I’m in Denver with Sean. He’s attending a training conference where he and several co-workers will be learning all about the fascinating world of training and… other stuff. I don’t pretend to know what they’re doing, but I do know that when I meet the co-workers, I will absolutely not hug any of them. I don’t care who they are or who I think they are - I will not go in for a hug. Just to be on the safe side, I may not even hug Sean. Because I am not having a repeat of the last time I went to a conference with Sean. Don’t remember? Here’s a reminder, from May 2014:
faux pas (/foʊˈpɑː/ plural: faux pas /ˌfoʊˈpɑːz/): a socially awkward or tactless act, especially one that violates accepted social norms, standard customs, or the rules of etiquette.
I am trying to recover from a faux pas I committed this morning. Sean and I are in Orlando; he’s on a business trip and I was able to tag along. (When your husband’s business trips are usually to Detroit, you jump at the chance to go to the one in Florida.) A few of his coworkers also brought their wives, a fact important to the aforementioned oops.
This morning, I went to the conference area with Sean to see where he’d be and plan our meeting spot for lunch, which I could attend with his team. That’s when several of his co-workers arrived – there were a few men and one woman. The men all had nametags on, but I didn’t see one on the lady. So as introductions were made, I shook hands with the men, and, assuming the woman was one of the wives, went in for a hug. Until I saw her nametag sticking out from behind her jean jacket. As soon as I spotted the nametag I tried to switch to a handshake, but it was too late. I was hugging the Salaried Safety Supervisor.
Upon realizing my mistake, I quickly got involved with small talk, hoping against hope the hug would go unremembered. And thankfully, the meeting began, so I got out of there as quickly as possible.
What to do now?! I’m supposed to meet up with them for lunch. And again for dinner. And it’s only the first day – we’ll be together all week! I’m trying to figure out if I need to go hug everyone to make it seem less weird and sexist that I assumed the only woman was a wife or if I should just head back to the airport to make things less awkward for my sweet husband…
Let’s think this through: on the one hand, I could go with hugging everyone. I am Southern, after all. On the other, I could have Sean tell them I got sick and won’t be joining them for anything. Which wouldn’t be a lie because I do feel pretty nauseous.
This is starting to feel like a Seinfeld episode.
Guess I’ll just suck it up, go meet them for lunch and pretend the whole thing never happened. Perhaps the lecture on Safety in the Workplace will have been so thrilling that they’ll have forgotten everything that happened this morning.
A girl can hope.