open mouth insert foot?

It’s not my fault. Really. I’m just high strung. I’m sure you’ve heard about creative types…always a little high strung. Especially writers…living in an alternate reality, and all that.

Ok, I just made that up, but it could be true.

But it’s still not my fault. I just seem to attract these sorts of things.

Case in point…I was in the bookstore the other day, escaping the the chaos of my house to work on my book edits. I was in the cafe, ordering food and talking to the guy behind the counter, when this little old lady with a laptop approached my table. She asked me if this was my office for the day, to which I said, yep…escaping the house, etc. She said she was doing the same thing. I gathered we were both writers (although I never said as much). When out of the blue, she said to me, “I appreciate you speaking in hushed tones…”

Hushed tones? This wasn’t a library…or a church. It was a retail shop…the cafe of a retail shop…and I was talking to the people who worked there. I wasn’t even loud! And it suddenly dawned on me, this older lady probably needed way more quiet than I did to write. I started imagining her writing erotic fiction…Granny does Dallas or something like that. 

It made me feel better.

Then the very next day, I was at the eye doctor picking up my new glasses (the first time I’ve ever needed glasses, FYI) and I was speaking to the woman about vision. Remember, I’m at an eye glass store (retail establishment). I said “naked eye”…in context, it was something like, seeing things with the naked eye. I might have said it twice…I can’t remember…when this old guy in the store says to me. “Please don’t say naked again,” and he cringed. Practically crawled under a table. I wasn’t actually naked, mind you. And I wasn’t talking about people…I was talking about my eyes…in a vision store.

I asked him if I could say naked if I was at a bagel shop. He cringed again.

I’ve decided perhaps I should just keep my mouth shut until I get done with these edits. Clearly the creative process has made me even more high strung than usual if I’m upsetting old people in retail establishments.

And yeah, before you say it…I know I’ll be old someday, but I think about my mother. I seriously doubt she would be upset by my not so hushed tones in a book store, or my naked eyes at the vision store. And she’s old (sorry Mom).

I suppose I should definitely steer clear of all retail establishments until further notice. My husband will be thrilled.

Until the next time…I’ll be inserting my foot in my mouth.


Copyright © 2000-2018, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.
Posted on February 9, 2012 .