Social Question

rebbel's avatar

Questions on relationship (determination) faux pas. Which of the following (do you think) is worse? [Details inside].

Asked by rebbel (23522 points ) April 18th, 2012

In about six months time I managed to ‘insult’ a male co-occupant of our apartment building, twice (two different men).
Last week this guy and I were together in the elevator when he said to me that it had been a while since we had seen each other.
I answered that it had not been a while because I saw him a few days before, together with his mother.
He answered, smiling awkwardly, that in fact that was his wife.
A few months prior the same blooper happened, with another guy.
Again, I confused his girlfriend to be his mother….
Would the opposite faux pas be worse “I saw you walking with your wife.” “No, that is my mother.”
Would you be insulted if one of these two happened to you?
Can you think of other relationships (judging) faux pas?

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9 Answers

chyna's avatar

You need to stop speaking to people.
I was with my brother shopping in a hardware store and the man my brother was discussing paint with said “ask your wife which color you should get” indicating me. Ick.

Jeruba's avatar

Next time just say ”...with an attractive lady.”

CWOTUS's avatar

Unless you know, it’s best to make a polite assertion as @Jeruba has just suggested that doesn’t make any assumptions about the relationship.

harple's avatar

When I was about 12, I had a short hair cut that made me look like a boy. My Dad is 20 years older than my Mum.

A fantastic faux pas we frequently encountered was someone saying to him:

“And what would your grandson like?”

Most amusing! (Well, if you can’t laugh, you’d cry right?!)

marinelife's avatar

OMG, rebbel, you are dangerous! No, the other way, a hot young daughter, mistaken for the wife would be puffery for both of them.

likipie's avatar

I’d be more insulted if someone said my wife (granted I’m a 16 year old girl…) was my mother than my mother was my wife. At least in the second scenario, you’re complimenting the mother by saying she looks younger than she really is instead of older.

PurpleClouds's avatar

I think things like this are funny and ARE going to happen sometimes. I always thought it would be horrible to have to be the one to stand at a horrendous amusement park ride and tell the pregnant women they couldn’t ride. You know they get it wrong sometimes!

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I would say, “I saw you the other day talking to someone, so I did not want to interrupt. Leave it to them to say who it was (or not).

bkcunningham's avatar

Next time just say, ”...with ze.”

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