TBT: Being Called Out

Seventh grade was my first school year after immigrating to the US. Even though I knew English, I wasn't quite fluent yet. When my classmates spoke in their normal talkasfastasyoucangetitout speed sprinkled liberally with mid-80's slang, I could barely understand what they were saying. 

Of course, my friends would try to teach me the necessary words and phrases that every 12-year old kid would need to know. This being a working-class parochial school in the suburbs of Philadelphia, one key phrase that the guys in my class thought I should understand is "being called out." When someone calls you out, they want to fight. Good to know. 

Within a couple weeks, during recess or lunch, a girl from the eighth grade came up to me to ask if I would be interested in "going out" with her friend, Missy. I look behind her, and standing about twenty feet away was Missy who was a good four or more inches taller than me. 

I was extremely confused. What did I say or do, in my ignorance, that would provoke this girl who was a year older and bigger than I was, to want to kick my ass? 

I believe I stammered, "Uh, no, I'm sorry. Please tell her I'm sorry." And I quickly turned around and ran off to hide. It wasn't until some time later that I understood what "being asked out" meant, and this entire episode made much more sense.