Unpronounceable words mask simple, routine objects

A charcuterie board with wine, cheeses, meats and vegetables.
An actual charcuterie board made by my actual wife. Actually.

Sometimes I hear from people who tell me that I have an easy job.

And when I say “sometimes,” I mean “almost daily,” and when I say “people,” I mean “my wife.”

But to those “people,” I will offer up proof that I do not, in fact, have an easy job.

Here is that proof: Today, while preparing to write this column, I had to look up the correct spelling of charcuterie.

I know!

Do you have any idea how hard it is to look up the correct spelling of a word like charcuterie?

I knew going into my search that charcuterie began with the letter “c,” but beyond that, I was sort of flying blind.

So, I did what I always do when looking up the correct spelling of a word that I don’t know how to spell. I typed in the first letter followed by a bunch of other random letters and hoped that good ol’ Mr. Google would help me out.

Sometimes this takes a while. But after a couple of minutes of random typing, good ol’ Mr. Google finally showed me the correct spelling of charcuterie. Good ol’ Mr. Google also demonstrated the correct pronunciation of charcuterie, which I thought was nice.

But when I tried to pronounce “charcuterie,” I had the same problem I have whenever I try to pronounce “croissant.” I couldn’t stop.

That’s what happens whenever I try to pronounce a French word.

Nice Baker Person: What would you like?

Me: May I please have a croissannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnttttttt …

So, a few minutes ago, when good ol’ Mr. Google demonstrated the correct pronunciation of charcuterie, and I tried to repeat it, this is what happened.

Good ol’ Mr. Google: Char-cut-erie.

Me: Charcuterrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiii …

If my wife hadn’t walked by and slapped me in the back, I would probably still be trying to pronounce it.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, my wife didn’t slap me in the back to save me from pronouncing “charcuterie.” She just likes to slap me in the back.

Actually, the fact that I’m wrestling with how to spell and pronounce charcuterie in the first place is because of my wife.

Recently, my wife has become charcuterie-crazy. A few years ago, my wife had never even used the word “charcuterie” in a sentence, and now it’s all she talks about.

Me: What sounds good for —

Wife: I know, let’s make a charcuterie board.

I can’t remember when or where we first had a charcuterie board; all I know is that my wife has become obsessed with them.

The thing is, my wife and I have been making charcuterie boards for years. We just didn’t call them charcuterie boards. We called them snack plates.

Say it was a Friday evening and my wife and I didn’t feel like cooking a big meal. What we would do was fill a plate with some meats, cheeses, fruits and bread and then snack on it all.

But we can’t do that now. Now what we do is fill a plate with some meats, cheeses, fruits and bread and call it a charcuterie board and feel sophisticated.

I’m uncomfortable feeling sophisticated.

I suppose the reason I’m uncomfortable feeling sophisticated is because I’m pretty much the exact opposite of sophisticated. I’m not just unsophisticated, I’m ununununununununsophisticated.

But my wife is sophisticated. It was my wife, for example, who told me what an armoire was and why we needed one.

See, I thought an armoire was some sort of sophisticated female undergarment from France, so when my wife suggested we get one, I immediately agreed. Imagine my disappointment when we brought the armoire home.

So thanks to my sophisticated wife, I now know the meaning of the words “armoire” and “charcuterie.”

If only I didn’t have to have someone around to slap me in the back when I try to pronounce them.