Probably sounds more offensive than what actually went down. Maybe.

Because I’m so worldly, informed, sensitive, and welcoming, I often find myself surrounded by similar people which is what led to my dear friend Stephanie telling us over dinner about her Dad’s childhood in Guyana. Well, actually, it started a little more like this.

Ben: “LOVEFACE! I might be going to Ethiopia! Tell me all about your Dad’s life in Africa because clearly any place in Africa is the same as any other place in Africa!”

(Worldly, informed, sensitive.)

Steph: “Oh – he was actually from Guyana.”

Ben: “Right. Ghana.”

Steph: “Uhm. Guyana.”

Ben: “Potato, potahto. Just tell me about it.”

Overlooking the immediate issue that I don’t know the difference between Ghana and Guyana, Steph then told me an incredible story about how her dad used to paddle down a river to get to school, and rush home to claim one of the hammocks to sleep in because if you slept in the cot, the anacondas would sometimes pass through on the dirt floor of the building they lived in which, c’mon, is an AWESOME story. So clearly misinformed or no, part of their family or no, at all connected to anything about either Africa OR South America or no, I started telling this story to EVERYONE until I got to my parents who actually ARE worldly, informed and sensitive.

Ben: “Something something Africa something AND THEN THERE WAS AN ANACONDA. Isn’t that CRAZY?!”

Mom: “That’s nice honey.” (She mostly just humours me.)

Dad: “…except there are no anacondas in Africa.” (He doesn’t.)

Ben: “You’re so goddamn rude. How DARE you question her family heritage and their African roots? You’re practically racist. I can’t believe we’re related by blood.”

Dad: “Just sayin’…”

Ben: “Whatever. My story is awesome.”

And so weeks past. And Stephanie came back regularly (god knows why…). And my shaken confidence kept me from ever bringing up anything about her family ever again since I would then have to admit that my usually-correct father questioned HER father’s story, surely causing a parental fight worthy of a middle school jumprope rhyme. And things were fine…I mean, we mostly ended up having to talk about Britney Spears, Glee, and champagne instead of worldly issues but that’s mostly business as usual for my friendships.

And then during a car ride home with the newf everything came crashing down.

Ben: “My dad’s so rude. As if HE knows whether or not there are snakes in Africa. I mean, he’s been there what – seven times?”

The newf: “What the hell are you talking about?”

Ben: “That time I told him about Steph’s dad’s time in Africa…with the paddling…and the river…and the anaconda…”

The newf: “Steph’s dad has never been to Africa. He lived in Guyana.”

Ben: “Guy…Ana? Is this different than Ghana?”

The newf: “Are you serious?”

Ben: “No? Ha? Ha? Oh no…I’ve been making Stephanie very uncomfortable, haven’t I?”

The newf: “One can only assume.”

So I spent a couple of weeks wondering if I should just stick to my guns or not considering the damage had already been done. You might think that sounds crazy, but I will often just own up to moments of The Stupid because it’s usually less embarrassing than actually having to TALK about it. I DIDN’T this time, guys. Give me some credit.