…according to the urban dictionary a faux pas is “french for ‘false step.’ a severe social blunder or major breach in etiquette. if the faux pas in question was unintentional it oftens leads to a very awkward and uncomfortable moment. if the faux pas in question was intentional the person who intentionally committed the faux pas in question is often loathed for an appropriate period of time (or bitch slapped). but- on a rare occasion the person the intentional faux pas was directed at might find it funny and laugh it off.”
my ex used to tell me a story about her ex boyfriend. she was taking him to meet her father for the first time over dinner at a fancy restaurant. both were very nervous, i am unsure of how the rest of it went now, so, i apologize if i don’t get it completely correct.
the trio were sharing conversation and getting to know each other. at some point fairly early on, my exes boyfriend…said or did something goofy or awkward. he knew what a faux pas was and quickly wanted to acknowledge his mistake, while tackling a fancy phrase.
what came out of his mouth, mortified my ex. she was embarrassed for him to have made such a blunder. he was unaware that he had said anything incorrectly. i don’t even remember now, if she corrected him or not, but i do remember what he said. he said something like, “oops! i made a *fox paws*.” and that little tid bit of awkwardness, has stuck with me.
i try to be diligent in knowing the meanings of words, how “fancy $20 words” are pronounced, what’s acceptable, and what’s respectful. when it comes to speaking and writing, no matter how careful i am, there are times when i commit *fox paws* of my very own. when that happens, it’s all downhill from there.
on those occassions when i “step in it,” i “step in it” with both feet. one thing that i can say about myself, is that when i commit to something, i’m in all the way up to my eyeballs. there’s no “fence sitting,” when it comes to a faux pas. you either meant it or you didn’t. i don’t think that i’ve ever had an intentional faux pas. mine have all been very much unintentional and endlessly embarassing.
here’s part of my problem, once i realize that i’ve committed a faux pas. i freeze. my mind begins to spin. and if i’m texting, my fingers begin fiercely typing: my apalling realization, my sincere apology, and the message as i wish that i would’ve conveyed it. in all actuality, it should stop there, but it doesn’t!
i make things even more complicated by adding my “emoji hieroglyphics.” in my mind, they are meant to dispel any kind of tension or discomfort. they are to explain my thought process and related chain of emotions. if anyone ever stopped to ask me, “what were you thinking?” these “hieroglyphics,” would easily answer that question. but the thing is…nobody’s ever asked me that question. i just throw it out there all “willy-nilly.”
yesterday, i was having a text conversation with my friend. she and her sister had been shopping at nordstroms. she was relating the details of their shopping trip and the fact that they had gotten some nice things. well, of course i was happy and excited for them. i relayed that fact immediately and without giving it too much thought.
i pushed the “send” button and immediately cringed. i froze and read what i had just sent. a voice in my mind repeatedly chided, “undo, undo, undo…” of course there are no “magic gossamer threads” attached to texts that you can just yank on and pull back to you without the other party seeing. i would pay good money for such an app!
i looked again and there it was, “you girls scored!” i was absolutely mortified. there was no unringing that bell. my only excuse, which i didn’t use, was that i’ve only been keeping company with girls, “the girls.” i guess that i just wasn’t thinking beyond the confines of our apartment.
in my attempt to “right my wrong,” i just kept “stepping in it.” the faux pas was like a snowball rolling down hill, getting bigger, and faster…and way more noticeable. but mind you, i’m the only one that was upset and offended by my faux pas. they were not, but i didn’t know that at the time.
so, from “you girls scored!” i apologized for referring to them as girls and explained that i didn’t mean it to offend or be disrespectful. from there, i reworked my original line. it read, “you young ladies scored!” and then, it became, “shit…you young women scored!” and then, out they came…the “emoji hieroglyphics.”
hieroglyphics key as follows:
😁 – enjoying my conversation
😕 – oh dear…
🤔 – recalculating
🤤 – omg!
😨 – frozen
😲 – undo, undo, undo
😓 – i feel awful
☹ – ruh-roo
💩 – shit
🙊 – going to be quiet, i’ve said enough
keep in mind, that i haven’t really spoken with or been in the company of a true lady, in a little over a year. so, in my current reality “ladies” don’t exist. i just never gave it all a second thought until i did. and then when i did, i panicked.
they did however let me know that they preferred to be addressed as just “ladies,” as opposed to anything else. it was a huge relief to me to find out the proper address for next time and to know that they were not offended.