We all have those moments when we wish the earth would split open and swallow us up. There are situations that happened decades ago that still make me cringe when I think of them. Like Scarlett O'Hara, I used to be pretty good at throwing those thoughts off whenever they surfaced: "I can't think about that right now." But for some reason I seem to have lost the knack and will repeatedly kick myself over some silly mistake. Maybe it has something to do with the perception that as we age, we are supposed to become more dignified, not less so.
My latest awkward moment happened at the last tailgate of the 2012 Aggie football season. A young couple that is a part of our crowd was soon to be married, and I mistook a man who tailgates with us occasionally for the bride's father. In my defense, this man has the same first name as the bride's father, David. Both men look a bit alike. Also, the bride's uncle had just finished telling me a rather convoluted story involving his brother --- you guessed it --- the bride's father. So when I saw this familiar-looking man, my brain, awash in images of the bride's father due to the aforementioned story, said, "There's David." Unfortunately, my brain failed to take that identification one step further to add, "And before you go and make a complete ass of yourself, this is the groom's boss David, not the bride's father David." Stupid brain.
Anyways, I went over to this man who I believed to be the bride's father, and in front of his wife, real daughter, daughter's boyfriend, and several other people I hope to never see again, complimented him on his lovely daughter, the bride-to-be, and how impressed I was that she was so prompt with her thank you notes. Almost as soon as the words came out, I realized I had boo-boo'ed big time, but there was just no fixing this. Wrong David babbled something in return, I have no idea what because my brain had vapor-locked from embarrassment. Squelching the urge to run, I removed myself from the group in as dignified a manner as possible, and for the remainder of the tailgate, until it was time to leave for the game, I stayed as far away from Wrong David and his family as I could without actually mingling with the crowd the next tent over.
Now, I realize that in the scope of awkward moments, this one barely rates a 3 on a scale of 1 - 10, with 10 being so supremely awkward that leaving town permanently and starting over someplace far, far away is the only possible recourse. But instead of pushing that small blunder away from me, I just wouldn't let it go. And I think the reason for that was because I knew I would be seeing these people again at the wedding the following week.
The afternoon of the wedding, we were invited to relax over drinks with the bride's family. This time, the REAL David, the bride's father, was there.
BRAIN: Here's the real David.
ME: I don't trust you.
BRAIN: I promise, this is the REAL David.
ME: Still don't trust you.
BRAIN: Would I lie to you?
The sad thing is I knew this was not going to be another case of mistaken identity, that I was safe here. But I was so scarred from the experience of a week ago, that I didn't trust myself to say anything beyond a very generic "hello". Richard sat next to me, charming and chatty, while I huddled like a bump on a log, afraid to open my mouth for fear I'd humiliate myself all over again.
On the upside, the wife of Wrong David hailed me as I walked by during the cocktail hour preceding the reception. We chatted briefly and I managed not to insert my foot in my mouth, despite being on my second glass of wine. Just the fact that I was able to show her that I am not always an amiable fathead made me feel better.
The wedding, by the way, was a gorgeous affair, as was the reception. And there's an idea for another blog. Stay tuned!
Facepalm meme: http://danawesome.netau.net/images/Female%20Blonde.html
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