Last time I promised you that I’d share a time when I said the wrong thing at the wrong time. I lied. I’m going to share two such incidents. Since they happened back-to-back, you get a double dose of Joni-isms today, and you will immediately feel better about your most recent embarrassing moment.
The first involves an elderly acquaintance of mine whose son died last year. It’s always devastating when a child precedes their parents, and many of us rallied with support. Months and months go by. My friend has always been very active in politics and community events, even at her advanced age. So an election rolls around, which does not go as she had hoped. A couple of weeks later I call to see how she is doing.
“I’m still grieving,” she says.
And I STUPIDLY SAY, “About the election?”
“No—about my son!”
And now it looks like I AM AN IDIOT WHO FORGOT ALL ABOUT IT! Even though I had spoken to her about this and sent a card at the time. Total fail. I spent the next half hour back-pedaling and trying to assure her that I remembered her son’s death, and wasn’t the insensitive boob I appeared to be.
Then, the very next day I am in charge of the big luncheon for 100 family members following a funeral at church, and they decide to let people come to the mike and share a memory about Thurzel. Remember, she's the elderly lady I named our calico cat after. So I decide to tell a story about the cat and how it went missing and how Thurzel wanted me to spread the rumor that she had gone missing and how cute and funny she was, right? And then I say, "I just loved her to death!" AT A FUNERAL! Wrong, wrong, wrong! Total fail! I need to have my lips sewn shut. It would also help me to eat less. Aaugh!
On the other hand, if I can maintain this level of embarrassment, with its attendant blushing, I could save a fortune on cosmetics.
I share my faux pas with Bob, who says, “Now everyone probably thinks you’re the reason she died.” And then he adds, “Well, they come in threes so there’ll be another one.” So comforting.
I say, “I hate you,” and he says, “To death? Uh-oh.” And I tell him that saying the wrong thing might not upset some people, but that I hate it more than average and that saying the wrong thing just kills me. And Bob says, “Here you go, again.”
So I guess that’s Number Three.
The best way to avoid these awkward social encounters is, of course, so stay home and read books. Hey-- I just happen to have several you an choose from, right on the left side of this page. Choose any one of them and you won't have to say a thing.