Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Please Excuse Me... I'm On Furlough

Sometimes a person just needs a good laugh. Recently when I posted a question on the Baptist Missionary Women Facebook page, I expected a few giggles. Instead, I found myself with several good, long, deep, belly-rolling laughs. I also discovered that one little post can provide such joy to so many. So in order to keep the laughs rolling, I have compiled the original post and the replies. Clearly the ladies on that Facebook page share more than just laughs. We all need prayer, lots and lots of prayer for furloughs!



I got to thinking about how different our family is becoming even on this first term. These things might pose a slight "difficulty" on furlough. I think I may find myself saying, "Please excuse us for _________. We are missionaries on furlough," a lot.

For example: "Please excuse my son for burping at the table. We just came from a country where this is a way of life. We are missionaries on furlough." I try to discourage this behavior, but it is hard when it is so common. I just hope when my six year old goes back to the States he doesn't let someone know how fat they are. That, too, is common here.

So, just for laughs... Fill in the blank: "Please excuse __________ for _________. We are 
on furlough."

"Please excuse me if I scream because your driving scares me. I haven't driven over 35 miles an hour in 3 years. We are missionaries on furlough."

"Please excuse me if my driving scares you because I have learned to thread a vehicle at 35 miles an hour through a gap with four inches to spare. I am a missionary on furlough."

"Please excuse us for staring. We haven't seen white people in a long time."

"Please excuse me for ducking and bowing while I shake your hand; I'm trying to show respect!"

"Please excuse me for starting to clap in the song service; we do it in Africa because we are happy. But I forget we don't do that here."

"Please excuse me, Sir, if I look at your hand like it has the plague when you hold it out to shake my hand. I haven't shaken a man's hand in 3 years... I am a missionary on furlough."

"Please excuse me if I feel all the dishes and silverware to see if they are completely dry before I eat off them. It's a hard habit to break."

"Please excuse me for caressing the brown sugar in the grocery aisle. They don't sell it like this in Russia. I'm a missionary on furlough."

Please excuse me if I don't seem very compassionate during your three hour power outage crisis. I will try harder next time."

"Please excuse me if I don't look you in the eye when speaking; it is and insult in Ghana."

"Please excuse me for trying to use my right hand when paying at the drive-thru; the left hand is considered unclean in Ghana. I am a missionary on furlough."

"Please excuse me for bumping into you or walking between you and the shelves you are looking at in the store; we don't say excuse me in Russia."

"Please excuse me for making smooching sounds or raising my eyebrows to get your attention."

"Please excuse me if I just look at you and don't smile."

"Please excuse me for speaking 90 miles an hour and completely hogging the conversation. I haven't spoken English to a native speaker in awhile. I'm on furlough."

"Please excuse me for pushing and shoving in the line. Where I live, if you stand and wait patiently you'll never get a turn."

(I had to apologize for my 2 yr old. I would have to tell the nursery workers, "He is going to ask you for something. When he does, it will sound like this : "Osh noriu shitas" ....yes, you read that right!!! To ask for something you have to use a word that sounds exactly like s..t, oh my stars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We have been on the field for 16 years, and I still struggle with that word! and 'this' is a word used all the time!) 

“Please excuse my kids for eating from the serving dish and reaching across the table. That's how we eat Chinese style.”

“Please excuse me for looking like a bobble head doll... I am actually shaking my head yes. I know it's side to side and looks weird. But I have lost the knack for the American "yes" head nod, and I am a missionary on furlough.”

“Please excuse me for tippy-toeing in church the first few weeks. I haven't worn shoes inside a church building in so long, I feel like I am contaminating it.”

“Please excuse me for not being compassionate to your 3 days in a row of rain; we are used to months and months in a row of rain.”

“Ladies, please excuse me for reaching to kiss your check; that is the custom where I live. And men, excuse me for not looking you in the eye; where I live, to do that is an open invitation to have a relationship.”

(Within the first week of furlough, my husband and I went to a Bob Evans. I just about burst into laughter when the hostess greeted us. She was the most giddy, bubbly person we had met in four years. To me she appeared like she was about to explode with the excitement of our presence. The English are far more reserved.)

“Please excuse my 3 year old for peeing in the bushes at Wendy's. When away from home, bushes are all we got!”

“Please excuse me for not shaking your hand. Women don't shake hands with men here. So when we go to America, the women are suppose to put forth their hand first. When I remember I feel like I must have been rude or something.”

“Please excuse me for slurping my coffee/tea, it's a custom in Mongolia.”
“Please excuse me for shaking your hand if I step on your foot.”

“Please excuse me for sniffing you when we greet.”

(When we were on our first furlough from MX we had to retrain our son not to just pee wherever he was when he had to go while outside.)

(Here in Mongolia it is not considered rude to ignore people on the street, in the store, wherever you are, if you do not have direct business with them. Makes witnessing a challenge.) 

Please, please, dear family, excuse my three and four year old who potty trained recently in Mexico. They don't know where to put the toilet paper after use, and they have a mortal fear of putting it in the toilet because the last time they did it, it flooded all the bathrooms in our apartment complex with sewage, and they had to dig up the street. I will speak to them, but it will take time for them to get over that.”

“Please excuse me, lady with the yard sale... I have gotten pretty good at arguing price until you concede. If you had been selling vegetables you would have been toast! I am a missionary on furlough.”

“Please excuse me for asking if you are sure until you get annoyed; in Brazil people often do not mean "no" when first asked, they are just waiting for you to insist.”

“Confused looking waiter/waitress at a restaurant… excuse me for not speaking to you when ordering. I live in a country where I read very little of the language and speak even less! We order by pointing to something that looks good and hope for the best..."

“Please excuse me for pointing at something on the paper with my middle finger...I am a missionary on furlough. I try not to, but everyone here does it, and it is the most convenient finger to use...”

“Please excuse my child for urinating on your tree. Everyone in Africa does this if they don't know where the bathroom is or if they just need to go. My mother came in one day and asked me if I would talk to my youngest child because he was doing this outside their home. Could have died!”

"Please excuse us if we do not flush the toilet after each use. We are accustomed to water rationing."

"Please excuse us for filling up your waste paper baskets... where we're from, we don't flush toilet paper."

" Please excuse me for performing the handshake song dance. Where we're from it's cusom to extend your hand as if to shake - then embrace as kiss each other's cheek.

"Please excuse me as I stand here, eyes bugged out and mouth open as you serve unwashed vegetables - we've seen where that was planted and how it was watered! And forgive me when I wash the disposable silverware; where I'm from it's simply not thrown away! And that full plate of food your child just tossed aside - would certainly feed a small country!"

"Please excuse me as I speak half English - half Spanish; I often forget where I am and where I am from. I'm a missionary on furlough."

"Please forgive me as I stop in the middle of a sentence with my mouth open like a dead fish. I have bee devoting all my thinking to learning a new language and have lost my command of English vocabulary."

"Please excuse me if I ask if your baby is cold because you do not have his hat on."

Please excuse me while I stand in the middle of the deodorant aisle in Wal-Mart almost in tears... more than five or six choices overwhelms me!"

"Please excuse me if I stand too close to you in the check out lane at Wal-Mart. Where I live, if we leave any place in front of us, we might get someone cutting in front of us. Seriously, I did that when I was on furlough, and the lady in front of me had a fit because I was standing too close."

"Excuse me if I push my way in because I live in a country of line cutters."

"Please excuse me for invading your bubble... Private space does not exist where I am from. That 3 foot zone? 6 inches max here!"

"Forgive me if I'm wearing long sleevesand a jacket and still freezing in 65 degree weather. I know y'all are coming out of winter, but I just left the tropics."

"Excuse me, officer, for treating that red light as a yield. I just came from Brazil and did not want to be rear-ended or mugged. Oops! Not a confession. LOL!"

"Obrigada... oh, I mean, thank you!.... I'm sorry... I am a missionary home on furlough... happens a lot!"

"Please forgive me if my son walks around the building looking for the wet spot on the wall (a.k.a. bathroom) so he can do his business. My sons have not done this, but another missionary family's son did!"


Joyful said...

Lots of funny ones here :-)

Anonymous said...

These are so hilarious. Wonder what we will be saying when we return to the states next week for our first furlough.