Sunday, December 19, 2010

I Did It Again

Some time ago now I wrote about a classic foot in mouth moment in my life. It was one of the more ridiculously humorous moments I've had.

I did it again this morning at the same church, with the same person. Perhaps not quite as badly, but it was definitely a case of "same story, second verse."


My internal voice started warning me the second I walked in the door. She was standing right there, waiting. The long time nemesis to my ability to be gracious. The one who has the unique ability to bring forth in me a raging case of foot in mouth disease.

And so my internal voice was talking. "Be careful. Smile. Be polite. Minimal words. Filter."

It didn't work.

I seem to possess the unique ability to shock this woman, even when the things I say aren't all that shocking.

"Are you ready for Christmas," she asked.

I laughed, cheerfully, and answered lightly, honestly, "Nope!"

So far so good.

"Well you know it's going to come anyway, whether you're ready or not!"

(In retrospect, who says something like that?)

Even as I responded again, my internal voice was screaming those same warnings it had been sounding since I entered the building, "Lisa Christine, be polite! Smile! Filter!"

And then the train derailed, though I didn't know it yet.

My mouth opened, ignore the warnings still sounding within me, and I spoke, still with a cheerful tone, "That's okay, I'm not its biggest fan. It can come and go and it will be fine."

Honesty is not the best policy. Sharing a bit of ambivalence over someone's pointed cheer is bad news.

And the shock registered on her face.

I wasn't even going for shock. I've been guilty of shooting for that in the past, but today I was going for the opposite.  In this case, I was simply expressing the thought that crossed my mind - that though Christmas is special, I'm just a bit ambivalent about it.  Glad for it, but not all that worried about it's coming and going.  It really didn't occur to me that this would be a piece of news that would be shocking, or offensive. 

But it was.

Sigh. Sometimes I just can't win.

At least this one won't require a report to mom and dad to allay the tattling concern of a well meaning busy body. That, in nearly three decades of navigating this stony pastor's kid journey is a blessing all its own!


Jenny said...

Sounds fine to me! But that could be because it's just the sort of thing I'd say.
If this lady hasn't heard anything like it before, she doesn't get out much.

Good for you. If we can't be 'real' in church, we might as well give up.



Lisa said...

Thanks Jenny! It was more the look on her face than anything. I know I didn't stumble all that badly conversationally. I guess I was more amused by the fact that I manage to shock her even when I'm trying so hard to be polite!

Hugs and blessings to you! And yes, being real in church is so important!