The great forehead/foreskin debacle of (circa) 2004/5 will be forever etched into my brain. No, you deviants, it is not quite as perverse as it sounds, but it is indeed a fable, a warning – if you will – on how important words and meanings are.
What? Just us? Ok…
Some back story is required here. Anyone lucky enough to have ever loved someone or even just hung out with someone so long that you develop weird little ‘isms’ you don’t even realise the weirdness of anymore, will attest to the fact that we all have these things we say and do with certain people (again, get your mind out of the gutter, that’s not where this story is going) that if revealed to the wider world would seem at best odd, at worst, downright ridiculous.
One of these aforementioned ‘isms’ in our house is that I have always found it (nonsensically) funny to squish together all the head on my husband’s foreHEAD – like one of those dogs with the faces that look like they’re made of stacked rolls of Play Doh. I know, it’s weird, I don’t know why, but it has always happened and so you’re just going to have to accept it and move directly on.
THE DAY IT HAPPENED
On the day in question, we were at my family home (my now husband and I) with my parents, my two older brothers and possibly other less central characters whom my mind has now dimmed from the memory entirely. By this I mean their faces daubed out with the horror of what unfolded.
We were, as often is the case at unspecified gatherings of people, all collected in the same room, lolled over seats (of which there were not enough), sat on floors etc. My wonderful dad was sat in His Spot, the right hand side of the the three-seater sofa, lounged diagonally across the two cushions, effectively turning it, perpetually, into a mere two-seater (the basis for much familial debate in my younger years). I was sat on the arm of the sofa where he sat, leaning lovingly towards him and for reasons I cannot recall, the likeliest being I was actually trying to annoy him into freeing up the middle sofa cushion, I rested my hand on his head, my fingers draped annoyingly onto his foreHEAD. The emphasis has never been more crucial.
Word hoover anyone?
And then I said it….I don’t even know, on reflection, why I was going to say the intended version, let alone the words that eventually tumbled from my cursed mouth. I gleefully and at very unfortunate volume (alas the garbled chatter of multiple conversations was not enough to dull its juggernaut ways) said to the room: “Your foreskin is lovely and soft, just like Kris’”. There’s that blissful moment, all anxious people can relate I am sure, where for a millisecond, you don’t process what’s happened. It’s the same as when you wake up and for a tiny moment you have no worries or pressures…then they fall from oblivion and land on your pounding chest.
Internal monologue: Did we just say FORESKIN?
Internal monologue: ………
Internal monologue: To Dad? With everyone watching?
Internal monologue…. FML
A lot happened in that blissful split second, one being I thought I’d got away with it and then at worst, I thought only my dad had heard. If you have siblings you’ll know that the shame of living through an awkward moment with them there to document, remember, shame you about it forever, ups the ante by about a million percent.
My dad spun his head round to me, a quizzical ‘DID SHE JUST SAY WHAT I THINK SHE SAID?’ look on his face. The heat rose from my chest, a wave of crimson blush crept up my neck and face. SHIT.
“FOREHEAD SKIN, I MEANT FORE-HEAD-SKIN.”
Too late. My brothers heard, everyone heard and the room erupted into hysterics. I died a lot and no matter how many times I tried to correct it, there was no word hoover for me to suck it all back in. That word mix up was immortal, I just knew it.
Cue multiple jokes about how completely wrong I had got the ‘marrying someone like your dad’ and ‘those are not the kind of comparisons people should be making’. It was mortifying. Even writing it down is mortifying, but I hope we here at Flawkward continue to make you feel a little less weird, a little more like your own awkwards will also pass.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this edition – Forever, awkwardly at your service – Amy xxx
PS – I do hope from now on you too will be wary of just how careful you have to be with words. Two similar words, two VERY different outcomes.