What just happened?
As I lay wide awake way too early,Â I vividly recalled anÂ incident a few months back when I was meeting a group of nice people, and (names changed) said, â€œHi! Iâ€™m Linda, wife of John,â€ by way of introduction.
I thought that was entertaining, so I thought Iâ€™d try to respond in kind. I smiled and said, â€œHi! Iâ€™m Robert, husband of Anette.â€ (Anette was not actually there, and nobody there knew her.)
The woman’s smile froze and she looked at me like she didnâ€™t know what the hell I was talking about.
Sensing something was happening, a couple other people in the group turned to watch with interest. I said, â€œOhâ€¦ you had introduced yourself using your spouseâ€™s name and I liked that, so I was doing the same thing. I thought thatâ€™s what we were doingâ€¦â€
Her smile continued to fade as she looked to the people around her for support, and one of them repeated basically what Iâ€™d said but it didnâ€™t seem to help anything. Then the conversation was basically over as she turned wordlessly away and sat back down and the group huddled around to quietly advise her further.
Iâ€™d accidentally thrown the friendly, inviting mood of the group on the floor and ground it out like a cigarette butt on wet pavement.
I lingered for a few moments, feeling felt like I should apologize or something, but without knowing exactly what to apologize for, and then quietly left. These kinds of recollections went on for a while, as they do, and I eventually fell back asleep about 10 minutes before my alarm went off.