Julia smiled as she saw the picture of the German ambassador with his daughter. "Ist sie Ihr eigenes Kind?"
The ambassador looked highly offended. Oh, no! What did I say? Julia wailed mentally. She quickly thought through what she had said, and gasped. "Nein, nein! Das ist nicht, was ich bedeutet habe!" she tried to reassure him, but he still seemed angry. "Ich wollte sagen, 'Ist sie Ihr Einzelkind?' Das tut mir sehr, sehr Leid!"
The ambassador laughed. "Forgiven. It is a common mistake. Might I suggest brushing up on your German?"
Julia blushed. "Yeah. I'm so sorry! I wanted to impress you by speaking your language, but it didn't exactly work," she laughed apologetically.
"Enough," he replied with a smile. "Now, shall we discuss what we came here to discuss?"
"Yes, sir," she said gratefully, and tried not to think about her embarrassing mistake.
Experience is a brutal teacher. But you learn--my God, do you learn--C.S. Lewis.