Recently I overheard a colleague say my name. As I walked past said colleague commented “I was just saying how smart you are”. I responded with “Must be the hair dye” and a wink. This conversation reminded me of an artwork I once made titled “Artificial Intelligence” which was a dig at myself as a natural blonde who dyes her hair red (and when I say I dye my hair, I clearly mean my hairdresser does).
The artwork, however, was received to critical acclaim (and by that I mean my teachers liked it) and I received 2 offers to buy it followed by the invitation to enter it in a competition. They believed it was a comment on the state of the art world, which I readily went along with. This surprised me as it had all been a joke, and got me thinking about times I’ve accidentally put my foot in it and done something unintentionally that is read into a lot more than intended.
A few years ago my colleagues Jess and Bianca were both engaged, friends with each other outside of work, and both wanted the same wedding dress. Both were getting it, and there was, predictably, an argument about it. One day, in the staff room during a morning tea, I asked Bianca “How’s the wedding dress coming along?” Bianca makes a dismissive comment (don’t ask) and I smile sympathetically and go on my merry way.
Later a third colleague comments to me that I must have balls of steal for daring to say that. I laugh it off, thinking “Fuuuuck, I totally didn’t mean to do that!”, the truth is I had actually just forgotten about the whole thing.
The problem is, you see, quite often I speak before I think. I like to blame this on being a natural blonde (no offense to blondes, I’m sure you’re all far more intelligent than I am, with the possible exception of Jessica Simpson who I commiserate with… a lot… ). I suffer from a pretty bad case of foot in mouth disease (not to be confused with actual hand, foot and mouth disease which, up until a few years ago, I did not realise existed as a genuine virus) which results in quite a few moments of looking like I’m telling it like it is like a boss, or I have the intellectual capacity of a cucumber.
Just last night Husband commented that my laugh unit is broken and is naught but a range of farmyard animal sounds. True, but I replied “Hey, there are no monkeys on farms!”
Husband “There are in India”
Me “There are farms in India?”
Well played, T, well played. Really intelligent… Next you’ll be asking if tuna is chicken or fish. It’s moments like that I wish life really did have a remote like in that Paul Jennings story (or the associated episode of Round The Twist) and we could just rewind the bits that don’t go well. And, even better, we could fast forward through all the boring bits and bits we don’t like. Like sitting through kids TV shows, or going to the dentist. Alternately, could we all just pretend life is a movie? When someone stuffs up can a director step in and go “Cut, cut, that’s awful. Go back and start again – from the top!” I think we’d all be much happier.
Have you ever put your foot in it? Have you ever said something before thinking and wished life had a rewind button? Or a director to stop you when you say something stupid?
Jessica Simpson Image of own artwork
Tamsin Howse has written 178 posts.
Tamsin is a wife, stepmother and blogger with a passion for people and relationships, fashion and beauty, and an inability to successfully complete household tasks. Co-founder and Editor-in-chief of KiKi & Tea.
Follow on twitter: @TamsinHowse