Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Foot in Mouth Disease?

Why yes, I suffer from the all too common ailment of "Foot in Mouth" disease very often.

Although lately it hasn't been bad or offensive to the other person, just highly embarrassing for me. In an attempt to be friendly to others, I ended up putting my own foot in my mouth, figuratively.

So keeping with this convenient Scripture verse that happened to appear right in the midst of all of my societal blunders..."In everything, deal with others as you would like them to deal with you." -Matthew 7:12

If what you end up saying is completely ridiculous, even though you did not intend for it to be, learn to laugh it off. That's what I've had to do. So now that I've told all of this, I'll tell you what I did, because I finally had the chance to tell a few people today.

As part of the Humdinger Project, we like to get as many people as possible to join us on hikes or outings to things that surround the Smokies. In keeping with this ideology, I invited a classmate once I learned that he liked to hike. This happened on a Wednesday night in the bowels of Neyland Stadium (football at the University of Tennessee).

I said, "Hey man, if you're able to go and you're interested, my friend and I are going hiking this coming Sunday." Blue Shirt said, "Oh...well I'm kinda getting married on Sunday."

Cue Ashley's face turning a hundred shades of the funniest red. I WAS NOT ASKING HIM OUT. I was merely trying to get more people who like to hike to go on this upcoming hike. But my face, the traitorous wretch that it is, turned red from embarrassment that wasn't really supposed to be there. So naturally I panicked thinking that he was thinking that I was asking him out. But I wasn't! And I couldn't stop my face from getting redder.

He just stared at me. The horrible part was that I realized that the first week of class I had overheard some guy telling the professor that he would be gone a week because he was getting married. I realized to my horror that Blue Shirt was the guy who had said that. If only I had remembered that, I wouldn't have asked! I could have saved myself an awkward moment.

I ended up babbling on trying to salvage the conversation, but when I said something along the lines of "Marriage is a little more important than hiking. Yes..." my professor turned around and loudly said, "WHAT?" and proceeded to repeat my ill-formed sentence. Then more of my classmates turned to tune into the conversation.

Lord have mercy.

After class, I tried to fix the situation as best as I could. So I changed the invitation to, "Seriously though, if you and your soon-to-be wife ever want to go hiking for this Smokies project, let me know!" Blue Shirt replied, "Yeah. Definitely, just let me know when you plan a hike." According to my friends, they said that I have in fact saved the situation.

But not my pride. Dignity. Whatever you call it.

Moving on to the next instance of "Foot in Mouth" disease. The Friday of the same week as the hiking/classmate catastrophe, I went to have my oil changed. The man who was in charge of asking me questions, telling me to turn off the car, et cetera et cetera found out that I was a college student after I pathetically explained my windshield wiper situation. He came around to say, "Do you know that like half of your one windshield wiper is broken?" Morosely and comically, I hung my arms and head out of the window and said, "Yes but I am a poor college kid who is waiting until the last possible minute to fix it."

He came back a few minutes later to tell me about his online college courses and working full time. It was a nice exchange of homework horror stories, and then I was done with the car maintenance. As I was exiting, he said, "Thanks for coming. Have a nice day!" And I, hoping to be as friendly as he, replied, "Good luck with your stuff!"

WHAT? With your stuff...what just came out of my mouth? In my head I was aiming to convey my goodwill by saying, Good luck with all of your classes!, but that did not happen. The brain to mouth connection must be broken (frequently, as you can tell).

And so I leave you with this ironically appropriate quote:

Goodwill in the soul is the source of all good things and the mother of all virtues. Those who possess it hold in their hand--without fear of losing it--all that is necessary to lead a good life. -St. Albert the Great

I guess sometimes goodwill and "Foot in Mouth" disease instances can run together, but the mix up of a few words and actions can be rather funny. God certainly has a sense of humor, because I'm walking around on this planet.


Mary said...

Hey, not to worry. That's nowhere near as bad as telling your brother's partner to "Keep each other straight"! :D

s-p said...

You are sooooo cute. I'm so glad I'm old and gray and can say whatever the hell I want and not lose any sleep. LOL!

Ashley Siferd said...

lol that was great Steve. I've passed the point where I don't lose sleep thinking about my catastrophes anymore. Ha.