Saturday, February 12, 2011
Feet in mouth
A few days ago, I was corresponding with my friend G about moments where social faux pas were committed. I realized, to my horror, that I had enough of them for an entire post...
1. I used to volunteer as an ESL teacher. One class, I had a co-teacher who was right out of college, going into grad school to be a professional ESL teacher. He showed up and said, "I brought my bag of tricks!" And I blurted out, "What, from Spartacus?" (a local porn/sex toy shop.) We were teaching class in a church. AND he had no idea what I was talking about. Luckily that was the last class for the term.
2. At an editorial board meeting, when I was a reporter, I walked in and saw one of my contacts from a federal agency who I hadn't seen for a few months. Since then, he had changed his hairstyle from something relatively mundane into something that looked like one of the Everly brothers. I was so taken aback that I blurted out (in front of a bunch of federal officials and my boss), "Ed! I haven't seen you since the new hair!" I meant hair style, but it sounded like Hair Club for Men, didn't it? He just looked at me and said, "Same hair." Somehow I recovered my balance and we had the meeting.
3. At another newspaper where I worked, my executive editor, who had a relatively foul mouth and fun sense of humor, announced to the newsroom, "My wife is pregnant again! I'm getting too old for this! Cancer doctor told me we couldn't have any more!" So I blurted out, in front of a dozen people, "So this was a surprise?" Later I brought in a cake to celebrate and he told me, "I'm surprised you didn't have them put little squiggles on it."
4. Comparing notes on spam at work one morning, I told my boss that we were all rich, since I had won a Nigerian lottery. He said even better, we could all get discounts on viagra. I said, "So let's go party and stay up all night!" TOTALLY DID NOT REALIZE WHAT I SAID. He gave me a funny look and I ran off to a meeting. Fortunately that kept me out of sight for a few hours.
I am embarrassed to tell you that I have many, many more, but this post is too long already. Don't ask me why most of these seem to happen at work. Wait, I know...a faux pas is defined as "a violation of acceptable social norms." I suppose we don't have many of those at home.