Posted by: Jim E | January 10, 2010

No Fool Like an Old Fool…

Have you ever made a comment you would like to have taken back as it came out of you mouth?…don’t all answer at once…no doubt all of us have…I’ve made some doozies…

One day I was visiting one of my friends, from work, in the hospital…it was a serious surgery…and we talked for a while about all kinds of things…then in walked his wife and daughter…I had never met either of them, but had heard much about them over the years by talking to their husband/father…

It was a usual introduction…we all said the appropriate things…and things all went swimmingly…until I opened my big mouth…I suppose trying to be cute or introspective, or something…(my dumb quotient hit a high point)…I noticed the daughter had some noticeable “dots” on her cheek and face…she was in junior high at the time and they were just coming home from school at that hour…I thought maybe it was Sadie Hawkins Day festivities or dress up day…and she was made-up to be like Daisy Mae or something…(I know all of you are saying, “Jim how could you be so stupid.”…I know, I know…let me go on)…

All this was happening in a semi-stressful situation…the surgery, meeting someone unexpectedly, in a hurry to leave because they arrived, etc…etc…(I know, no excuses…let me go on)…as soon as it came out of my mouth, I knew it was a mistake…it was an uncomfortable situation…but no excuse…she was a junior high age girl…I was a principal of a high school…I should have been more in control…but it came out of my mouth…

I said something like, “Oh, made up for a school activity?”…or something stupid like that…what was I thinking!…I know, “Not thinking!”…(it all happened in a split second… I now noticed her face had one of those red birthmarks)…what was I to do?…all I could do at the time I did…I apologized…and my wise friend who had just had a serious  surgery, broke in and explained to “his stupid friend” that his daughter was having laser treatments for her birthmark…and that is what those “red dots” were…

Well, there was nothing he or anyone could do to make up for my stupid remark…I did the best thing I could do…apologize again…murmured some other stage exiting remarks and left…I felt like a fool and wondered if I had hurt this girl beyond repair…and other such thoughts…

On the way home I did what anyone who has watched a “Hallmark Hall of Fame” movie on TV would do…I stopped at a Hallmark store…I went in not knowing what to look for…maybe a “I made a stupid remark to a junior high girl” card or something like that…so not knowing what to do…I just blurted out to the clerk…”Do you have any cards for after you said something stupid”…

She immediately said, “Oh we have lots of those.”…she showed me a whole bank of cards for just such a situation…for adults to kids, for adult to adults and on and on…So you thought I was alone here???…there are a lot of us out there…Hallmark does a great business out of people like me!…I looked at lots of them…and I found one that fit the situation perfectly…talked with the clerk about how amazed I was with the choices…not just a forgive me card…but one that fit this kind of a situation…she told me this happens often…and Hallmark makes cards just for people like me…Gulp!…

I talked to my friend the next day…apologized again for what I said to his daughter…told him how sorry I was…he assured me she was just fine…but I told him I wanted to send her a card…got the address…and told him what I would say…he told me it wasn’t necessary…but if I wanted to I could…

The first words to this junior high girl were: “There is no fool, like and old fool.”…wrote a few other things about how wonderful her Dad speaks of her…apologized once again…and signed it…later I heard about her remark to her Dad when she got the card…that made me feel better…she was more than gracious…she just couldn’t believe an adult would send her an apology…thanked me for the card…

So every time I see a Hallmark store…or a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie…I think of the myriad of cards made for dummies like me…

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Responses

  1. Wow! Thank you for your honesty. I have certainly messed up big time with things I have said too. Now that our family has sheep (and they are worse than your average thought of “stupid”)… I have come to have a greater understanding of why God compares us to sheep. And I am more grateful than ever that He is such a loving, compassionate, and forgiving Shepherd. I am a new follower of your blog and look forward to reading more.
    Joyfully His, Allyson Reed 🙂

  2. Jim….loving your stories!!


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