in which I put my foot in my mouth

I’ve had a week of saying stupid things.

Over the last seven days, with staggering consistency and completely without meaning to, I have put my foot in my mouth. Over. And over. And over again. I’ve never had a week of such a steady stream of utter stupidity. Maybe it’s something in the air. Maybe the snow is finally getting to me. Maybe all that Diet Coke has finally found its way to my brain and is slowly rotting it, starting with the filter part.

An example, you say? Alright, here’s a dramatic recreation of a conversation I had with my boss a few days ago:

Boss: So I need you to calculate some percentages for me.
Mackenzi: Oh, I don’t understand how to do percentages.
*boss looks at me* *Mackenzi panics*
Mackenzi: I mean, I just really don’t understand what percentages are.
*boss continues to stare* *Mackenzi panics harder*
Mackenzi: My dad tried to teach me when I was little and I think he thought I wasn’t trying but actually I was just too stupid.
*boss continues to stare* *Mackenzi panics harder*
Mackenzi: When I was a kid, my mom used to take me shopping and she wouldn’t buy things for me unless I could tell her what the sale price was with the percentage off. So I just have a lot of anxiety attached to percentages.
*boss continues to stare* *Mackenzi panics harder*
Mackenzi: Percentages freak me out.
*boss continues to stare* *Mackenzi panics harder*
Mackenzi: I’m stupid and can’t do math!
Boss: …..okay, well maybe run those numbers by me before you send them out to our customers.
Mackenzi: Hold on, let me shove my foot a little further into my mouth.

Another example, you say? Sure thing.

The other night I was at a party talking to a lovely independent bookseller and this happened:

Lovely Independent Bookseller: So you have a book coming out! That’s so exciting! Is it going to be one book or two?
Mackenzi: It’s two. I’m writing the second one right now.
LIB: How cool!
Mackenzi: It’s actually really hard. It’s stressing me out.
LIB: But it’s so cool you get to write another book.
Mackenzi: Yeah, but it’s also sort of a curse.
LIB: *sarcastically* Boy, what a problem for you.
Mackenzi: *starting to panic* I mean, I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining about it.
LIB: That’s exactly what it sounds like.
Mackenzi: ….I’ll just leave you alone forever now.

I was just trying to make conversation about the difficulties of the creative process, and instead I ended up looking like an ungrateful jerk. *facepalm*

The story of this entire week for me has been saying things I don’t mean, or things that make me look like an idiot, or things that make me look like an insensitive jerk. Perhaps someone should put me in lock down this week for the protection of those around me. And also a little bit for my own.

I don’t know why I’m blogging about this. With my track record, this will probably offend somebody.

It’s hard to say the right thing all the time. It’s hard to say the right thing even half the time. That’s I guess what I want to say.

I’m having lunch with my editor tomorrow—it’s the first time we’ll be meeting in person—and let’s hope this streak doesn’t continue. When I was stressing to the MT about the very real possibility of saying something stupid to her, she offered the sound advice: “Just don’t lead with the thing about percentages.”

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3 thoughts on “in which I put my foot in my mouth

  1. Camille says:

    Look at it this way: when somebody puts *their* foot in their mouth in conversation with you, aren’t you inclined to cut them some slack? (This works for example #2 at least!)

    And when all else fails, remember that I think you’re awesome and I AM NEVER WRONG.

  2. Billy says:

    Two things for today’s blog:

    First, switch to Diet Pepsi. It actually enhances your ability think quickly on your feet , be witty, charming, humble and generally adored by all….even without trying.

    Second, I think I need to meet this MT person….sounds like a Diet Pepsi drinker. :p

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