Question of the Day

Take it away, Mama Shakes: "While I was washing dishes, something made me think of [her good friend] J and the first time he had dinner at [his wife of almost 40 years] E's before they were married. J came from a large family, always an abundance of food on the table. At E's grandparents' house, he took two pork chops before he realized there was only one per person. He was mortified to have to put a chop back on the platter. So … What social faux pas can still cause you to blush?"

I'm sure I've made an absolute arse of myself in precisely this fashion on numerous occasions, but nothing's coming to mind at the moment. I don't generally get embarrassed terribly easily, by virtue of being such an enormous klutz and awkward git; my own buffoonery has inured me to mere mortal mortifications. It's really got to be a gaffe extravaganza before it's so humiliating I commit it to permanent, cringing memory.

I do recall once waxing aghast at George Foreman's decision to name all his children "George" (or some variation thereof), finishing with a flourish about how it's a rather dreadful name in the first place, only to realize that there was a George among our group whom I'd only just met. He was delightfully gracious, simply saying in response to my immediate stuttered apology, "It's okay. I hate the name myself."

The weird thing about that story is that I don't really dislike the name George at all—although I must have, at age 18. Or I was just being a prat. A distinct possibility.

In retrospect, I don't find that enormously embarrassing, though—mostly because of George's generous willingness to indulge my insistence on sticking my foot in my mouth. That sort of kindness has undoubtedly served me well on other occasions, too, and I try to pay it forward when given the opportunity.

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