Speaking Before Thinking Since 19 _ _

A few days ago I was taking the puppy out for her nightly exercise when this little kid, I want to say about 5 years old, fell off his bike about 20 metres away, and let out a yowl. Parents, you know the cry that is just looking for attention, and then the cry that means business. This one meant business. I looked for a couple of seconds to see if he had a grown-up around, didn’t see one, then took off to see how he was. He was really, really upset, and was still lying under his bike, so I tried to get him to tell me where it hurt. 2 seconds later his grown-up showed up, and then I saw what took her that few extra seconds – she had an infant on one hip and was holding the hand of a 2-year old. Oy. She was going to need assistance! She got him to show her his knee, and there was a big slice through his pants leg, no big, and it was bleeding underneath, might not be too big a deal. Then he kind of bent his knee and you could see he had a major, deep slice on his knee, and oh hey, there was the bone.

She told him it was time to go to the hospital to make it better, all cool and collected, and we got him and the other kids in her van while she went to call her husband, who was still at work, to get her to meet them at the hospital. And they were off.

This family lives a few doors down from my house. So again, last night I was taking the dog out, and my daughter was along for the walk. This guy a few doors down was fixing something in his front doorway, and I called out, “Hi! I’ve been wondering, how’s your boy?” and he said, “He’s great!” with a big smile. And I said, “Did he get stitches?” and he kind of looked at me for a second, and then I said, “Have I got the wrong house?” and he said, “Yeah, my son’s only 9 months old!”  So I just laughed and said, “Congratulations! And I’m glad he’s doing great!” and he said thanks, and I turned around to see if my daughter was keeping in step, and she said “Moooooom, that is SO EMBARRASSING!” which made the dad laugh, and me laugh, and I said, “Why?” but it didn’t really matter, she was just horrified that he was going to think I’m crazy now. This doesn’t matter to me in the slightest. Also, all our damn houses look alike. Could happen to anyone.

Like that time that one mom at my kid’s baseball game was pregnant with her 6th kid, and I said, “What are you, some kind of religion?!” to which she just giggled. Like seriously, was she working on having her own baseball team? I found out later that she’s a Mormon. Whatever, she’s a Mormon with a sense of humour.

Or that time my kids were acting up when we were on our way in to Costco, and I ran like Phoebe all the way to the Costco entrance, just to horrify them and shut them up. They were horrified, and everyone in the parking lot was laughing at me. Parents, this is a very effective tool. I only had to do it once, and have threatened them with it ever since.

Or that time I got my girlfriend a candle and candle holder for her birthday, and the teller was wrapping it up for me. She was having a hell of a time with the big thing of crinkly paper, so I offered, “Do you need a hand?” then realized to my horror that she really did – she had an artificial limb. She didn’t even blink however, and just said, “No thanks, I’ve got this.” Actually, I don’t think she even realized my gaffe – it’s just a saying. It’s not like I saw that she was missing a hand then made a joke about it.

Or that time that guy was just standing outside my office building holding a coffee cup and looked at me, and I pre-empted him by telling him I was sorry that I didn’t have any change. Turns out he was just a dude drinking coffee. Innocent mistake.

I haven’t always not cared what people think, it’s been a long road. And you know what gets me embarrassed? Nothing.

Actually, one thing recently made me turn beet red, but that was because I swore at this guy who jumped into my office while I was sitting with my back turned, and grabbed my arm. There’s this one guy who always does that, sneaks up on me, and I can’t stand it. So I swore at him, something about his mother, actually, then turned around and it turns out it was this whole other guy. A suit, even. A really nice guy who always stops in to say hi whenever he’s in town. I was horrified, and explained, but he was just laughing. Another guy with a sense of humour (thank GOD. That could have been career-limiting).

Aside from that, I can’t remember one time in recent memory I have been embarrassed or wondering what people must think of me. It doesn’t mean I’m ever deliberately insensitive, I do care about other people’s feelings, it’s just that sometimes I think out loud and don’t consider other people’s situations. I keep thinking I must do better at that, because I really always do want to be nice.

Anyway, I can’t think of how to end this. I’m sure I have more examples of foot-in-mouthedness, but I can’t remember any right now. And I’m sure there will be more in future. I’ll keep you posted. Actually, have you got any?



  1. Haha, I love it! Your non-hockey ancedotes are the bestest, and only because I can understand them! 🙂


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