The Norman Transcript

November 16, 2012

The price of being human

The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — When was the last time you were flabbergasted by something you said or did?

As you might expect and considering how the mind of this writer tends to twist when you expected it to turn, we are not referring to amazing yourself with your supernova brilliance. Instead, let’s focus on those mindboggling moments that you cannot withhold exclaiming: “OMG!” or “I couldn’t have possibly done or said that!”

Rest assured that such moments are not imbued with pride or pompous peacockery. Such moments whether they occur in public, with a cast of thousands present and unmercifully attentive, or private, the brain-freeze feeling, without benefit of tasting yummy ice cream, is usually the same. In other words, acts or words which can only be described as unbelievably stupid.

Unless you are Mary Poppins, we have all experience relatively minor mishaps.

Hubby often tosses the trash bags in the back of his truck and drops them off in the bins at the end of our long driveway. Sometimes he forgets and the trash becomes well-traveled. Wouldn’t you love to see the face of the thief who decided to help himself to the bags?

Perhaps you are in a nice café having an animated conversation with friends — animated as in channeling your real or perceived Italian heritage and “speaking” with your hands. Then the waiter comes by with a hot cup of tea or coffee and the next thing you know the beverage ends up in your lap. Besides second-degree burns in a sensitive area, the stain is quite noticeable on white linen slacks.

For the unfathomably klutzy, stay out of shops with lots of breakable items. Whether you tend to swing your purse as you walk or gesture with gusto as you pass by a display, the potential for costly mortification is very real. Thus you come to understand the reason for the sign: “You break it. You buy it.”

Some mishaps should be classified as goofy rather than accidents. Nevertheless, such goofs can be major or minor embarrassments as well. The simplest example of this would be if more than one woman shows up at an event wearing the same dress. It is a catastrophe in the female mind. However, if the situation occurs with the average male, it would have the importance of a piece of white lint on a black suit. Since men’s clothing options are far more limited than women’s, such disinterest is understandable. However, there are some men who would go ballistic about the lint issue.

Speaking of clothing, both Hubby and I prefer not to be too casual in public. In Hubby’s case, this comes down to dress shirt and slacks. As for me, casual tends to be slacks and a nice top.

Prior to attending the Grands soccer game and a basketball game, our daughter warned them we would be overdressed for the venues. As I tried to walk (actually tiptoe) across the soft soccer field in my high heeled boots, our smart-mouthed daughter looks at the girls and laughs. “See, I told you.”

But of all the stupid things I have done, and there have been many, the most recent tops them all.

While packing for a weekend trip, I spied a plastic bag in the closet with facial wipes left over from an overseas trip, and tossed it in the overnight case.

That night I used the wipes to remove my makeup and thought they felt a little rough. But since I was tired, I blew it off. The following evening I noticed the same thing. In fact, one side of the wipes was knobby and really rough. Upon closer inspection, it turned out that the wipes were counter wipes I had taken to sanitize things like the trays and armrests on the airplane.

After telling my daughter of my mistake, her only comment was, “So basically you Cloroxed your face.”

Yep. Pretty much.

Elizabeth Cowan is an author and freelance writer. Visit her website Check out her new novel, “The Dionysus Connection” on Amazon.

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