Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Open Mouth, Insert Foot

I have come to the conclusion that I have a language disorder. Now, it's not your typical language disorder where I have a lisp or a stutter. No, my language disorder is far more subtle, and I'm not entirely sure it's something that can be fixed.

You see, I have the tendency to say wildly inappropriate things without realizing they are inappropriate until after I've said them. When the thought forms in my head, it's merely an innocent commentary on the existing topic of conversation. As soon as the words leave my mouth, however, it metamorphoses into a flagrant innuendo that can only be interpreted one way. Perhaps it's the timing of the comment, or maybe it's because I pause after I conclude the statement suddenly realizing how suggestive it truly sounds, or maybe it's because my heart is two sizes too small...oh, wait, no, that's the Grinch. Never mind. Whatever the reason, it's never really been a problem. Until recently...

Typically my unintentionally suggestive comments fall on the ears of friends and family. Like the time I was sitting in a car full of male friends and I blurted out frustratedly, "Man! I always choke on the last two balls!" (I was talking about the game of pool, people, get your minds out of the gutter!) Or the time when I told everyone at a house party, "Cooper (my dog) has a heck of a cock!" Again, it's not what you think! He cocks his leg up really high when he pees...thus having a higher than normal ("heck of a") leg lift ("cock").

The resounding silence following my comments allowed me the time to pause, think back on what I'd just said, and, when necessary, clarify what I meant by balls and cock.

But like I said, this hasn't been a problem until recently. What, you might ask, has been the recent problem? My language disorder has been bubbling forth in job interviews.

In my most recent interview everything felt like it was going exceptionally well. I had made it through the pre-screening phone call to the in-person interview, and had completed the first of three one-on-one interviews. The second "higher-up" came in and sat down. He was exceptionally nice, and we were having a lovely conversation. We had danced quickly through his professional questions, and were talking about odd quirks that people have. I'm not quite sure how we built up to it, but he jokingly alluded to the fact that I squeezed the toothpaste in the middle of the tube, rather than from the bottom, "...and she squeezes the tooth paste tube in the middle!" We laughed, but I felt the need to correct him, after all, I'm not a neanderthal, and am, in fact, quite finicky about squeezing the tube from the bottom.

"Oh, I'm a bottom squeezer, through and through!" I proudly announced. As I said it, I saw his eyebrows rise higher and higher on his forehead, and then I paused as the echo of my words faded in the resounding silence. Did I really just say that? Frantically trying to backtrack, I then proceeded to do the worst possible thing in an interview - draw attention to the fact that I just said something that could be misconstrued as inappropriate. "I...I...don't think that came out quite like I meant for it to," I stuttered.

He grinned, knowingly at me, and said, "Yes, I don't think it did. Would you like to back up?"

Recognizing a life line when I see one, I launched into some of my pre-prepared questions about the company. Thank goodness this guy was gallant enough and intelligent enough not to make any other comment than suggesting I may want to start again.

Apparently, he was impressed by my bottom squeezing, however, because I got the job!