Friday, May 27, 2016



Did you really say that?
Did you really see that?
Did you really hear...
Most of us have experienced that "pregnant pause' that "awkward moment of silence" which occurs from time-to-time in the midst of a conversation.

 In those moments, it's almost as though time comes to a complete halt; for just a second or two, everything screeches to a "what next", dead-stop.  And then, just as abruptly, the conversation resumes as if nothing has happened.  We all ignore "the mysterious gap" and act as though we didn't notice.  Life goes on.

Time Warps...
From my experience, "the time lapse" occurs when most folks in the group have an "I can't believe he just said that" or "I can't believe that just happened" private personal thought - and then out of politeness, or whatever, we choose to overlook our shock, ignore the gaff or faux pas and move on. 

Imagine you're thoroughly confused at this point so let me tell you about a recent example...

Went out to lunch not too long ago with a new credit union CEO in Durham, N.C. [Update: now bossing folks around in Mississippi!]  It was one of those "I'm new and want to introduce myself" kinda of invitations - meeting him for the first time.  We  agreed to meet early at El Toro Pizzeria on Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. 

After a few brief pleasantries, a perky, young waitress bopped up and asked: "What can I get for y'all?"

Having been to the restaurant before, I knew exactly what I wanted and said I'd like a margherita.  Instantly, there was one of those awkward moments, "a noticeable gasp of silence".  We all experienced it, but personally I couldn't fathom what had caused it!

After that quirky moment of hesitation, the
Say what?
waitress recovered and cheerfully asked: "Great! Would you like that with or without salt?"  Which, of course, created a second "twilight moment" for me as I wasn't quite sure why she asked me that???  But, after pausing, I gamely answered "with salt of course!".  At which point, consecutive pregnant pause #3 occurred, as all of us just sorta stared around at each other in wonderment and disbelief.  It was awkward, a bit strange...

Margherita - basil, tomato, mozzarella !
Suddenly it dawned on me why we were all way, way out in the middle of "La-La Land".... I looked at the waitress and advised her that I was ordering a margherita pizza, not a margarita cocktail.  She laughed self-consciously and looked greatly relieved!  "Well, you just never know these days", she said.

My new acquaintance also laughed and delivered this inimitable, classic line:  

"Well, I just assumed you were a raging alcoholic, but I didn't want to be judgmental!"

[Yes, of course; wouldn't want to be judgmental...]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You had to do it.