Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

My biggest blunder

Posted March 5, 2009

What is your biggest blunder?  What is your favorite faux pas?  What incredibly awkward moment made you want to crawl under a rock and hide?  I’ve had many.  You may remember after my dog Sparky died, Mike Maze kidded me on the air about my dog’s sometimes snarling disposition. Mike wasn’t aware that Sparky had passed and I finally had to tell him: “Mike, Sparky is dead.”  I felt badly for Mike and myself.  I could feel the beads of sweat starting to form at the top of my forehead.  Mike broke into nervous laughter. What else could he do?

Tomorrow I will share my worst social blunder. Today, I would like to hear your stories. I will give a copy of my book Blue Ridge Reunion to the person with the most unusual faux pas.

Maybe it was the time you asked a young woman: “When is the baby due?” She may have replied: “What baby? I’m not pregnant.”

In high school my team played basketball against the North Carolina School for the Deaf in Morganton. The NCSD Bears had a rugged power forward who was elbowing me around the basket but not getting called for fouls. Finally, in frustration but with total innocence I confronted my opponent by saying: “Now, hear me loud and clear! I’m not going to take this anymore!”  I immediately realized what I had said and felt awful for the next two weeks.

Can you top that? What is your worst social blunder?


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  • bleslie Mar 6, 2009

    We'll keep this going another day and announce the winner on Monday. Great stories so far!


  • cornfused Mar 6, 2009

    When I was still living at home, my parents took the paper every day. One night, the paper had not arrived and my daddy asked me to call the delivery man. We lived in a small town so we knew the man. When I called, his wife answered the phone and I asked for him. She said he was not there. I told his wife that I was calling because my parents had not received their paper that day and wanted to know if he would be bringing the paper. She then told me that she doubted that he would bring the paper because he had died earlier in the day while on his route. I felt SO bad!! I told my daddy to never ask me to contact the paper man again!!

  • Wifeandkids Mar 6, 2009

    Some of my in-laws and friends were having a girl's night out. We all met at a restaurant for dinner. My mother in law rode with me there. After dinner we were all going to see a movie. As we were leaving the restaurant, my mother-in-law tells me she is going to see Debbie's new car. I mistook what she said and thought she was riding to the movies with Debbie. When we all got to our destination a few blocks away, mom-in-law was not there. Oh no! I had left her at the restaurant! A sister-in-law went to pick her up. When she got there, mom-in-law said while she was waiting, a nice gentleman asked her if she'd like a drink. She declined, but it was nice to be asked. Mom-in-law was laughing at the whole episode when she arrived. Glad she has a good sense of humor! (I'll never live that down, though.)

  • GarnerGirl00 Mar 6, 2009

    I work in a medical office and type in insurance information. My desk is in the back so I dont get to see the patients until I call them up to hand them their cards back. Well one day I was getting ready to hand a card back and the waiting room was pretty full, so I am calling this persons name " Mr so so can you come to the front" nothing. So I call and call again, again nothing. Frustrated as I was, I finally take the card to the back to one of the techs and tell them that I dont know where the patient is, I though they may be in the bathroom but it was empty so I guess they are just deaf! Well did I feel bad not knowing but the patient was deaf!!! I was so embarrassed and felt so bad!!!

  • shepardfamily Mar 6, 2009

    When I was in the sixth grade my class had a field trip to Raleigh and the Governor's Mansion. While I was walking around the mansion I noticed the girls were smiling at me and whispering in an unusual way. We met the first lady and she even had an unusual smile as I stood near her. A few minutes later my teacher came up to me and whispered that my fly was open. I wanted to go hide.

  • javajoe Mar 5, 2009

    Here's an experience from years ago. It wasn't embarrassing to me, but I can't imagine how the young lady felt!

    At Six Flags amusement park in New Jersey, a group of us were browsing the candy store. It was a rainy, overcast day, so the stores at the park were packed all day long! While we were strolling through the candy store, I saw this couple walk in -- the young lady was attached to the arm of the man, leaning on him and holding his hand. Apparently, they became separated while ogling at the candies. About this time, I felt someone grab my arm and say, "Wait for me, Hun!" I tried to move quickly and slip my arm out of her hands, but she just held on tighter and followed on my heels. Eventually, I stopped and simply stared at the shelf in front of me, never making eye-contact with the lady. I didn't want to embarrass her!

    A couple seconds later, I heard a quiet yelp as her beloved other half stepped-up to her side and asked what she was doing! I felt so bad for her. And him!

  • cocker_mom Mar 5, 2009

    I can be a Chatty Cathy and Nosey Nellie, so standing in line at the grocery store, I almost always look at the items in the basket or on the conveyor in front of me.

    Sometimes, you can tell what folks are making - beans, salsa, cream cheese and olives - yup - Mexican 7 later dip. Ice cream, fudge sauce, whipped creme - hot fudge sundaes. Sometimes I'd comment and make some small talk.

    Not anymore.

    The guy ahead of me had loaded his items on to the conveyor:
    12 pack of Bud
    Large bag of Doritos
    Little Debbie snack cakes.

    I say the following:

    "Looks like quite a night you've got in store...."

    About the time my lips were forming the 'night', the Doritos bag is moved to allow me to see the 4th item - one dozen Trojan condoms.

    As an aside, no matter how hard you try - once you've said the words out loud, you can't grab them and stuff them back into your mouth.

    At least the cashier got a chuckle. And I don't talk in line anymore.

  • For-Better-Or-Worse Mar 5, 2009

    When I was working in the hospital I jokingly told a patient not to speak to his mother that way, the lady beside him quikly informed me she was his wife not his mother. I have never assumed anything about relationships since.

  • wiethe Mar 5, 2009

    Another one about my days of working in the credit dept of a furniture store in the Midwest and the fun I had flirting and verbal sparring with Dave (not his real name). I came out of my office one afternoon to interview a credit applicant and Dave was standing at the cashier's counter close by, so I poked him on his backside with the eraser end of a pencil as I walked by. Moments later I realized that it was a male customer that I had poked and not Dave. The cashier on the other side told me that I should have seen the look on the customer's face on the other side- and she didn't know what had happened. I was so embarrassed and it was so funny. And when I told Dave about it, he was rolling on the floor laughing at me.

  • wiethe Mar 5, 2009

    A few years back I worked in the credit dept of a furniture store in the Midwest. One of the fun distractions that I had there was flirting and verbal sparring with Dave (not his real name), a salesman in the Appliance Dept. We were both young, single and he was fast and witty. We had great fun. One year, Sadie Hawkins Day (Feb. 29) rolls around. I ask Dave to marry me. He's dumbfounded and at a loss for words as he doesn't realize what day it is. I was enjoying his discomfort, but he ultimately turned me down gently. So I then tell him that when he breaks the heart of a woman proposing to him on Sadie Hawkins Day, he is supposed to buy her a new dress. Without missing a beat, Dave asks me for the phone number of the local tent and awning store! It was hilarious because his response was so fast and so funny. I was rolling on the floor laughiing!




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Bill Leslie