21 October 2005

Insert Wedge-Heeled Boot in Mouth



I should know better. I violated a cardinal social rule; one of the most elementary kind; one that distinguishes us from the animals. For a highly intellectual story I'm writing on wedge-heeled boots, I headed to an event at a boutique on Charles Street to interview the owner about Rafe boots. I dragged Code Red along with me, knowing her passion for footwear coupled with my penchant for complimentary martinis and cake would make for a lovely evening. The PR girl introduced Annie and I to the owner -- a voluptuous pregnant woman in a black and gold empire waist dress. Always hoping to personalize interviews, I said. "Oh! When are you due?" The lilt in my voice hadn't even subsided when I realized I'd made a terrible mistake. The entire store silenced around me. "Oh. I'm not pregnant," the owner said. Out of the corner of my eye, I swear I saw Annie drop the boot she was inspecting and stick her head in an oversized Balenciaga bag.

Making matters much, much worse I became shrill with apology. Luckily, the owner possessed better social skills and appeased me, informing me she'd just had her second baby and that someone had made a similar comment earlier. At this point, the entire store had witnessed the exchange. The only way I could have made the moment more awkward would have been to ask if she'd carried the baby in her ass.

So we did a lightning fast interview but instead of staying for the free refreshments, I just looked at Annie, who read my mind: "Let's get the hell out of here." I've never speedwalked on Charles Street, but we hustled to a slow jog to the Harvard Gardens and went into recovery mode. Even Annie noted the woman looked "very pregnant."

Still, in my defense, my judgment was clouded by an incident over the summer when the wife of a friend told me she was "hurt" that I didn't inquire about her pregnancy. This woman, who I see maybe once a year, had always been on the heavy side. Since I had not heard she was pregnant -- from her or anyone else, I decided not to ask. After learning she was upset by this, I thought I'd made the wrong decision. But after last night, I stand by it. It's always better to err on the side of clueless.

7 comments:

wmd said...

Nothing has ever made me cringe more than the uncomfortable antics of the guy from the BBC version of The Office (best show on tv). ...That is until now. Oh man, i'm still cringing and have dry-mouth after reading this. I usually laugh at all things inappropriate but would have had the same reaction as Code Red at the time.

Go with your instincts KJ, I don't care if I walked in on a lady having an ultrasound, I'd just say "Hey, how about those Sox?"

SB said...

Whoa... tough one KJ. Sounds like you escaped with just a few bumps and bruises though. Look at the bright side... you ended up at the Harvard Gardens! Love that bar...

Anonymous said...

I was going to help myself to a Moxie-tini while KJ was conducting her interview, but I was afraid the owner would poison me by association. No worries KJ, a fashionista, and a voluptuous one at that, should know better than to wear an empire waist dress. Yeah, I'm all about blaming the victim since I didn't get my free drink! :)

Celine said...

We've all been there Kate! I'm guessing that you won't be the last person to kindly ask her about her impending due date. Hope the cocktails at Harvard Gardens took a bit of the sting out.

Ofelia Cox said...

What was she thinking with a body like that!! Wearing an empire waist dress! It's her own damn fault! Note the definition of an empire waist dress from an actual fashion website "Best on slender-on-top or petite figures," Nuff said!

Anonymous said...

I can't leave a comment. I'm laughing too hard.

stevieb said...

another spectacular katie moment
Don't make the same mistake next time you see me