Social Question

Dutchess_III's avatar

Have you ever said exactly the wrong thing but in total innocence?

Asked by Dutchess_III (25566 points ) October 6th, 2012

Sometimes it seems like there is some evil force out there driving my quips.

Rick went out to the land to pick up the trailer and the mower.
A while after that, my son, Chris, then wanted me to see what he had done around the house that day, so he came and picked me up (our other car has a flat tire.)
As Chris was bringing me back home we met Rick on the return trip at a residential intersection. He had someone with him. We rolled down the windows and I jokingly yelled, “I’m leaving you! I’m moving in with Chris! Besides, I see that you already have another wife! Who is that?”
His friend, Kent, a heavy, bearded guy, leaned forward and I squealed, “Oh Rick! That’s one ugly woman! Oh well! Good BYE!!” It’s standard for Kent and me to trade barbs. It’s what we do. It barely registered that he didn’t have a snappy come back like he usually does.
So, ha ha. We part.
Rick gets home not longer after me. Said for me to come out on the deck, he had something to tell me.
He had gone to Kent’s to borrow his air bubble because the trailer had a flat. Kent wasn’t there. Their daughter said, “He doesn’t live here any more.”
Last Saturday his wife filed for a divorce, after 35 years. He’s living in a bare rental now.

************************************************
And here I was, 15 minutes earlier, joking about leaving Rick….does this happen to you very often? :(

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11 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

Not me. But then, I’m kind of shy and I don’t tend to goof around with people in the open. That’s not my kind of humor. I think I may have learned early on that joking around in that kind of way generally got me in trouble. My parents told me not to be a smart alec many times, and finally I got it that no one seemed to like it when I was a smartass.

Even so, I still like that, and sometimes you can get away with it online, even if you can’t get away with it irl.

Araya's avatar

I haven’t. I usually say what I want to say and have no regrets when I say them.

gailcalled's avatar

That kind of facetiousness is not my style either. Better to tread softly until you have surveyed the terrain.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I was playing golf in our league. Our opposing team was a father and son. The son was in town for his mother’s funeral and was just subbing for his father’s partner. The father and mother had been together 30 years. I left a putt short. My partner always said “Hit it Sally” when he left a putt short, I did the same. The wife and mother’s name: Sally.

Jeruba's avatar

You mean like “How’s your husband? I haven’t seen him lately” to a woman who was widowed six months earlier? Yes, I have. I wasn’t joking around or being facetious or insincere, which I wouldn’t call “total innocence,” but it’s still possible to make a regrettable remark while intending to be friendly.

Another time a pregnant young woman was inviting suggestions for names for her daughter-to-be. I proposed a lovely name that I thought she would like. She gave me a very pained look and said “Yes, I do like that name,” as if I’d said something terrible. That’s when I found out that the name I’d offered was the name of her first daughter, who had died in infancy.

Sunny2's avatar

@Jeruba I know how you felt.
This happened many years ago, but it still bothers me. I was at a cocktail party. A man behind me was saying something about how his wife had a harder job coping with a situation at home than he did. I brightly turned and said “Gee, that’s the first time I’ve heard a man admit that his wife had a harder time than he did.” He solemnly responded that his two young boys both had cystic fibrosis. I could happily have sunk through the floor. What an ass I was.

jca's avatar

I was in a work meeting and our team met with a local politician. He had just been away for a few weeks but I didn’t know why, all I knew was that my coworkers were telling him how sorry they were when they shook his hand, so it appeared to me that he had experienced a death in the family.

At the meeting, his phone rang and he answered it, and after he was on briefly, he hung up and then apologized to our group for taking the call. I said “It’s the time of night when wives are calling asking to pick up milk on the way home.” The man didn’t say anything that indicated he was upset, but my coworker threw me a look. What I didn’t know was that his wife just died a month earlier.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Like that. It’s just awful when it happens, isn’t it. :(

Dutchess_III's avatar

@gailcalled Before you get too judgmental, that has been the nature of our acquaintance for ten years. He throws down on me, I throw down on him.

gailcalled's avatar

I was talking about my style, not yours.

deni's avatar

Yes, one of my coworkers, I forget that her mom died a few years ago and will occassionally make a your mom joke. Innocent, but she gets upset and I feel terrible. I don’t do it anymore, we’re pretty good friends at this point and I don’t forget.

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