Hi there. Most of you probably know me. But, just in case, I’m Laurean Brooks, writer of inspirational romance with a big dash of humor.
You may look at my picture and say, “Surely this is a woman schooled in social graces.” But to the contrary, this woman would never win an award for implementing Emily Post’s Rules of Proper Etiquette. Instead, in my circle, I’d likely receive a statue portraying a contorted woman with one foot shoved in her mouth.
My desire to make people laugh was inherited from my dad. The difference is he specialized in playing silly pranks and telling funny stories; my humor relies on seizing the right moment to implement a snappy reply. There is nothing more rewarding than hearing folks laugh. But sometimes these “supposedly” funny remarks are taken the wrong way.
“A soft answer turns away wrath but grievous words stir up anger.” Proverbs 15: 1
Now there’s one I often apply. Sadly, it’s usually after the fact. The scenario goes like this. I say something (I think is) funny, a harsh voice replies in anger, and I apologize. Most of the time the person accepted my apology. A few didn’t. That’s when I promise to try to keep a stronger hold on my tongue.
“Proverbs 25:11 puts me to shame. It reads, “A word fitly spoken and in due season, is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” Know why this verse makes me cringe? Because it was probably written to admonish someone whose mouth shifts into gear before her/his brain engages. Someone like…uh…me.
I could give example after example of embarrassing scenarios, results of my impulsive quips. But that would take all day. I’ll confess only two.
The most retold incident (by my family) occurred when my niece and son were toddlers. “Aunt Laurie” (or Mom) was in great social demand in those days, especially at the supermarket. Why? Because I loaded the little ones into the shopping cart and whizzed through the produce aisle, cutting figure-eights around the banana stalks and watermelon rack. The squeals from Jeremy and Mandy kept egged me.
So, it came as no surprise while on a trip to the local IGA, two-year-old Mandy peeled her mother’s fingers from the cart and yowled, “Want Aunt Lau-rie ta’ push!” My three-year-old, Jeremy, joined in protesting from his seat at the bottom of the cart. “Mom! We want Mom!”
Miffed at her daughter and my nephew’s rejection, my sister stepped aside and huffed, “Well! I know when I’m not wanted!”
I grinned impishly and gripped the cart while Emily followed. I pushed it a few feet when a sassy jibe came to me. I craned my neck to look behind, fluttered my lashes, and oozed in a sultry voice, “M’dear, are you feeling lonely and forlorn?”
Before the words left my mouth, a brick wall smashed against my cheek. I whirled to find a 6′ 4” college-aged guy gaping down at me. His face registered something akin to “horror” and “Woman-you-are-crazy!”
I slapped a hand to my burning face and hurried to explain. “No-no! I wasn’t talking to you. I was talking to my sis–” I scanned the area, but Emily had vanished! Coward!
The young man jaunted away, shaking his head and rolling his eyes. Emily stole out from the canned vegetables aisle. The hand over her mouth and tears streaming down her cheeks gave her away. My sister was laughing at me! She squealed, “That was hilarious! You had your head against that…that guys chest…gazing up into his eyes. What did you say to him?”
When I relayed my humiliating indiscretion, she shrieked, “You mean…you propositioned that guy?”
What could I say? “Uh-h…it did sound that way.”
The second embarrassing moment occurred when a couple of men waltzed through the doors of the textile plant where I worked. Both men were casually dressed. The older, a distinguished, gray-haired gentleman, paused in front of my work area and asked, “You don’t mind if we walk through, do you?”
My retort? “As long as you aren’t salesmen or politicians. All others are welcome.”
The older gentleman walked past, but the younger man stopped in front of me and whispered, pointing to the older man. “I’m not a politician. But he is. He’s the county judge.”
When he spoke the man’s name, I slapped my hand over my mouth.
The judge must have noticed my embarrassment because he traipsed back to me and placed a consoling arm around my shoulders. “Honey, is something wrong? Anything I can do to help?”
All I could do was shake my head and murmur, “No-o.”
At our family get-togethers, much to my chagrin, Emily brings up the supermarket incident, then adds, “Going shopping with Laurie was always fun. You never knew what would happen.”
There, you have it. I have “Foot In Mouth” disease. What about the rest of you? Have you ever committed public blunders? Oh come on, ‘fess up! I hope I’m not the only one.
Here are links to my books. In Journey To Forgiveness, http://www.whiterosepublishing.com/ my sassy heroine has the same problem with her tongue. Jenny gets into some interesting predicaments as a result.