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Monday, May 2, 2016

Faux pas

I was talking to a friend the other evening. He explained to me that he turns 54 in June and is a year away from aging up for the Crash B's, the championships of ergometer rowing. I urged him to compete, with the goal of setting the world record for that age group. (He's got an outside shot.)

Then the subject changed and he asked after my parents. When I asked after his mother, he said that she had just moved into an assisted living facility. I asked, what is she now, 68, 69? (It was my vague impression that he had told me within the past couple years that she was 66.) He said, no, she's 75.

My friend is a nice guy, so didn't call me out on my math. It was only later that I realized what an incredibly stupid error I'd made.

I told this story to my daughter an hour or two later and she found it quite funny. Maybe a little too much so for my taste.

Anyway, your humble(d) correspondent is evidently not as smart as he thinks he is.

I actually get reminders of this quite frequently: I say dumb things all the time. I usually realize they're dumb the second they're out of my mouth, but by that point, it's too late. 

I just wish I had the same edit function in my personal life I have on this blog. 


Anonymous said...

That actually would be a great thing to have at times, an "edit function." Since we're all imperfect beings, unfortunately we'll have our "moments" up until the time we meet our Maker. Lol.


John Craig said...

Birdie --
I'll really need mine then.

Steven said...

Its not so bad. She could have been 15 when she had him. It happens. A bit rude to imply it of your friends mum but still :-D

Anonymous said...

Actually, it occurred to me (and maybe your friend) that for people over 50, you probably just had a "senior moment". I have them all the time these days. Some times I'm amazed by what I say or do and think, oh gosh, I hope I don't develop dementia. I'm too young for these " senior moments," being 51. All is easily forgiven, forgotten.

- Susan

John Craig said...

Steven --
Ha, hadn't intended to be rude, just hadn't figured out the math.

And if you knew him, or his mother, you'd know that wouldn't have been the case.

John Craig said...

Susan --
Thank you, but I actually don't believe in senior moments. I've been having them all my life, as have most people. And when we're young, we call them absent-mindedness, when we're older we call them senior moments, but until senility really sets in, it's really just the same absent-mindedness. I've found the same thing physically: I tend to attribute any twinge or ache to my age these days, but I've been getting various injuries since I was young, I'm just more likely to attribute them to old age now.

Rona said...

John, I'm 32 and have been having "senior moments" since I can remember. I mentally cringe while something dumb is coming out of my mouth but by then it's too late. My problem is I'm in my own head too much and generally absent-minded and don't pay attention to my surroundings until something catches my interest. It comes across as weird, like me not recognizing a person coming towards me while looking in that direction because I'm thinking of something I read.

In conversation, sometimes I resolve to be silent and discard the first thing that comes to my mind before saying anything. On the whole, it's a good rule. It has saved me from saying something dumb or making a clich├ęd pun far more more times than it cost me in unspoken witty remarks.

I find it disturbing though, how much my brain's processing speed differs on some days. Perhaps I should eat more butter. Apparently it improves ability to solve math problems. Bulletproof coffee tomorrow morning.


John Craig said...

Rona --
That's a perfect description of what happens in these moments. I'm the same as you, in my own head all the time and not necessarily thinking of what's around me. Sometimes I even think aloud, which makes it look as if I'm talking to myself, which REALLY comes across crazy to others.

I should adhere to your rule more.

And yes, coffee helps. I stayed away from it until I turned 60, then said why not, and now, on the mornings when I don't have it, can really notice the difference. Some people even put butter in their coffee (it's supposed to help athletic performance as well as math).