Mama, I Get Embarrassed

I hear Mama saying “Fishele, why don’t you speak more Yiddish?  When you were little, you spoke it all the time.  Now you’re older, you speak only a little—Why?”

“You are right, Mama!  I guess it’s just because I don’t want to make a bad mistake and be embarrassed.  When I was a little boy, I did not know about cases, numbers and genders needing to be considered in determining the ending of adjectives, or that one had to avoid using syntactical redundancy.”

Vos redstu (What are you saying?) Dos iz alts narishkayt (It’s all foolishness.)

“Mama, what should I say when they correct me in front of other people?  I get so embarrassed and revert back to English.”

Oy, Fishele, if they tell you that you made a mistake, just tell them that your Mama said that’s the way they spoke back home in Tiktin, Poyln and in The Bronx on Vashington Evinya.  (Washington Avenue)

Don’t forget to say, ‘It’s okay to not know you don’t know how to say it, if you don’t know how to speak right.’”

We both laughed when Mama told me this.

Sometimes I forget to tell them what Mama said.