If you've followed my blog for any length of time, or if you've read my book, you know that the battle between me and my mouth is very real.
From cliché's, which I slaughter to pieces like some sort of harebrained butcher, to awkward small-talk exchanges that are so heavily wrapped in social anxiety, I invariably say something that earns me a furrowed brow and a silent look of confusion.
And sometimes I just get my words all jumbled up.
We went to Florida last week for a family vacation, and on the way there, I pondered whether I'd fit in my swimsuits or not (I did, but only the super-stretchy ones.)
I didn't wonder whether my foot fit in my mouth. But, alas, it does.
The day after we got back, my youngest son had a hockey game, so maybe my brain was still mushy from the 14-hour drive that had us home at 2am that morning.
Or maybe I just got excited and fired the words off without using "the filter" that my mom always said I need to use.
My son's hockey games are played at a rink that doesn't have risers for parents to sit on. We all just stand around the outside of the glass, gathered in groups, visiting with the other parents, cheering our kids on.
Well, that's what most of the parents do. Most of the kids on my son's team have played together for a few years, so they all know each other and the parents all know each other. My son's only been playing on this team since April, so we don't know the other parents, yet.
While the other parents gather together in their parent-groups, my husband and I are off by ourselves, set apart from the others. We don't mind. We know that as time goes along, we'll get pulled into the fold.
Until then, though, we're sort-of the outsiders.
My child was playing defense during this game, and he's normally "on." But he must have been tired from our beach trip, and he was hanging back a bit. Not going for the puck, not being aggressive.
The kids - most of them only eight or nine - are remarkable on the ice. The games get pretty intense, even at this age. The game was about 2/3 of the way finished, and the puck had come toward my child about five times without him moving in its direction. It just passed him by each time.
I stood on one end of the parent section by myself (my husband wasn't able to come to this one), while the other parents gathered down together in their little clumps.
The puck swung past my child. Nothing.
I think I intended to shout, "Get the freakin' puck, Cody!" But what came out wasn't that.
Have you ever seen "A Christmas Story?" In case you haven't, there's a scene where the son - maybe nine or ten years old - says the "F" word in front of his father. But in his mind, it comes out in slow motion, dragging out for a dreadfully long time.
That's what happened to me right there at the ice rink. As I stood down there all by myself, the other parents a good 15 feet away, all of us shouting at our children, just really getting into the game, I swear to you that the room went silent at the exact moment I shouted, "Cody!! Get the F#CK!!"
It went down just like a dream sequence: I was in slow motion, everyone else went silent, and as soon as that filth thundered out of my mouth, all of the shocked and horrified faces of the other parents turned toward me, appalled.
I wanted to disappear. I immediately started sweating around my hairline (my body's unfortunate stress response) and - my eyes open wide, just like the shocked-expression-emoji - I directed my stare back out to the ice, and away from the spectators, in hopes that if I were perfectly still, I'd disappear, and they'd be confused, thinking they'd dreamed the whole thing up.
It reminded me of a similar incident several years ago at our older son's soccer game. He was around 11 or so, which is a great age for soccer because the kids start exhibiting great skill, and it makes for exciting games.
The game was intense, and I'd been shouting, cheering on my son and his teammates. As things really got going, someone kicked the ball hard, one his teammates dove toward it, hitting it with his head, and saving it from going into the net.
"Yessss! Great head-job!" I hollered out like a damn fool, as I jumped up from my chair, parents and grandparents glancing over at me, and then exchanging uncomfortable glances with each other.
My husband, Mark, still sitting in his chair, said with a flat tone, "Nope." I looked back at him and he sat there looking out at the field, shaking his head.
"Wait... 'header?'" I asked, just to him.
"That's it," he replied.
Yep... I've still got it.
Has something like this happened to you before? Please tell me I'm not the only one!