On social graces

I was talking to Jenny yesterday and we were discussing some social faux pas, such as staring at someone’s computer screen while they are working, or watching someone nursing a baby a little too closely …

Truthfully, I think many of these sorts of things happen when people are zoning out, not paying attention. Looking but not really looking, you know?

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Reminded me of a story:

When I was in high school I was dating a guy whose mother decided to get 2 kittens. I am an animal person, but I have never lived with cats – only dogs. And I always felt just a bit uncomfortable at her house – not quite sure what to talk about, how to act, etc. So I focused my attention to these two cute furballs. I spent lots of time petting them, playing with their toys with them, following them around.

One day, one of the kittens disappeared into a plastic  contraption that looked to my eyes like a doghouse for cats (I told you, I’m a dog person), and so I figured the cat wandered in there to take a nap. I was already sitting on the floor, so I crawled around to the doorway of the “cathouse” to try to get the cat’s attention. I came face-t0-face with a kitty that probably did not want to be disturbed at that moment, as I had just encountered my first litterbox. Let me reiterate I was in high school. I so should have known what a litterbox was by then.

Took me a moment to realize what was going on, and I glanced up then at the adults in the room, only to see a bewildered look on the boyfriend’s mother’s face. She probably wondered why I wanted to stare at a cat doing his business …

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Also, I was reading Amy’s blog yesterday in which she told a story about sticking her foot in her mouth (something I feel I do often.) I mentioned this in her comments, but I thought I’d retell a similar story here:

I was at a childhood friend’s wedding, and I had not seen her family in years. Everyone was there – her mother, her father, her stepmother and stepfather, her two younger brothers and her younger cousins. I was amazed to see her brother- who was in diapers the last I saw him – as a pre-teen. And her other brother, a gawky middle-schooler once, was now coming into adulthood. When did that happen? So I decided to proclaim, just a little too loudly, that “everyone has gotten so old!”

To which her stepmother gave me an eat-shit-and-die look. I swear, the comment was not meant for her!