Dear Mrs. Crabby,
Oh, is my face ever red. Yesterday at my son’s football game I saw one of the other team member’s mom enter the field at the end of the game. I wanted to greet her in a warm and friendly fashion, as I wish to have happy, positive relations around my son’s education. Sometimes this counts as much as grades, don’t you know.
I called out to the woman “Wanda!! Wanda!!!”
She did not respond at all. She did not even look in my direction, though it was obvious I was calling her. There were only, maybe, 15 other parents on that side of the field.
As we were leaving, I was directly behind her. Again, calling “Wanda! Wanda!!”
And again, strangely, no response whatsoever.
When I got my son packed up and sat in my car, ready to start the ignition, …then it hit me, Mrs. Crabby. Her name is not Wanda. Her name is Wendy.
Of course I experienced that painful moment where you feel like a snail after salt has been sprinkled upon you. That awful moment where you wish with all your heart that you could go back in time and fix it, but know you can’t and now begin to calculate if you can afford to have plastic surgery to completely change your appearance. Or if it’s feasible to move to another town in a self created witness protection program.
But no. I have to go back to school and face
My question to you, Mrs. Crabby, is – should I acknowledge my gaffe and apologize? If not, then what should I do?
A Rose Lily Livered
Well, hon, this is not an uncommon thing, sad to say. It happens to most all of us at one time or another. Our brains are treacherous things that often betray us: When we blurt out information best left private; when we just can’t hold in that fart any longer during that job interview; when we forget to lock the bathroom door at the neighbor’s BBQ and one of the neighbors walks in and we are caught in flagrante delicto going through the medicine cabinet looking at the prescription bottles (CYN, I SWEAR I WAS JUST LOOKING FOR ASPIRIN!!!). Things like that. It’s human.
Though none of this makes it any easier when having to move forward in the business of living together.
By apologizing first you risk a formal indictment of wrath from this woman that will forever taint your child’s future in education, not to mention possible negative career implications. By not apologizing first, you risk incurring a reputation as a rude, brain addled ditz.
Either way, you lose. Because it’s just one of those bells that can’t be un-rung.
In our modern society with it’s new standard of “As you think, so you are,” I’d just pretend it never happened. Ignore it. If she says anything about it, say to her “OMG, did I do that again? I am so sorry. I did this at the Emmy’s last year with Tina Fey!! I called her “Mina” Sooo embarrassing.” This will do two things: 1. It will offer your apology, which is what she is looking for and quite rightly deserves after all and, 2. It will ameliorate any bad feelings by putting her equal to a famous celebrity in your mind.
While she may not actually forgive you publicly (nor should she, really, unless she does the same to you in the future), she will maintain civil behavior because you just might really know Tina Fey and be “important” in the scheme of things.
And, after all is said and done, you need to get to a memory class, or in the future learn to just say “Hey! Hi!” until your memory improves. If your memory is irreparable, find a sweet, endearing term to call everyone…….like “hon.”
Best of luck to you, hon,