My Battle With The Foot In Mouth Disease

My fantastically funny friend, Gloria Richard wrote a post yesterday entitled Ever Lost Your Brain’s Remote Control. After recounting several of her hilarious mishaps over the years, she challenged us to share some of our moments. As I sat thinking about the many idiot moments I’d had over the years I figured I’d share some of my own. Hey, turnabout is fair play, especially since I shared some of my friends’ more awkward moments in the past.

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Those of us who tend to say what we think know that there is a hazard that goes with being blunt. For example, there was a young lady that I used to work with at a popular electronic retailer store. I was new, and she and I were pretty friendly. The weather had taken on a cooler edge recently, so when I walked in, I was wearing my black leather biker jacket.

black biker jacket

It was a men’s jacket and I loved it…still do, actually. I was the first “real” gift hubby ever gave to me. Anyway, back to the story. As I came walking down this young lady’s department, she came over to say hi and the following conversation ensued.

Her (with a big grin and a nudge) : Hey there, Biker Bitch!
Me (with a grin and a wink) : Better watch your step or I’m going to make you my bitch.
Her (eye contact, not laughing) : Any time.
Me (blinking) : Um, yeah….

Oops! Yeah, I’d heard the rumors about her being either lesbian or bisexual, I just didn’t care. It just never occurred to me that a simple off the cuff response could create such an interesting ripple. Well, it confirmed the rumor if nothing else…LOL! Oddly enough, that moment helped to cement our friendship.

Unfortunately my talent for the awkward started much earlier. It’s the hazard of being a person whose mouth rarely stops moving. Sometimes we can be deliberately hurtful and regret it later. My “lesson learned” moment actually became my college application essay. Here’s the short version.

While we lived in the Philippines we had some live in help. A maid and a nanny. Hey, the dollar stretches quite well in third world countries. Anyway, as my mom is also Filipina, our servants were more like family and were treated as such. I was about 7 years old when my mouth got me into trouble.

Nanny (looking around at toys strewn all over the floor): Kitt!
Me (fake innocent look): What?
Nanny (pointing at all the toys): Put away all your toys or you’re not playing outside.
Me (irritated): Pfft! Your the maid. Isn’t that what we pay you for?
From somewhere behind me….
Mom (snarling): Kitt. What. Did. You. Just. Say?

Yeah…mom had walked up behind me and heard the whole thing. She was NOT happy. I got my butt whipped, had to clean up my toy AND I got grounded for the day. No bueno.

My sophomore year in high school there was a 4 day choral music festival held at a one of the private universities in Michigan, culminating in a concert on Saturday afternoon with the University Orchestra. The private high schools tied to this particular religion from the surrounding 5 states sent the top 2 singers from each section (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass) to go to this event. It was a privilege to be chosen, and I was one of the 2 sopranos chosen to represent my school. We were put up in the women’s dorm and spent most of the time rehearsing songs in German (Haydn) and Latin with a couple of English ones thrown in for good measure.

As you can imagine, after a while we became restless. Several of us congregated in one of the dorm rooms early that Saturday afternoon waiting for the concert. Keep in mind, most of us were little suburban kids. I, being half Asian, was the closest we had to an ethnic mix in that room. To this day I’m not exactly sure how it started…all I remember was thinking I was going to die.

What had I done? I sang Whitney Houston’s “Greatest Love Of All”. And not in my normal voice. NOOOO. I was singing it at the top of my lungs, over enunciating each word with theatrical dramatics.

“I Buhleeve that children are hour fyuchaaaa.
Teech them well ahnd let them lead the waaaayyyy.
Show them ahl the beauty they possess insiiiiide.
Give. Them. A Sense of pride.
To make it easiahhhh!”

The girls were all in a fit of giggles as I belted it out….and then came the knock on the door. My singing stopped. We all looked at each other, eyes huge and praying… Why? Because late that night an all black university from Canada had come down for an event the following week and were staying in the rooms across the hall from us.

Of course, with my luck…it WAS, in fact, several of the very nice ladies from that university. Here’s what happened:

My traitorous friend: Uh, hello?
Nice lady: Hi girls, we heard someone singing from down the hall. Who WAS that?
(Yup! You guessed it. All hands pointed at me as I slowly turned around to face the women in the doorway.)
Me: Sorry about that.
Nice lady: Why are you sorry? We thought you sounded GREAT!!!!
Me (blinking while my friends all tried to hide their laughter): Um… Thank you?

And just like that, they were gone… Thankfully they hadn’t realized I was poking fun at the way a lot of divas overdramatize song lyrics. As my friends cracked up, I was mortified. Seriously. What if I’d really offended them? Sooo not my intent.

Then there was the time I met the Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Football Hall Of Fame quarterback, Terry Bradshaw.

Terry_Bradshaw

Okay…so I’m unapologetically an Dallas Cowboys fan, but still. I love football and I respect the game. That’s one of the reasons that every time I think of this moment I want to hide somewhere. Why? Because my usual eloquence eluded me that day in a big, BIG way…making me sound like a total airheaded bimbo (something I hate).

So the back story? Mr Bradshaw’s brother has a home in the Sarasota area. He’d come to town for a visit only to realize he’d left his camera bag back at home in his foyer. What did he do when he discovered this error? Why, what every wealthy man does, of course. He showed up to the local electronics store with his dad at opening (when it’s least crowded) and replaced everything he’d left behind.

The guys in the store were dying to talk to him and ask for his autograph, but figured it would be easier to break that ice if they sent a female in. As I qualified and was the only woman knowledgeable enough about football and his HOF career, they asked me to go over and talked to him. I didn’t want to disrespect his privacy so I declined being used in this manner. Fortunately for them, he noticed several guys hovering and welcomed them over to get his autograph and offered the opportunity to any employee in the store who wanted it.

Once he gave permission, the guys let me know and I walked over to get his autograph before I left. Here’s how THAT went down.

Me (in a timid voice that was so unlike me the guys all blinked): Excuse me Mr Bradshaw. Would you mind if I asked you for your autograph?
TB (with a gentle smile): Sure thing, Sweetheart. Do you have anything for me to sign?
Me (holding up small brochure form): This?
TB: Why don’t we find something a bit bigger?
(Grabs a manual receipt form)
Me (while he’s signing): Thank you so much! (And then I made my big faux pas that made me want to commit seppuku) I just want to say, I really LOVE watching you and Howie (Long) on Sundays.
TB (Showing class all the way, put an arm around me): Aw, thank you sweetheart. We need more fans like you.
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Why was that so mortifying? Because I was well aware of his Hall of Fame career and his 4 Superbowl rings…and what did I mention? His Fox Sports thing? OMG! Yes, that is my head you hear banging on my desk. Never mind that this incident happened nearly 10 years ago. I’m still mortified…. But I also still have this awesome autograph.

Terry Bradshaw Autograph

My Terry Bradshaw Autograph

Okay, enough of my verbal face plants…. What about you guys? Care to share some of your more awkward moments? If not, I’m open to you sharing the awkward moments of friends and family. And just so no one can question my Cowboy Fandom….Here’s a pic of me at one of them many Cowboy events I’ve been to… Hanging out with some Cowboy Legends

Tailgate in Big D with Hubby, Bill Bates, Me, Everson Walls & Kenny Gant

Tailgate in Big D with Hubby, Bill Bates, Me, Everson Walls & Kenny Gant

And here’s another one of me with my girls at a game at Cowboy Stadium.

At The Game

At The Game