Here's a few excerpts:
- As I entered the lunch room of my former lab, I exclaimed, "Holy shit, what the hell is that smell? It wreaks in here!" At that point, the source of the smell became obvious. A very, very kind Chinese postdoc had heated up his lunch which consisted of some sort of fermented fish. Upon hearing my comment, he blushed and excused himself from the lunch room. He even apologized for his lunch giving the room its lovely aroma. I was mortified and equally apologetic for my comment. I begged him to stay and finish his lunch. He left anyway. I am such an ass.
- I was standing behind a fellow grad student and friend of mine one Friday evening while hanging out at our favorite bar. Suddenly, I found myself staring at the top of his head. Without even a thought, I said out loud to him, "Hey, looks like you're losing quite a bit of hair up here." Silence followed when he turned around and stared at me, jaw on the floor. He finally says in his saddest tone, "I'm losing my hair?" Doh!! What the hell was I thinking? Oh yeah, I wasn't.
- A few minutes after the midnight celebration of the transition from 1999 to 2000, I was happily chatting with then-husband's good friend, D. D was relaying a story to us and said, "...I'm a reliable and dependable friend, right? So I...". I interrupt with,"No you're not! You are a really really flaky friend actually." OK, so we weren't exactly in a legally approved state of mind, but still. I got that stare that says, "I can't believe you said that". What do I do to recover? I burst into tears, and my poor insulted friend ends up trying to console me.
- For the grand finale, I recall making this statement to a fertility challenged friend upon finding out that her last round of IVF worked (granted this was about 10 years ago, way before I had a clue) and she was pregnant with twins. I said, "Wow, twins...well at least you're not having triplets." She was kind and didn't blink an eye. I later discovered, that actually she was originally pregnant with triplets, but one died not long before they made their twin announcement to me. If karma tries to balance out in a single lifetime, I am really in for it.