Some time ago, a friend, Kay, suggested I write of a few of the embarrassing moments we encounter in our lives. Most, we laugh about now, but at the time they occurred; well, maybe not so much.
If you’re of the male persuasion, perhaps you’ve heard an attention getting “pssst” followed by a raised eyebrow, a meaningful gesture, and a whispered: “The barn door is open!” You then attempt to correct the problem without attracting further attention. Possibly it’s just a subtle motion your mate makes, indicating there is something stuck to your teeth, cheek, or nose. Again, one tries to rectify the situation, without making it worse.
Many years ago, Sharon and I were living in Boise, Idaho, raising our brood of youngsters, and hoping for an occasional dose of adult company. We became acquainted with the parents of a boy down the street, who played with our eldest, Pat. The boy’s mother, Barbara, was a tall, sophisticated woman, and she and her equally refined husband George, hobnobbed with the movers and shakers of Boise’s upper crust.
We became acquainted, and over the period of a year or so, shared a few meals in some of Boise’s restaurants, went to movies together, and occasional dinners at each other’s homes.
The first time we were invited to George and Barbara’s for dinner, my beloved wasted no time getting her husband primed for the occasion; “Keep you shirt tucked in, don’t monopolize the conversation, (me?) and mind your manners.” Thus prepared, we walked down the block at the pre-determined time, and rang the doorbell. When our hostess ushered us into their cozy home, we were greeted with hugs, a bit of Mozart, soft chairs, and, a glass of wine.
We settled in, and as the wine was decanted into some beautiful stemware, Barbara told the story behind her glassware; “It’s was an heirloom, handed down to me from my grandmother.” she continued: “The pattern is almost impossible to get anymore, I only use it for special occasions.” I was quite puffed up to think our visit was considered noteworthy.
I took the fragile bit of glass up in my rather clumsy set of 10 thumbs, and looked it over. It was obviously much more expensive than the barrel glasses used down the street at the Foleys. It was when I placed the glass back on the table that I found that it really was fragile; for in one ham fisted motion, I instantly turned the heirloom into junk. Barbara was quick to reassure me that it was no big deal; her grandmother had been dead for years, and she doubted Granny would know of the broken glass.
From an awkward situation, Barb swept the discomfort away, and soon, ushered us into the dining room for dinner. You‘ll be pleased to know that I wasn’t seated in the corner, but was given a spot at the table with the adults. Mexican food was on the menu, and the dinner beverage was beer.
I watched as she reached into her china closet, and selected a couple of slender, fragile, Pilsner glasses. She paused; glanced at me, replaced the glasses, and instead, pulled down four pewter mugs.
So, should you be anticipating a visit from the Foley’s, not to worry; I’ll bring my own barrel glass.