There is a great fairy tale about two princesses. I can't remember the whole story, but I do remember that every time one opens her mouth, jewels and flowers and all manner of lovely things tumble from her mouth, and every time the other opens her mouth, out pops nothing but toads, newts, snakes and stuff like that. I'm fortunate enough not to be burdened in this way, but occasionally, when some demon sent from H-E-double-hockey-sticks takes possession of my brain to mouth connection, out pops a toad of the most warty and horrible kind.
A couple of years ago, my second son suffered a concussion at school during Physical Education class. After seeing our doctor a couple of times, it was recommended he see the pediatrician who visits our clinic once a month. The pediatrician, whom we had never met until our appointment with him, was a very kind, well-mannered gentleman-like man originally from somewhere in South Asia. He introduced himself to us, and his first name happened to be Osama. I'm usually terrible when it comes to remembering names - usually they flow in one ear and directly out the other and I have to ask the person to tell me again. This time, however, I remembered the name. Osama. Considering everything that was in the news at the time with the hunt for Osama Bin Laden very much still on and in the forefront of the news, it would have been a difficult name to forget for anyone. And I had never met anyone else with the name.
Anyway, the physical went well, my son was entirely relaxed with Dr. Osama, which is saying something, and we got up to shake hands and take our leave. And then it happened. To this day, my heart sinks like a 10 pin bowling ball when I remember it. I said the unthinkable:
"So is Osama a common name where you are from?" The words slipped like a snake in water from my tongue.
The good doctor looked at me quickly. "Yes, quite common."
And then the oversized, ugly, warty, evil green toad hopped out before I could catch him and shove him back in:
"Well, I suppose it's no different for you than for people named Adolph in Austria or Germany."
( HOLY MOTHER OF GOD!!!!!!!!! )
The good doctor mumbled something polite as his look said something else altogether, and my son and I walked down the hallway out of sight. It was dawning so painfully on me as we left the building just what I had said. To be honest, I didn't mean it like it sounded. I'm always drawing parallells, except this time, needless to say...I shouldn't have. I wondered if I should run back in and apologize in tears and on bended knee, but I knew that might only make it worse. He was probably with another patient anyway, and my son had to get back to school.
"Mo-o-o-o-m, why did you SAY that????" If a son was every more embarrassed by his mother I would like to meet him.
I know it is very hard to believe after reading the above that I am not a bigot, but if the good doctor Osama, like poor Prime Minister Brown, were to be heard muttering 'That woman is a bigot' to his colleagues at the clinic, and I were to hear it like that unfortunate woman from Manchester in the news this week, I would not blame him. Not one bit.
Dear Dr. Osama,
About that incident in the ____ Medical Clinic two years ago, I apologize from the bottom of my heart.
I chose to share the above story after Jen from Starting Over awarded me with the "Oh My Blog" award on view on my sidebar under 'Validation'. The deal was that I could accept the award if I did one of three things:
a) drank my face off and wrote a blogpost for 15 minutes straight (no thanks, not worth the morning after)
b) wrote a soundtrack of my childhood (I already write a lot about my childhood as it is)
c) made my next post a 'vlog' or video blog (maybe later)
d) took a picture of myself first thing in the morning (before I even brushed my hair or showered or anything) and posted it (that's just silly)
e) wrote about an extremely embarrassing moment.
I also have to choose at least three bloggers to give the award to. So, I would like to offer this award to any one of my faithful readers/bloggers who hasn't completely written me off after reading this post. I know, I know, wimpy move. I'm so honoured when someone tags me or gives me an award but I absolutely dread having to choose people to pass it on to. So, this time, I'm pulling the ol' nepotism thing. You pat my back and tell me it's going to be okay, and I pat yours and give you a shiny new award to post on your blog. Enjoy your shiny award, and don't forget to dust it off from time to time.
I'm off to an arts councils conference this weekend, which is why my next post might be called, "Why I'll probably die volunteering." Nah. It'll be fun, and I get to see my sister, Monica who is also going as a representative of her region in British Columbia.
Have a good weekend!