The other day while walking the dog, the part-time nanny of a neighbor stopped me to pet Maggie our Goldendoodle.
Maggie’s left front leg is shaved because we recently had her spayed and I was asked about it.
Her: What happened to Maggie?
Me: We got her fixed.
Her: Oh! What was broken?
Now maybe I’m being cruel or maybe I’m using some regional colloquialism, but I don’t think either of those explain what’s happening. I think “fix” has enough other meanings besides spay/neuter that the context was completely lost.
In the spirit of graciousness, here are some other ways she could have interpreted “fix” other than how I meant it as “Getting Fixed”:
“The Fix Is In” – A rigged system. A kangaroo court. A farce.
“Fix Me” – A drug reference. The reason the band The Fix became The Fixx.
“Fixin’ to do something” – A Southernism if I ever there was one. Getting ready or prepared to do something.
“Fix” – to attach (something) in such a way that it will not move : to connect or join (things) physically. That’s from Merriam-Webster and is related but not identical to the “fix” that means to mend something broken.
Whatever the way she took it (likely that the dog had something broken requiring surgery, which is half-right) and not the way I meant it (spaying), in the moment I had absolutely no idea how to respond that wasn’t laughter, so I just smiled and walked away.
If I offended her or left her confused, I really wonder what I could do to fix the situation.
I think you know what I mean.