So, today I managed to tell a 75 year old woman for the first time that her surname is slang for penis. She's had this name for 50 years. And no one clued her in until today. I feel ridiculous. Here's the story, as verbatim as I can remember it:
I had told a bit of a story about my last name during a Christian healing workshop called Encountering the Wise One. So this older lady stopped to tell me about her name.
Lady: I loved your story about your name. I have a story about mine too. I love my name.
Me: *glances at name tag, starts to smile*
Lady: I just love it. It's Dong. It's the Vietnamese currency. When I got married, about 50 years ago, and was young and shallow, I was sure it would bring me luck. That we'd be prosperous.
Me: Oh how nice! Sure beats thinking about the other meaning.
Mrs. Dong: What other meaning?
Me: *brain is screaming UNSAY! UNSAY! SHUT UP NOW!* You mean no one has ever told you? You don't know the other meaning? *smiling, half thinking she's joking*
Mrs Dong: No. I have no idea what you mean. There's another meaning for Dong?
Me: Uh yeah... it's slang for penis. You didn't know?
Mrs Dong's mouth drops open: You are not serious! Really?!
Me: 'Fraid so. I can't believe you'd never heard that.
Mrs Dong: Oh my. I wonder if my kids know.
Me: *blinking rapidly, trying not to make things worse* Yeah, I suspect they were clued in.
Mrs Dong: Well, this is perfect! I LOVE my name. *looks at me to see if I get her double entendre*
Me: *laughing* Oh good. I'm feeling kind of ridiculous that I told you after all these years of you not knowing. I'm glad it doesn't bother you.
Mrs Dong: Oh no. It's a perfect name for me and my husband. We're very sensual people.
Me (choking on a dong?): Uh.
Mrs. Dong: Let's go get some lunch. I have just GOT to tell the ladies about this.
Me: And I have to see this.
So we went into the sanctuary, and sat down at the tables that were set up and she told the story of her name, and then the story of how I told her what else it meant. Two of the women were dumbfounded. They didn't know that term either.
The other one, the eldest, about 85 years old: "YOU DIDN'T KNOW THAT WORD?! Okay..."
One of the clueless: Well where did you hear it?
Mrs 85: *grinning her face off* I must have read it somewhere.
So, are you getting this? I was the one to inform a woman that her name means penis, and I did it at a Christian retreat. Yes. I am entirely that capable of putting my foot into my mouth. At least this time, I didn't try to shoot my foot once it was in there.