Tuesday, March 4, 2008

My Mouth, My Foot: Fast Friends

I have blogged before about how I am a dweller, mentally beating myself up for things that I could have done or said differently. The same post discusses how I am overly empathetic, feeling such empathy or embarrassment for characters in works of fiction that I have to turn away. Yet, despite these acknowledgements, I continue to suffer from foot-in-mouth disease.

A few weeks ago a mom I know that recently miscarried late in her pregnancy approached me with a container of formula, asking me if I wanted it. She caught me off guard, I was in the middle of a conversation, and I must have given her an odd look as I shook my head and said, "No, thanks," thinking to myself that I intend to nurse Bun and really had no need for it at this point. A few seconds after she hurriedly left the room it occurred to me how much more compassionate I could have been. She was just trying to get the free samples that randomly show up in the mail out of her house. I should have just taken the freaking container and chucked it if I didn't want it. Doh! What a crappy person I am. To be honest, I was so thrown off that I didn't even connect all of the dots when she initially asked.

Later in the evening I gave her a call to apologize. I really felt just awful. She was embarrassed, thinking I thought she was offering me the formula for LP, who has obviously outgrown the stuff. I mean, really, how was she supposed to know that I try to exclusively breastfeed. I felt better after talking with her, but I still can't get the episode out of my mind.

I have also blogged about my complete awe of stay-at-home moms. Seriously, these women amaze me. There are dozens of reasons that I couldn't/wouldn't be a full-time stay at home mom and I hold women that take on this charge in the highest regard. Unfortunately, when I encounter one, like this past weekend when we ran into a colleague of the Hoos' and his family, I tend to say something stupid. Instead of saying, "I commend you, I know it is really hard work." I said something like, "I don't know how you do it, I would go crazy." I really don't intend for this to sound derogatory or condescending. In the moment, in my cluttered, sleep-deprived head, they sound identical, but of course, they aren't.

I know that in general it would be smarter to be more thoughtful and contemplative when caught off guard. I should take the time to think about a situation and collect my thoughts before responding. Maybe that will be my "new month resolution".


KiKi said...

I think it's great that you at least try to make amends. People who know you probably realize you don't mean any harm - but I can see why you'd feel like this.

Almost sounded like you were talking about me! I too cringe (sometimes even hide) at embarrassing scenes in movies, could never sit through Showtime at the Apollo or the Gong Show (even American Idol makes me run from the room).

But while you're courageous, I'm a chicken. I'll dwell for days, sometimes even weeks, about something I could have done/said better. But YOU actually try to make a situation better. I'll kick myself black and blue but only rarely will I address something, unless I really hurt someone.

A's Mom said...

I suffer from the same illnesses. Too bad they don't have medical coverage for these diseases. But alas, we move on.

Fortunate for you, you had the opportunity to actually say something after-the-fact. That was nice of you to explain yourself.

Tiffany said...

I use to be a dweller as well but now I tell myself take it like a man. Men don't dwell on anything, they say how they feel and get over it. So next time you want to dwell on what you said, or what someone else said remember to take it like a man.