Open Mouth, Insert Foot
I have this unpredictable ailment that rears its ugly head from time to time.
It’s called foot-in-mouth disease.
The darned thing resurrected itself at a banquet Monday night.
A Nashville non-profit was honoring a longtime area businessman for his community work through the decades. I arrived near the end of the reception as the crowd was being shuffled into the main dining room. I quickly found my name tag with help of one of the hostesses. I wheeled around to head to the dining room when I was stopped in my tracks. I was greeted by a young woman who could have just come from an audition for a toothpaste commercial. Bright smile, hair up, in a long dress, full of confidence.
“Hi John. Great to see you. Thanks for coming. It should be a fun night.”
I tried to catch the name on her tag without her catching me catch the name on her tag (which is tough to do when you are standing two feet apart).
“Yes, it should be a great night.” “I stated to a person I couldn’t place but her name tag offered a clue. “Your family has done so much for this town… er… your dad deserves every honor.”
She turned away and we separated to find our tables.
Whew. I managed to smooth my way through that. So I thought.
Fast-foward to the video montage tribute to the businessman, which included interviews with friends, co-workers and family.
The last person to speak in this video presentation looked all too familiar. She was the person who happened to say “hi” as we walked into the banquet room for dinner.
Egads. That person… is his wife.
I slumped in my chair.
The only saving grace is that she made an “age” remark in her video tribute and he made a similar remark about the disparity in their age in his closing remarks.
Driving home I kept replaying that 20-second conversation with his wife. Yep, I’m certain I said, “…your dad deserves every honor.”
I’ve relayed this story to several people (including my wife and my father) and most agree that she probably took it as a compliment and it isn’t the first time that has happened to her. I mean, what are they going to say? “Ya really blew it Dr. Smooth.”
So what do you think?