a slip of the tongue

I’m afraid I’m turning in to an accidental night owl. I never was one before; I’ve always been a morning person. But lately when I get in bed I just start thinking and my mind races, and I toss and turn. Sleep doesn’t come, and I look at the clock and realize I’ve been lying in bed and changing positions for two whole hours and then I get so angry about the wasted two hours that I REALLY can’t sleep and it’s just a vicious cycle of sorts. Then I finally fall asleep and am awakened by one of my cats at 4 am wanting to be let out. I’m livid about this, by the way; I’m completely accepting of the fact that my children are going to be waking me up during many nights over the next 18 years or so, and I signed on for that. I did not sign for it with the cats, so both of them are now getting the boot each night before I get in bed.

So sometimes, while I’m practicing my Not Sleeping routine, I think about current things that are occupying my waking hours, and sometimes I think about past things. Usually such memories are embarrassing ones. Why is it that we can remember every little slight, every humiliation in minute detail?For example, I lived in Rome for a summer during college. I graduated with an Italian language minor, and I learned more living with a host family for 2 months than I ever did during classes. These months weren’t without their embarrassing moments, of course; the best one was the evening at dinner when I blithely said to my host mother, ” Non vale il pene” which I thought was “it’s not worth the pain” which basically is an equivalent to “no big deal.” Now, see, it would have meant that, had I not said “il pene” rather than the correct word “la pena.”

That’s right, folks. I said “It’s not worth the penis.” At dinner. To my host mother.

Luckily she had a sense of humor.

And you know what the worst part was? I had READ that slip-up in a book. The protagonist in the novel did the same thing and I REPEATED the mistake. In the words of Homer Simpson, I certainly felt S-M-R-T.

Please tell me there are those of you who have done something similarly humiliating. Strength in numbers, people!


5 Comments on “a slip of the tongue”

  1. Oh girl, all the time. Things like this – only worse! – happen to me all the time. I believe “What is it, National Retard Day?!” said loudly towards a group of teenagers, but inadvertently heard by a woman with a very obvious physical handicap was the worst. I still hate myself for that one.

  2. Maura says:

    Totally. I once used the phrase “hairy eyeball” on an interview. I later learned that this is NOT the same as “evil eye” and rather refers to a body part. Used for pooping. Smooth.

  3. Shelly in Austin says:

    My mother once called her hair stylist and asked for a hair cut and a blow job. I believe they got her right in!

  4. Linnea says:

    Yes, I once announced to table full of people in Montreal that I was knocked up. I wasn’t. I was trying to say I was full. Of food. From a good meal. And I did say I was full. Only, the colloquialism takes the literal translation of “I am full” to mean “full of illegitimate baby.” Turns out I should have said “I have fullness” instead.

    Now that I am full of legitimate baby, I may go around using the phrase just because I can!

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