That Awkward Moment


You’re in the middle of a story or a joke or a piece of news, your mind whirling faster than your tongue. All of sudden you are dead. meat. This is not the subject for your audience. But, you’ve gone too far. Do you stall? Do you stop? Do you fake a coughing spell? Or start humming the National Anthem?

My sister Margo and I loved to trade jokes. Before I called her, I rummaged around my memory for a good one to make her laugh.

One Saturday, I started in.

These guys were hanging out at a bar in [insert much-maligned town]. And, unbelievably, Jesus walked in! This biker dude hugged Jesus and his limp was instantly healed. The waitress fighting skin cancer touched Him and the cancer disappeared.

Oh, NO!! I just now remembered where this joke went. And how greatly I could offend my sister. CRAP!! What do I do?

You know how this goes, I said. Everyone with illness and injuries crowded around Jesus, and they were healed. Until Jesus turned and held his hand out to a man in the corner, curled over his whisky. The man shouted, DON’T TOUCH ME; I’M ON DISABILITY!

There was a nanosecond of silence. Inside my thoughts, I swore. I shuddered. I cringed. I will beg for forgiveness. How could I be such a jerk? How could I forget she was on disability?

And then … she roared with laughter! After exhaling, I began a herky-jerky chuckle and soon we were both giggling.


10 thoughts on “That Awkward Moment

  1. A sense of humor is so important. Your sister sounds like a LOT of fun.

    BTW, been there … done that. Same chapter, different verse, but I’ve so been there.

  2. Some years ago (decades actually) my PA was asked by a colleague who was obviously homosexual, what he could bring to a morning tea. I cringed when she totally innocently answered, ‘how about fairy bread?’ People in the office fell about in laughter, as did said chap.

  3. I have so been there in that moment, too. There is nothing like a good laugh to help make us feel better and a person to laugh with is icing on the cake.
    love and prayers, jep

  4. Carol, when I got to the “nanosecond of silence” point I thought of the t-shirt I’ve seen which is a play on that old TV commercial showing a woman on the floor calling out “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” The t-shirt’s panicky cry is, “Help! I’m talking and I can’t shut up!” 😉

    • Oh, yes. I also have the same panic with eating. The day after Margaret died, I was stuffing food in my mouth, while saying, “I need Curt to come right away and stop me from eating!”

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