When I’m not a complete moron, I’m merely an idiot.
Like when I was about 23. I imagined myself to be somewhat of a pleasant looking girl, not overly beautiful but I tried to look nice. It was winter. I had a very soft, loopy pink scarf. “Gosh I look great in pink,” I thought to myself as I wound it around my swan-like neck. (Joking). I teamed it with black. Very Lady Penelope. It was the early 1980s and as a ’60s girl I remember the Thunderbirds and pink and black always reminds me of the elite Lady P. So anyway, I went down to the local shopping centre, (I have no idea what for) and strolled around looking in windows and going to the bank etc. when I began to notice people staring. Mostly I noticed that their heads turned as I walked past. “I must just look THAT fabulous,” I thought. (The confidence of the young!) Then I noticed them smirking….that’s odd….
A quick check with the mirror did not reveal any rogue vegemite around my mouth, nor any GT stripe of lipstick…. so what then? Fly done up…all good. Oh well….. maybe they’re all just happy smilers.
It was when I got home, and took my scarf off, I realised that I had a stowaway. My black, lacy bra was hooked into the loops of my pink scarf, hanging down, swinging around me as I walked. It stood out like dog’s balls against the light pink. Why I didn’t notice, I really don’t know. It was a slap back to reality when I realised I was not as fabulous as I thought. I probably looked like I was a runaway hooker from Lola’s Full Frontal Fantasy Land!
WHY didn’t someone tell me? a-la “Excuse me love, you have a toilet paper trail hanging out of your undies.” I mean, you’d tell them that. If you had a heart. Clearly I was the laughing stock of The Northern Beaches. I don’t think I ever wore that bra, or that scarf again. Piss off Penelope. Fabulous.
Automatic or manual? Was the question I asked as I filled out the insurance form. Having worked at the insurance company for about 10 years I was on ‘remote control’ asking the questions and filling in the form (this is before computers). So it SHOULD have been obvious to me when the extremely short statured man, a Small person in fact, was at the desk. I am a shortish woman myself, merely five foot two inches, or one hundred and fifty seven centimetres. It’s unusual to see shorter people than myself. It SHOULD have been obvious that this man, who was a good foot and a half….forty five centimetres, shorter than myself, couldn’t possibly drive a manual car. He looked at me. Hard. “Are you THAT blonde?” he was probably thinking to himself. I caught on very rapidly, and looked back at him hard,…just to ensure he understood that it wasn’t Peroxide on the Brain that had caused the brain-fart but non-discrimination in question asking. oh. Fabulous.
I went to Germany, backpacking. It was wonderful. I had a lovely friend there who’s family was kind enough and hospitable enough to take me in for a week or so while I enjoyed the beautiful south near Stuttgart. I was extremely grateful, and near the end of my stay I bought the mother a present, some pretty china for her kitchen. Fancying myself as somewhat multilingual, I tried hard to speak German occasionally to my hosts, whenever I thought they’d understand me. Even when they didn’t I’m sure they appreciated my efforts. Until this particular evening when I presented the thankyou gift. Having wrapped up the lovely Royal Worcester china, I ensured the family was there when I gave the present to Frau Schabel. “Ein Gift fur sie” I said. (This is because I didn’t know the word for ‘present’ or ‘gift’, so I just said ‘gift’ knowing the word present could mean a tense of time and might confuse them.
I was met with rather shocked looks. No one said anything. My friend came to the rescue after 10 seconds, taking the present and giving it to his mother. I was not sure why this was not working as well as I’d hoped. I looked from them to my friend and back.
“Gift”….he said. “You said Gift”
“Yes?” I replied, not understanding.
“Gift in German, means poison.”
I went to a rather lovely restaurant with my new husband one day during a romantic holiday. I wore a nice dress and everything was very pleasant. Until I ordered from the menu.
Having a husband who is allergic to seafood, means that when I visit a restaurant I am particularly likely to choose a nice fish or crustacean dish. This time, I scanned the menu and found something unusual. “Ocean Trout”. Just saying, but this was the early 1990’s in Australia. We were just starting our foray into international level restaurants, and though a seafood lover, I had never heard of Ocean Trout. In fact, I believed that I was probably in rather a ‘backwood’ of the country, and that they were mistaken in the classification of ANY trout as ‘ocean going’. Seriously. Trout is a fresh water fish. EVERYONE knows that. That’s what I said to the waitress when she brought my dish, and it was pinkish…salmonish, in colour. I made a fuss.
I ate it, because it would have been a waste not to, even though that style of fish is not to my liking really. When we ordered a cheeseplatter for dessert we were amazed that the plate that appeared was half the size of the table. A WHOLE camembert, a massive wedge of Swiss…it was absolutely enormous. Clearly an apology for stuffing up the name of the fish so badly.
When I got home I looked up ‘Ocean Trout’ on the new World Wide Web. Oh. Fabulous.
Clearly we all have something to learn in life. I ….. German, fish species and attention to detail. You? Well if you’re brave you’ll confess. Get it off your chest. It’s amazing how you can remember every second of these life affirming experiences but one has difficulty remember one’s own age.
Ocean trout. How ridiculous.
Have an interest in more pathetic events? have a look at Embarrassing moments.