listener.

Fine.  So we were having dinner, and–

Right, in the kitchen, yeah, the old kitchen, when we had the table that was up against that wa–

Could you please let me tell it?  I’m just gonna get this over with.  So we were having dinner at the old kitchen table that was right where these cabinets are.  Emma was sitting in that cabinet.

What?  She wasn’t in a cab–

I know, I’m kidding–

Ha! See, you’re still funny.

Right, so she was sitting at the kitchen table where this cabinet is right now.  And she was talking about her ballet teacher.

That’s right.  Natasha. The one with the thick accent.

Hey, I’m telling the story.  So she was talking about her ballet teacher, Natasha.  And she was talking about how hard it was to understand her and we asked why and she —

Wait, this isn’t going to work, because you haven’t really given the background.  You have to tell about how you were in nursery school at the JCC.

Why do I have to say that?

Because, that makes the ending make sense.  Otherwise, the punch line won’t really make sense.  People won’t understand why you said Rosh Hashannah.

Dad, it’s just us.  Who does this have to make sense to?

No, it’s just that, for a story to make sense, sometimes you have to give the background.  Someday, who knows, you might be telling someone this story, and you’ll want them to appreciate the ending.

Fine.  Okay. I was in nursery school at the JCC in Bridgeport, and we were learning a lot about Jewish traditions and holidays and heroes.  Okay? Are you satisfied? There’s your background. Now, can I get on with the rest of this stupid story?

Yes.  Proceed.  I think it will work much better now that they know that.

Okay.  So Emma was talking about Natasha, and she was saying it was frustrating because she couldn’t understand half of Natasha’s directions.  So Mom asked why she couldn’t understand her —

Actually, I think I was the one who asked, because Mom would have known about Natasha’s accent.  Mom was the one who always picked Emma up from that dance class.

All right, whatever.  That is completely irrelevant to anything in the story.

Well, I’m just going for accuracy. 

I think you just want to be in the story.  Okay, so YOU, not Mom, asked Emma why she couldn’t understand Natasha.  And Emma said it was because she was from Russia, and–

Yeah.  Yeah. This is great.  And you said….

And then I interrupted her (I wonder where I get THAT from), and I said, “No, Emma, it’s not RUSSIA, it’s ROSH HASHANAH.” 

Yeah, but you said it with a really serious voice, like you were a teacher.  And then we all cracked up.

Except for me, I’ll bet. 

Actually Emma didn’t laugh either, as I recall.  She didn’t really appreciate being corrected by anyone, especially her little sister. But the adults definitely laughed.

Adults are weird. 

6 thoughts on “Stop Me if I’ve Told You This…

  1. Hahaha – I love this. I love the way your daughter tells it and you tell it all at the same time. I love how you give us the background by making her give you the background – or you give it to her – or… I’m not really sure. Most of all, I love how you are still telling funny stories about Emma. I’m so glad that you are.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The way you have crafted this story works so well. The back and forth, the interruptions, the pauses, the way you back it up and then bring it forward again, all work to make this story come together. And the ending. How could anyone not laugh? You are a really good storyteller. Do you tell stories like this orally too?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I loved the back and forth between you both. Although the ending was funny, I found that funnier! Felt like teaching a student to stretch their story out.

    Liked by 1 person

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