Despite winning the French fluency award in the eighth grade, growing up with a bilingual father and being married to someone who speaks three languages, I am what one would call a monolinguist.
I am no fun at parties. I raise my glass with a meek “Cheers!”
I don’t even know the dirty words, the cuss words, in any other language.
Nope. I am decidedly a unilinguist. And even that’s questionable considering the number of times in a day when I find myself at a loss for words, desperately searching for the perfect adjective and settling for a sub-par alternative.
Either that or I am painfully insecure.
Words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of services and physical touch: I speak these eloquently, without accent or hesitation, no stumbling or incorrect conjugations.
I have friends that can start a sentence in Italian and complete it in a flourish of French. While I don’t know le from les, I know that my three boys and husband each have their own love language that is as different from each other as their thumbprints.
I transition from one love language to another with the ease and fluency of a professional translator. This innate ability is not startling to me; it’s matter-of-fact. It’s as natural as speaking Russian – if I were in fact, Russian.
My kids and husband benefit from my understanding the 5 Love Languages. But there is a challenge in living with a love polyglot like myself: knowing on any given day what is being spoken when you walk through the front door.
“I was thinking of you today when I walked by the patisserie.” He says handing me my favourite, a bag of still warm pain au chocolate.
“It’s Thursday! Thursday’s garbage day! Do I have to do everything around here!?”