Is that a dog?

Years ago, we had new neighbors move in to the upstairs apartment in the house next door.  One Saturday afternoon shortly after the couple had moved in, I saw them out with their dog on the grassy median strip dividing our residential street. The couple was talking with some other neighbors, so I went out to say hi.

After meeting the friendly guy and his girlfriend, with no introductions to their scruffy dog sniffing at my feet, a question formulated in my head:

“Is that a male or female dog?”

(Because, really, how can you tell without being, y’know, obvious?)

In a moment of supreme brain-body disconnect, the question that came out of my mouth, however, was:

“Is that a dog?”

Write that down as an excellent example of how NOT to make a good first impression.

But it still cracks me up when I think about it, even though it happened over 25 years ago.

I probably take myself and the foibles of life too seriously much of the time.  But I also love laughing at myself.  Not in a way that feels like a self put-down, but in a way that makes me feel human and hopefully approachable, in an “I screw up, you screw up, we all screw up” kind of way.

If I’m at a party, I’m not alway a great conversationalist.  I’m not especially politically astute (although for some reason lately, I’ve had more of an opinion than ever before – go figure). I’m not good at remembering details from trips and vacations, so I can’t name that “memorable” restaurant on the lake in Skaneateles, NY, and I can’t discuss which historic sites we visited in Philadelphia.  (Other than the Liberty Bell, of course – the memory bar isn’t set that low.)  I’m also severely “directionally challenged,” so don’t even ask me the best way to get from East Poestenkill to Cropseyville.  You might end up in Massachusetts.

But I can tell a funny story about myself and I always seem to catch a listening ear.

Our imperfection – our vulnerability – is a great human connector.  Like the K’nex building blocks that my kids played with years ago, it pulls us together and helps us stick with each other.  In fact, a little more self-deprecating humor and a lot more K’nexing may be what the world needs right now.

What about you?  Can you connect us here with a funny story?

10 thoughts on “Is that a dog?”

  1. All I know is that I love your self-deprecating style mixed with honest revelations and pride. And, I needed a laugh today.

  2. omg! someday please tell your worm story.

    PS: I love the phrasing of "supreme brain-body disconnect" and suffer from it often.

    1. Great idea! LOL! So funny that I know exactly what story you’re talking about. OMG – how will I ever explain that??!!

      Glad you like the SBBD. Maybe that will catch on.

      As a phrase, not as a "thing."

  3. Ok talk about brain disconnect….but I need to know the place you went in Skaneateles!!!! lol When Mary and I were going to travel last year…I was looking for a place to go to breakfast or lunch that would be a half way place to Letchworth State Park. In my usual anal self I got out of my computer and started looking up towns and restaurants along the way. Came along the American Diner, uh ok that sounds good. Diner are always good right?? I went on their website to look at the menu and at the very top of the menu….the following quote…."We encourage legal carry on premise" and next line.. "we encourage prayer and grace". I decided not to go here……somehow guns and prayer for me do not go together. And actually this place is nearer to Liverpool!

    Janis

    1. Gotcha – I wouldn’t go there either. Scary to think what might happen if someone’s eggs were too runny. Lol. But honestly I’ll have to ask Michael which restaurant it was. I do remember that we enjoyed it, but I guess that won’t help you!

  4. Karen, I loved your image of Knexing. Here is my story. I went to a new movie theatre(that is one that I had not attended before) and needed to use the restroom. No problem getting in, PUSH. Pretty obvious. Getting out was not so obvious. I started pushing on the door that I thought would get me out. Didn’t work. So instead of looking around for another door, I continued to push , pound and finally kick at the door. As a last resort I shouted: get me out of here. I guess I was making so much racket that the usher in the lobby heard me. He pushed on another door and said condescendingly:"This way out , lady".When I said to him that the way out wasn’t obvious. He said: "This happens all the time". By that time I was so exhausted and humiliated that all I wanted was to get back in line to see the movie that I had come to see. And then I thought: "If this happens all the time why didn’t you take the time to fix the problem? But if the doors were better labeled I would’ have a story to share.

    1. This had me laughing out loud!! We’ve all done this but I’m glad you finally got out! And I’m glad you had this story to share. Thanks, Pat, for starting my Saturday morning with a laugh.

  5. Karen, Thank you for the morning humor and introducing me to the term K’nex!

    I can recall a story also from about 25 years ago where my family of 3 children and my sister’s family of the same number decided to go to the Circus. I volunteered to take care of the tickets. When the 10 of us arrived at the event, I produced the tickets and we were ushered to our seats only to find them partially occupied! The group was clearly sitting in the wrong seats. However they then produced their tickets showing they were in the correct seats. We then reviewed the tickets I had in hand only to discover they were for the show the day before! OMG! Really??? How could I be so inept with such a simple task? 6 eager little children anxiously waiting to watch the show looked on. Fortunately, the usher taking care of us quickly scrambled to save the day and found us some terrific seats. Like most things in life, it all worked out in the end!

  6. Paula – thanks for sharing the great story!! I did something similar once for an airline flight, but it was only me to worry about, not 6 little munchkins. So glad you found a sympathetic usher and it all worked out. Especially since there will no more circuses to attend.

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