An enormous embarrassment

26 Mar

My husband says I can sometimes be a loose cannon. Say something inappropriate or tactless in the middle of a social gathering. Strange that, I always thought I was the picture of decency, tact and sensitivity. That my tendency to be direct, honest, say what I think was a good thing. You knew where you stood with me. I was “real” <strikes finger scissor pose>.

I’ve never really doubted the accuracy of my own self-perception before, but now I’m getting older, and seemingly increasingly uncool, I have started to wonder – can we ever really judge ourselves objectively? Is the person we see in the mirror actually anything like the person other people see?

Sure, I’ve sometimes said the wrong thing, like that time I asked the policeman whether he’d ever killed someone during a school visit.  Or the time I told a spa employee I never played the lottery becuase the statistics show you’re more likely to be shot in the UK than win the lottery. “Umm, we don’t usually tell our customers that” he whispered, as the queue of customers waving their red slips behind me looked quizzical.

I went to dinner the other night with some people I’d never met before and I ended the evening (having said not much at all up until this point) by sharing an anecdote I’d learnt the night before about the history of vibrators. Totally unexpectedly, and without any context. When my husband told me the following morning I laughed it off  ” Well at least I didn’t tell them I’d learnt  that particular nugget from a penis pump review”.  <silence>

Ok, so maybe I sometimes really do get it wrong, but a regular embarrassment? A loose cannon?

The thing is, I have to admit that these events are starting to happen more and more frequently. The dad dancing in the corner moments.  The problem is, I AM thinking before I speak, considering the consequences, and I DO think what I’m about to say is funny, sage, tactful.  So if it’s my judgement that’s wrong, what hope is there? Soon I’ll be asking pot-bellied body dismorphic 20-somethings if they want a seat.

Oh, by the way, here’s the bit about the vibrators. Did you know GPs used to manually relieve “crazy” women before….

15 Responses to “An enormous embarrassment”

  1. Vegemitevix March 26, 2011 at 9:37 am #

    Oh that sounds so much like me! I asked a soldier how he felt about killing people, asked a group of housewives (who were bitching about diets) whether they thought they’d be thin enough when dead, and..oh I could go on and on. Funny thing is that I did tend to get away with it until I moved here and then everything went a little pear shaped. Apparently the English aren’t so keen about discussing their sex lives, financial status, career, and political views. Weird huh!

  2. Lady-like Pervert March 26, 2011 at 12:15 pm #

    I love the loose canon type! So much more fun than people that prattle on about crap just to fill the silence. Keep being you!

    And, of course, I know the history of the vibrator – that’s one of my favourite useless facts about doctors treating crazy women with orgasms… hmmm… I think they were on to something! 😉

  3. kelloggsville March 26, 2011 at 1:06 pm #

    Last weekend whilst away on a church trip I asked the vicar over breakfast if he was a Mason. He choked on his cornflakes. Apparently this is a no no question! I don’t think it’s an age thing, I have a life long history of saying precisely the wrong thing.

  4. Kirsty March 26, 2011 at 9:35 pm #

    I was musing about this today, having read it this morning… Are you sure it’s not your husband who has his ’embarrassment meter’ set wrong? Because, if he had to tell you the next day that your anecdote was inappropriate, are you sure it was? My husband is OTT about these things – he’d rather hoard coppers in a massive jar than suffer the excruciating embarrassment of making a shop assistant wait 7 seconds while he counts out the right change. And he dies inside when my reply to “was everything ok with your meal?” isn’t “yes, lovely thank you” regardless of whether it was way too salty, burnt etc.

    So, maybe you’re a normal level of outgoing, honest and interesting, and other people are too damned shy and polite? Either way, I don’t think you need to worry or change.

  5. Iota Manhattan March 26, 2011 at 11:08 pm #

    Oh, come and live in America. No-one worries about these things. It’s a peculiarly British disease. I guess I’m validating Vegemitevix’s comment.

  6. Tillie's Mummy March 27, 2011 at 7:13 pm #

    Haha I know where you are coming from! We run a pub and were catering for the ‘wake’ after a funeral, i remember collecting empty glasses and saying “are these all dead”, then followed by when the husband of the deceased came over to say thank you, I said “no problem anytime”

    I always say things especially when I am nervous and in a new situation!

  7. Mother Badger March 27, 2011 at 8:34 pm #

    Life is much more interesting when we’re not constrained to regular boring chit chat. You go for it!

  8. Muddling Along March 27, 2011 at 9:44 pm #

    I say embrace it – our voices are too often constrained by the view of what we should / shouldn’t and stirring it up can be a good thing

    Being a tall poppy and visible is tough but ultimately better than being part of the background?

    Oh and count me into this club

  9. Simone March 27, 2011 at 10:06 pm #

    I have a few friends “like you”.
    Girls who blurt out crazu stories or who state the obvious thing that everyone else is thinking, but nobody has the guts to say.
    I love those girls.
    they are the best fun.
    And my most favourite people.

  10. Livi March 28, 2011 at 11:33 am #

    Lol! Tell him you’re endearing!

  11. nmaha March 29, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

    If you think you’re being funny then it should be fine.
    Wow! That’s quite a history.

  12. Doodlemum April 11, 2011 at 7:47 pm #

    Ive lost a few so called friends for firing off…you know what, now Im 37 and all that f**k it lovely, stay the way you are and keep the honesty. It’s good and the world needs more of you!

  13. Mr Rocker April 13, 2011 at 7:33 am #

    Where on earth did you hear that GP’s used to relieve so-called “crazy” women with vibtarors? I simply HAVE to know the source of that. That’s EXACTLY the kind of fact or factoid I devour and then blog about to demonstrate what a crappy egotistical male-dominated world we live in. Please tell me!

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