15 November 2007

Never to Be Said...

It was another day at Caputo's: the Mexican chefs were slapping meat down at a blurring speed, the deli boys were wiping tables while whistling something that reached back from an Andy Griffith's show, customers were staring at the menu with worship-like awe - wondering how and what would be their heavenly bite.

They came in... the two of them. I'd seen these two so many times, that I call them "regulars." His name is Jon. Hers I can't remember, but that never stops their smiling nature to come out.

And it does. It always does. They seem genuinely happy to be at lunch, together. He's probably mid 50s; she is probably early 20s. I enjoy seeing them so much, that I decided to "stop" them today and express my appreciation.

"I just have to tell you two, it is so refreshing to see you come in! I really like your energy... your smiles!"

"Oh, thanks!" they say, beaming.

"Yeah," I said, "its so good to see a father and daughter enjoying time together like this. I just really think its great!"

She smiled and with deer-in-headlights-eyes said, "He's my husband."

There are times when you say something wrong in a social setting that you can recover. Its fast. Its quick. Its a nano-second that can curb an entire reservoir of explanation and embarrassment on your part. Its well crafted, but only through a snap-cracking wit, as fluid as mercury. This nano-second is precious, few, and like a grace from Heaven if utilized perfectly.

I missed it.

I just stared at her. It seemed like an hour that I stood, carp-mouthed, full-moon eyed, trying to think of someway to recover the words that slipped from my mouth.

And I ask you... how do you do that? How do you recover those milliseconds of foot-in-mouth blundering?

I said I was sorry. And then found myself digging myself out of that: "No,.. I'm not sorry you're married.." Deeper. Deeper. Six feet under.

"Oh, that's fine! We get it all the time! He just looks older. And I look younger!" eyes twinkling in some distant galaxy.

As they left to their table, I gasped for air, dropped my head, and felt my head fill with red, pounding, screaming blood.

"So, Dallas," Jan asked, "you having crow for lunch?"


Jen said...

that is so funny...you just say..."i'm sorry!" how funny...i am laughing so hard right now! that's like asking a woman that you "think" is pregnant when she is due....i've had several people act totally surprised when they learn that i'm expecting...they've had some bad experiences and say that they will NEVER assume....:)

Oldest Girl said...

im laughing too! So hard! Only you could recover from that so well. lol.... You know what they say when you assume..well I can't say because it has a bad word in it.! I lov you dal. Thanks for makng me laugh today!

Mama said...

This is sooooooooo funny Dallas. I kind of wish I could have been there to see the look on YOUR face. By any chance did it have egg on it? You might not have noticed, but it probably did. xoxoxo Mom