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Pretty dumb things

I’ve said some pretty dumb things over the years. Sometimes I have spoken before thinking about what I was going to say, and who I was saying it to – truth be told this happens all the time. Sometimes I have said the wrong thing and occasionally I’ve said the right thing, just at the wrong time.

I am sorry.

My first apology is for the earliest dumb thing I ever remember saying. It’s to the woman whose leg I grabbed at the same time as a preschool class mate (he grabbed her other leg).
‘Go away,’ I cried in despair. ‘This is my mum.’
‘No It isn’t. It’s my mum,’ he replied.
I looked up and he was right. It was his mum. Unfortunately she just happened to be wearing a similar pair of black polyester pull-on pants (it was the 70s) to those my mum had slipped on in the morning.

I would like to apologise to my Grade Four teacher whose glasses went flying as I hit her in the face in my haste to be the first to answer a general knowledge question. I was sitting on the floor in front of her and she asked, “Who is the current Prime Minister?”
‘Gough Whitlam,’ I shouted as my hand shot into the air, so proud and then ‘WHACK’.
‘NO!’ she screamed, in pain?
She was right, it wasn’t. Unfortunately I didn’t really understand ‘the Dismissal’. I still don’t.

I would like to apologise to my first boyfriend, at the ripe old age of fourteen, for telling everyone he was the worst kisser ever, when in fact I’d had no other kisses to compare it to and, in retrospect, it was a very good kiss. No wonder he only went with me for two weeks.

I would like to apologise to all those children whose mouth I anesthetised while practicing (not practising) dentistry. Yes, I did say I was ‘just going to put some sleepy juice next to your tooth’. To this day though, I think this sounds better than ‘I am just going to jab about two centimetres of sharp metal in your tiny mouth in the hope of getting somewhere near your trigeminal nerve and hopefully get you numb enough to drill all the decay out of your teeth without exposing a nerve. And stop eating rubbish.’ What I am apologising for here is potentially leading you to believe, as an adult, you can get a tooth restoration with some magical potion. It doesn’t exist. I just used a whole lot of topical anesthetic before putting the needle in very slowly (a service you can ask your dentist for as an adult. Just remember though, time is money).

You would think I would have learned a thing or two, but no, I still say dumb things. Just the other day I was recounting the story of the cliche and I sitting in a cocktail lounge watching a couple on their first or second date. The nervousness, the startled looks, the first touches all happening in a wonderful bubble.
‘I am so glad I am over all that,’ I said to end my story. However, who was I recounting the story to? A beautiful, young, single woman who is probably very much looking for this situation to pop up. I am sorry and I hope it pops up soon.

A few weeks ago I think I said the dumbest thing ever. I told a woman her son looked like his aunt. Not bad … except the child can’t look like his aunt because it’s an aunt by marriage. Dumb as! [What’s really crazy here was I really meant the child had the bubbly personality of his aunt but now I just look like I am making an excuse for saying a dumb thing].

For all the other dumb things I’ve ever said, I offer an unreserved apology.

Maybe identifying all of this makes me quite the hypocrite, particularly if you’ve read my blog on those dumb things people have said to me about long-term breastfeeding.

People do say dumb things. Maybe it’s built into our being so we can make other people feel superior to our naivety (or stupidity). It could be one of those natural response mechanisms … a way of submitting.

Maybe I shouldn’t be apologising. Perhaps I should expect ‘thanks’ for making others feel better about themselves (‘I would never say anything as dumb as that,’ I can hear them thinking).

And for those of you who thought ‘sleepy juice’ was real, ignore what I said earlier … it is.

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