I swear I was born with my foot in my mouth. It’s a real problem when I have to speak to people because inevitably I’ll say or do something stupid and unintentionally offensive. The irony is that I love talking to people. It just so happens that my brain tends to conjure up the dumbest things to say or do in the most inappropriate situations. If you’ve met me and had a conversation with me, you’ve likely encountered my foot-in-mouth syndrome. And for that, I’m sorry.
Some of my most memorable awkward situations (not in any particular order):
In light of all of the racial tensions lately, I feel like I want to hug people of all races. At the store the other day, I smiled at a black man. Not for any other reason than I was trying to convey “Hey, I’m not racist. I love everyone.” He turned around and looked behind him wondering who I was smiling at. When he turned back around and I was still smiling, the awkwardness was unreal. I may as well have been singing “We Are The World” over the loudspeaker.
I asked a neighbor as I was walking by his house if he trimmed his own bush. I was not trying to be funny. I literally wanted to know if he used a hedge trimmer to trim his shrubs.
I inevitably seem to put money in tip jars as soon as the barista/ice cream scooper/sandwich maker turns around. So as to make sure they know that I tipped them and appreciated their service, I usually stammer something stupid like, “I swear I just tipped you when you turned around.” Yeah right, crazy lady.
While watching TV with friends, one of those awful TV lawyer commercials came on about one of those rare diseases. I said, “Really? Who gets mesothelioma anyway?” Turns out, my friend’s relative had it. Awful.
When I was pregnant with my first child, I went to a holiday party with my husband. I was uncomfortable and fairly miserable and I had someone ask me if I was excited about the impending baby. I was trying to joke around, but what came out of my mouth was awful and unintended. “Well, there’s not much I can do about it now!” Crickets. My husband still makes fun of me for killing the holiday spirit for everyone.
At a park the other day, my kids befriended another young boy. The young boy threw a tennis ball for my dog to fetch. Instead of the ball going in the water for my dog to fetch, it pelted a larger woman in the belly and made her fall over. When the woman got up and turned around, the boy was nowhere to be seen and one of my kids had the tennis ball in hand. It looked like we had done it and she gave us the biggest stink eye I’ve ever encountered. I shouted “We didn’t do it!” while hunting for that little boy and apologizing profusely all at once. (Side note: the woman was not harmed except her eyes must’ve been injured after they shot daggers at us.)
I’m sure I could spend all day adding to this list but I don’t want to embarrass myself too much. I just feel like sometimes my life is like an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm meets Seinfeld. I’m not sure which character I am, but it’s quite possible that I’m Larry David.
Have you ever done or said anything awkward? I’d be happy to hear it!