I’m can be clueless. Help me?

The other day, I took Slow Boy to a baby shower (an informal and impromptu one, let me add) where we find out only too late that he was the only male. It was horribly awkward, but hilarious in retrospect. I walk in.

“Hi, you must be J___!”

“Hi!” J___ is very nice.

Enter Slow Boy behind me. As he stands in the doorway, I take a look around and immediately notice that our lady friends are sans their husbands. Oh, I am an idiot.

“Omigosh, I didn’t even think to ask if it was for… ” I’m red-faced and completely embarrassed.

“No, no, I knew you both were coming. You had said we. My husband is coming.” See, J___ is very nice. She even offers Slow Boy a beer.

Ok, phew. After Slow Boy gives me the eye and mouths “we’ll talk later”, the awkwardness eases up, we have a nice meal, play with kids, and talk about babies of course. Then we have to leave early for dragon boat practice.

All the while, the husband never comes.

It took me well into the middle of a cold and soaking wet practice to laugh at myself (meanwhile the dragon boaters were able to do that right away). Yes,  those of you that are not tacky like moi are likely thinking “What? Don’t you know?”

But actually, I don’t. As in the words of Cher Horowitz, “I was just totally clueless!” (Ooo, must resist tangent to classic Clueless quotes.)

I’ve been to several coed showers (wahoo! naw, you know what I mean 😉 ) and am even planning one for this weekend (I like to think my head was clouded by this). Still, should I know to ask the obvious question: “Are guys invited?”

TC and I have had discussions recently about how we wish it were easier to be open and comfortable with people. Like in this situation, nice J___  would be able to respond to stranger moi with “Hey, it’s going to be for the girls only”. Or I can tell my apparently clueless coworker that I’m busy, having lunch, with my husband no less. Or someone can tell me there’s something in my teeth that’s totally distracting them.

I am guilty as anyone can be. Growing up, I was very concerned about being polite. I even ingrained this into Couch Potato, who only recently has broken years of discipline and can take the last piece on the plate. My best cousin would get annoyed at how I could never speak up or say what I want, and I’d be upset that she’d just outwardly say or do things. It seemed so inconsiderate!

But it’s a fine balance. Through the years of being with Slow Boy, establishing an adult relationship with my parents, and living together with the Big House family, I’ve learned it’s better to be (gently) honest and open. We all appreciate being able to talk and discuss things without the social barriers as if we didn’t know each other well.

Now, I still like to extend myself, sacrifice, entertain, because I take great satisfaction when people are happy. What can I say…I’m a people-pleaser. But the next time you want to tell me I’m being an idiot, I can take it. I promise–I hope! Of course, you could still say it nicely.

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