Undeserved embarrassment

The other day I met a friend out for happy hour. I got there first and grabbed a table, and when I went to the bar to order a beer the bartender asked me, “Are you 21?” Being 34, I showed him my ID and said “And then some.” To which he replied, “Well you be sure to call your mama tonight and thank her.”

I gave sort of a half-hearted chuckle. If it was a joke I didn’t get it, and I really just wanted to get back to my table with my beer. But I continued to mull it over. What an odd thing to say…thank my mother…for giving birth to me 34 years ago? Um…okay…I guess…

It wasn’t until several minutes later that it dawned on me – he must have thought I said “I’m handsome”! :eek: :smack: :o
I was mortified! What a jerk he must think I am. So then I couldn’t decide whether it would be more embarrassing to let him continue to think that, or to go back to him and say “Excuse me, um…I didn’t say what I think you think I said…”
I thought about it so long that any window there might have been where it would have been remotely reasonable to do that closed, and I ended up not doing it.

Please give me company in my embarrassment and tell me about times when being misunderstood made you look foolish.

I think he was telling you to thank your mama for giving you young looking genes.

Or he could have meant it as “your mom gave you the genes that allow you to look underage when you’re actually 34 so call her up and thank her”. That’s how I read it anyway.
But, just to help, at about age 13 I once went running down the sidewalk, arms wide open, toward my friend Missy, screaming “Missy! Missy! I’m gonna get you Missy!” all the while, only to finally reach her and realize it was a total stranger. That sucked.

I think I’ve told this story before…

I ran up behind a tall, slim person in a beige jacket, with long dirty blond hair. “Excuse me, ma’am, could I get the time?”

It wasn’t a woman. :o

I think that was probably some deserved embarrassment in my case…!

Caricci and belladonna, that didn’t occur to me. Maybe that’s what he meant…that makes sense.

My husband and I were being shown a house by a realtor. It was a very old house and the main floor had heat vents but the heat got to the upper floor through holes cut into the ceiling covered with fancy brass grates.

I looked through one from upstairs into the living room and said something like “cool kids can see what their parents are doing when they’re supposed to be in bed.” I was thinking like see what they’re watching on TV, or wrapping for Christmas presents.

The realtor said something about how the vents were just into the living room. He gave me such and odd look. It wasn’t until we were leaving that I figured out he thought I meant watching parents in the bedroom. No wonder he gave me a look. It was 16 years ago and I still think about it.

Years and years ago, at the Otsego County Fair… with my father by the cotton candy booth. Pretty crowded, so I catch hold of my daddy’s hand and we walk off, slowly.
Suddenly aware of: This hand doesn’t feel like Daddy’s hand!
And the gentleman whose hand I’d gotten ahold of must have realized it about the same time, 'coz he’s staring down at me and I up at him, and then we look back to where we came from, and there’s my father standing next to a scared little boy who looks kind of like me…

Yay! Embarrasment all 'round! :rolleyes:

I think I can beat that, Daithi Lacha…
When my dad and I were walking somewhere when I was little, I used to grab onto the back pocket of his jeans (is that weird? Did anyone else do that? I know other kids did it when I was little, but I don’t see any kids doing it now). So, one day walking home from nursery school, I got distracted by something and let go. When I looked up, I saw my dad’s jeans walking away and I bolted after him fast as I could, and shoved my hand in the back pocket, only to then realise my dad had stopped to wait for me. Man, was that guy ever surprised.

My old roommate called me from the video store one evening, this was before cell phones and he was using their phone and leaning over the counter. He asked me if I wanted him to pick me up something for dinner. He said “don’t worry about me, I’ve got crabs.”

Guffaws of laughter from behind him a minute later when it sunk in. He was referring to a half dozen steamed blue crabs he got once a week or so. Then I heard half the conversation as he’s trying to tell the people behind the counter what he meant.

When my neice was transitioning from crawling to walking we spent a lovely day learning to go “UP-stairs!” and “down-stairs”. Imagine me saying this to a two year old in a very bright and happy voice. That night I went to a movie at a theater that had an upstairs and downstairs theater. A young hispanic looking man asked me if I knew which theater Austin Powers was playing in.

I pointed up and brightly said “UP-stairs!!”

He gave me a funny look and walked away. It was only then I realized he thought I assumed he couldn’t speak english very well, thus the child-oriented demonstration. :o I wanted to run and explain to him, but the damage was done. Whoops.

I went to buy a new bed. The salesman showed me the beds in my price range, etc. I tend to get impatient when I’m shopping, so I sat down on each bed. If it was too firm or too soft, I got up and went to the next bed. Why lie down on something when I can already tell I don’t like it, right? So as he watches me bopping from bed to bed, he says something like, “You really know what you’re looking for!”

I say, “I spend a lot of time in strange beds, so it doesn’t take me long to know what I like.”


I travel a lot. I stay in hotels. For business. That’s what I meant!

My favorite along these lines is something that reportedly took place at a Dopefest. The esteemed Straight Doper and moderator Ukelele Ike was one of the people in attendance. One of the board’s womenfolk (who may or may not show up and admit to this, but I shall not out her myself) showed up late, looked around for the 'Dopers, saw and recognized him and called out to him in a really good carrying voice: "***Uke Ike!!!*

Carding people is a risky business. I bartend, and my general criteria on carding is if I think you look younger than me. (I’m 26.)

But this is not an exact science, and it has been known to backfire.

I have learned that if you card one woman in a party, card them all. Even if you have a strong suspicion that they’re mother and daughter. Some women don’t apparently know that they look their age, and they get all coy when you don’t card them, and say things like, “Well, how old do you ]think I am?” and then you’re walking through a mine-field that could get you killed.

I have also carded a 42-year-old African American man, genuinely thinking that he was around 25. I suppose that’s a huge compliment, but you feel kind of stupid looking at an ID that says 1963 on it.

And then I’ve carded other people for what I call “sport,” just because they’re with younger people and I might as well card the whole party, only to discover that they turned 21 like two days ago and my radar is so off it’s not even funny.

And perhaps most painful is when I’m carding a whole group of people because some of them look questionable (it’s easier that way) and the guy/girl whose ID I really have no interest in seeing, b/c it’s obvious they’re at least 30, is the one who forgot it.

Legally, even my grandmother is required to carry her ID in order to drink at a bar; therefore, once I’ve asked you for your ID, I can’t serve you after I’ve discovered you don’t have it. Even if it’s obvious to me that you’re over 21. It’s the law and there’s not a whole lot I can do about it “now that I know.”

There are days when I feel like an ass.

Re: the OP, I’m going to go with the majority and say your bartender meant “thank your mama for the good genes.” Cut the guy some slack either way; like I said, it’s a risky business.


Thanks guys. This thread is keeping me amused while I do my uni work. :slight_smile:

I have another one.

I was at a wedding of a very nice, very Christian couple. (And I mean very nice and very Christian.)
The bride’s dress was a lovely white lace and beads number, with a big bow across the lower back. They were making the rounds at the dinner/reception and I saw that her bow had become unsnapped. The reception was kind of loud, so I kind of loudly told someone across the table to mention it to her.
In the meantime the groom had noticed it himself, and had begun to fix it. So I loudly said “Oh, don’t worry, he’s all over it.” The groom’s head head snapped around and he gave me a NASTY look.

He thought I meant he was all over her ass. I never did get a chance to explain myself. :smack: :o :smack: :o

It was my fault, but I wasn’t the one who was embarassed. When I was about three, my dad’s younger sister was pregnant with twins at the same time her sister-in-law was pregnant, so the two families threw a huge picnic/baby shower for the two of them. Naturally, my family was invited.

I still don’t remember HOW it happened, but as I was getting out of the car, my dad swung the car door shut, and it smacked me right in the face. (To this day, all I remember was standing in a strange kitchen bawling while my mom and some other women put ice on my cheek.) I ended up with a HUGE purple bruise on my cheek. Now, I don’t remember this part either, but a few days later, my dad went to the grocery store and took me along like he usually did. While there, a woman saw me and said, “Oh honey, how did you hurt your cheek?”

And according to my father, I gave a HUGE grin and said brightly, “Oh, my daddy hit me!”
Dad says the woman gave him the nastiest look and that he wanted to the floor to swallow him up.

I have a birthmark on my arm that is sometimes mistaken for a bruise. When I was a kid, anyone who asked got told that my dad did it. :eek:

A friend of mine had a similar experience. When he was young he stood too close to his mum when she was taking stuff out of the oven. She turned round with a baking tray and it hit him in the face leaving a nice bruise/burn.

When asked at school he told the teacher that his mum had hit him with a hot baking tray…social services were called!

Luckily nothing was misconstrued.

As for myself, I once left my clothes out by my parents pool and ran up the garden naked to get them (our house is surrounded by fences, trees and hedges etc, so I wasn’t too worried.

It was a couple of years later that I discovered my neighbours had seen me! :Cringe:


You’re going to know where this story is going the moment I begin telling it. Here it is anyway.

I was at Best Buy with my husband a few weeks ago, looking at the DVDs. My husband wandered off, and I wandered in another direction. When I wandered back to the spot we had originally departed, I see him with his back turned to me, looking at a DVD. I walk up to him, still glancing at the DVD titles on the rack on my way up to him, and slip my arm around his waist, give him a little squeeze, and sigh, “I’ve found what I want. Why don’t we get back home and into bed?” I glance up at him with a frank look.

You knew it was coming, kids.

It wasn’t my husband.

The guy looked partly amused, partly scared. I managed to keep my cool somehow, and the frank look never left my face. I just said to him, calmly, matter-of-factly, “You’re not my husband.” I disengaged my arm and walked away. Inside, I was burning, burning, burning with humiliation. I heard the fellow holding in a few chuckles, then he crept off and burst into heavy, heavy guffaws.

My husband, several isles over, had seen this from a distance, and when I got to him, he asked, “Who was that?”
I replied, “Not you, damnit.”

Oh, I have nothing against the bartender at all. I used to bartend myself – in fact, in the very bar where this took place. I’m not one of those people who take offense at being carded. It’s routine for me, and I had it ready before he even asked for it. I got the part about the good genes, I just thought he was referring to the genes that made me so darn handsome (or think I am) that I go around bragging about it to perfect strangers, as opposed to the genes that make me look young enough to get carded.