Have you ever been in the situation where you realize that something has happened that might warrant you doing or saying something to someone else, but by the time you realize you should be doing that thing, too much time has passed for you to reasonably do it, and not look like a lunatic who has put too much thought into that thing and now is obviously trying to cover some social faux pas that only exists in your head?
Like right now. My work study student sits right outside my office. She can hear me typing and probably thinks I am writing some email. I was deep in a project a few minutes ago, so I wasn’t fully present and paying attention when she sneezed. Normal polite social protocol warrants a “Bless you” to be said by another person if said person were paying attention and within earshot of the sneeze. By the time my brain registered she had sneezed, and I thought out whether I should still say “bless you”, way too much time had passed. And now she is probably sitting there thinking, “She totally heard me sneeze, and didn’t say ‘bless you’. She is a bad person and I am going to remember this slight and some day when she needs to be blessed I am so not doing it.”
But too much time had passed. And she is wearing hot pink underwear under a white linen skirt. What does polite social protocol say about THAT? I don’t even know. She is a very nice person, knows the alphabet (a critical skill to working in this office yet not one that you should take for granted a college student actually HAS) and answers the phone politely. Yet she seems to a) be lacking any sort of sense of humor and b) is wearing hot pink underwear under a white skirt. Does she seriously not know we can see the underwear? Should I mention it? That is such a dilemma. I think I will wait it out and see what the rest of the summer wardrobe looks like. Maybe it is a fluke. If not, I guess I will point it out. If I don’t, my boss who would have all work study students in full dress suits like the Von Trapp kids before Maria came along will say something, and that ends up with people crying. Not me, other people. Other more gentle and humorless people.
And on a completely different note, the other night I was giving Cooper his bath, during which he turned over on his stomach, stuck his butt in the air and while pointing with his hand at his butt commanded “Pinch my buttocks.” WHAT the WHO? In a disclosure that borders on TMI, the Bob is known to walk around the house announcing he is going to pinch someones BUTT: mine, Cooper’s, it’s his thing. But no one has been using the word buttocks. So while it would not be all that surprising for Cooper to say something like “Pinch my butt” because he thinks that is a hilarious thing to do, but it is VERY surprising for him to use “buttocks.” And he repeated it. Bob stuck his head in the bathroom when I started laughing uproariously, and I told Cooper to say it again. “Pinch my buttocks” he announced proudly. And so we did.