Facepalm – Can’t BELIEVE I Said This to Coworker

Facepalm 433
So then…I round the corner of our uber-plush offices on my way to a staff meeting, still pinching myself that I made it all the way from down-home Louisiana to this Park Avenue job in New York City!

At 22 years old, with only a couple weeks on the job, I’m the very epitome of “bright-eyed and bushy-tailed!”

I shift my files to the other arm and hope I remember some of the names of the people I’ve met so far. As I head down the long hallway, a smiling woman approaches.

She stops in front of me and says, “Laura Ashley.”

I extend my hand and say, “Hi Laura, nice to meet you.”

She frowns at me and waves off my hand, repeating the name, this time with a question mark: “Laura Ashley?”

“No,” I say kindly, relieved I’m not the only one who can’t remember people’s names. “My name is Darcy Perdu. Nice to meet you.”

She “tsks” loudly and shakes her head. “No!” She points at me, up and down. “You! Laura Ashley!”

Omigod, what is with this woman and her insistence that I’m Laura Ashley?

And she seems quite perturbed about it. Does Laura owe her money or something? Did Laura steal her boyfriend?

I’m just about to pull out my ID to prove I’m not Laura, when the woman points at me again and says, “Your dress. Is your dress Laura Ashley?”

Ohhhh. Laura Ashley must be some kind of designer. I’m not familiar with the name so I have no idea if my dress has that label or not.

So I say, “Oh, I don’t know. Um, I’m not sure.” I fumble for the label in the back of my dress.

“Oh,” she says, “If it were Laura Ashley, you’d know. She waves her hand dismissively, continues on her way, and tosses over her shoulder, “I was just going to say it was pretty.”

I look down at my dress. It IS pretty. It’s covered with a pattern of colorful tiny flowers, which I later learn is similar to a typical style of Laura Ashley dresses.

But what puzzles me is how warm and friendly the woman was when she thought I was wearing an expensive name brand dress –

and how frustrated she became when I didn’t recognize that name –

and how she muttered impatiently that she WAS going to say it was pretty –

but almost implied that it was no longer pretty once it was revealed to be an off-brand imitation.

Well, guess what, lady?

I WAS going to say it was nice to meet you – but it wasn’t!

And now me and my off-brand flower-di-da dress are flouncing off la-di-da to the meeting!

— Darcy Perdu

Keep the fun coming! Pop your email address right here for 2 new posts per week!

(Any awkward moments similar to my assumption that the lady was Laura Ashley? I love embarrassing stories, so do tell! And when did you first realize that clothing had names?)

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“Mom,” she stopped me. “I really don’t need any more of your deodorant wisdom.”

I completely cracked up because that sounds exactly like something MY daughter would say to ME when I’m trying to pass on MY brilliant bon mots of advice and guidance.

Then I saw that Parri had listed my So Then Stories blog on her link “Who Makes the Thighness Laugh” – and that she had purchased an ad on my site. Wow, I like her AND she likes me? How cool is this? THEN I met her in person at the Erma Bombeck Conference and found out that she’s just as bubbly, funny, and warm-hearted as she is in her posts.

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The Year I Gave Dad a Real Humdinger!

Fatty Cat and Me: A Codependent Relationship

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And if you leave a comment, please tell her I sent you!
Enjoy! — Darcy Perdu

P.S. And please remember to share a comment below about any of your awkward encounters similar to my Laura Ashley identity crisis!

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48 replies on “Facepalm – Can’t BELIEVE I Said This to Coworker

  1. Bill Mesker said:

    Oh my…. That was funny! I bet you were saying all sorts of four letter words and a few five letter words after your encounter haha!

  2. Judy P said:

    I was dealing with a college student who had caused some sort of ruckus and gotten in trouble. He kept saying, “Do you know who my dad is?! Do you know who my dad is?! Google my dad!” I finally told him I didn’t know who *he* was let alone his dad, so he blurts out a name. I use that name to tell him to sit down and calm down. It made him madder because that was his dad’s name. Nope, I had no clue who daddy was and no clue why I should care. I did google my own dad’s name after that just so I could yell “Google my dad!” to someone sometime just for shits ‘n grins.

    • That’s hilarious!! I can’t believe he was saying, “Google my dad!” as though THAT would clear the whole situation up and get him out of trouble! Priceless! Makes you wonder who his dad was — a lawyer? a hit man? Lord Voldemort?

      • Lady Anne said:

        I once had a man come into my office at Hopkins Hospital, expecting to be seen *immediately*. There were other patients in front of him, so I asked him to take a seat. “Do you know who I am?” (Actually I did, but I wasn’t as impressed with him as he was.) I very soothingly told him to have a seat, as I picked up the phone. “Just a minute. I’ll call Security, and they’ll try to help you.”

        He flounced out in a huff.

        • LOL! I love that! I’m going to try that out sometime — if someone gives me attitude, I’ll just sweetly and professionally say, “Hang on, I’ll see if Security can help you.” Ha!

  3. Nice. I like how the dress WAS pretty when it was by an expensive designer, but ceased to be pretty once she found out it wasn’t designer. I remember those days well. Used to work on 5th Ave. & was the exact same way – earnest & eager, which is about the worst thing you can be there.
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    • So funny you say that — about being earnest & eager in NYC, which is somewhat known for being a bit cynical and sullen. In my first week in NYC, I cheerfully boarded a bus to get to work. The bus driver said, “You’re from out of town, aren’t you?” I exclaimed, “Why yes! How did you know?” He shut the door, turned the wheel, and said, “‘Cause you’re smiling.” HA!

  4. Oh there are just way too many awkward situations. YOUR story is hysterical. People like that really crack me up. More interested in the name on the label of your DRESS than you. Real winner there! I’m betting she was in Sales?? No, at least they pretend to be polite.

    • Right? She was definitely dress-obsessed during that exchange!

  5. WOW! First of all, thank you so much for this most awesome plug and for helping me get my blog off the ground with some real live readers!!!

    Second, after reading this, I think I love you even more. I love that you couldn’t have given a rat’s tushie what label was in your dress and that you bought it just because it was pretty, not because you felt like overpaying for a cotton dress was validating in some way. I always thought Laura Ashley’s stuff was pretty, but too expensive. And whenever I used to go into the boutique in Manhattan, a lot of the styles were too dressy for a casual affair and too casual for a dressy one. Plus, Laura got a little carried away at one point in her career. Her stuff was fine if you were living in Walnut Grove and skipping to town to sell eggs to the Olsens … or listening to paw play the fiddle after you finished your porridge … but I would have gotten beaten up if I wore one of her ensembles in Brooklyn!

    • Ha – “skipping to town to sell eggs or listening to paw play the fiddle!” That’s exactly right!

      • AinOakPark said:

        @ the Royal…With that comment, I will JUST HAVE TO read your blog!! Laura did get a bit carried away at one point.

  6. Paul said:

    Not knowing what the words mean or misinterpreting the words are indeed critical failures in communication. It can sometimes take a considerable effort to fix misunderstandings. I worked for a flatbed trucking company for a number of years and one of our contracts was with an insulation company just up the street from our terminal. They shipped full loads of pink insulation on their trailers mostly into southern and eastern Quebec – a large, all french province in Canada. Quebeckers are typically Catholic and many of their towns are named after Saints. It can get confusing for Anglophones who have never heard some of the names. Anyway, I dispatched a driver to take a load to Saint Antonin Quebec overnight. Next morning I get a call from the driver asking for directions to the delivery – he said he was in Saint Antonin and couldn’t find the delivery. After some confusing back and forth, I got him to spell the destination from his Bill of Lading, and it became apparent he was not in St Antonin but rather in Saint Antoine – 250 miles in the wrong direction- about 6 hours of driving. Needless to say, he did not get paid for the extra miles, although I did manage to talk the owner out of charging the driver for the $150.extra fuel costs.

    • Yikes! St. Antonin vs St. Antoine?
      Sounds like that driver could have benefited from a prayer to St. Anthony of Padua, patron saint of “Lost Items” and “Travelers” — and perhaps “Lost Travelers!”

      • Paul said:

        Ha! You’re right Darcy – I wish I had though of the St. Anthony connecion at the time – patron saint of the lost. Ha! Very appropriate.

  7. AinOakPark said:

    Ha! Ha! Ha!

    My mother once received a Louis Vuitton satchel as a holiday gift from a long time employer. She didn’t much like the style, so she offered it to me. (I was 19.) I took it. At the time I was a waitress (while going to school) at a small coffee shop populated by “regulars”. One day, one of the women customers said, “You shouldn’t leave your purse in the booth. Someone might steal it.” I laughed and said that I didn’t have much money in there, so it was worth the risk. She frowned and said, “No, not your money. THE PURSE. That’s a Louis Vuitton.” She had to educate me about all that and once educated I was a bit more careful with the bag. Later in my life, a (female) minister admitted that she loved my bag. I offered it to her as a gift. She would not accept it. I told her the story and said I would sell it to her, as it had little value to me personally, since I am not label conscious. She asked how much. I told her that as a used purse I would have sold it at a garage sale for $10. Still would not take it. I enjoyed it for a number of years longer, but, honestly, she would have enjoyed it more.

    • Wow! That’s so funny that the customer had to “school” you on the worth of your bag! Louis Vuitton is tres chi-chi!
      Some of the ladies in my ‘hood spend thousands of dollars on their handbags! I think you should never spend more on your purse than you intend to carry IN your purse. And I ain’t totin’ around thousands of dollars, baby! My beautiful small black purse that I use every day cost $9.99 at Target! And you know how I splurged? — I bought 2 more exactly like it for when this one wears out!! :o)

      • AinOakPark said:

        Yes, Tar-gee is my favorite boutique too! Not to let your location out, but I do believe that at least at one time you lived in “Pumpkin” and I lived in Oak Park, a neighboring community and not inexpensive areas, so when my girls got something from Target and someone at high school liked it and asked about it, my kids would just say, “My mom picked it up for me” rather than admit it was from Target. I just don’t care that much as long as something is serviceable. I was stunned when I found out how much the purse was, as was my mother. That was certainly some gift! It still cracks me up to think that I carried it, dressed in Levi jeans and a t-shirt and had no idea why I got so much attention in some stores. One of my girls works in management for Nordstrom now and has a few Marc Jacobs bags as well as a Kate Spade bag, which she refers to as “Little Marc” “Big Marc” and “Kate”. I must say, I do love “Big Marc”. But reason keeps one off my arm.

        • Ha! I love that she has pet names for her bags!
          Your story about not realizing how expensive your Louis Vuitton bag was while wearing it with jeans and tshirts reminds me of one of my NY roommates (who is a riot by the way). We were all in our 20’s and barely scraping by, considering how expensive NYC rent was in comparison to our salaries. She worked for a big muckety-muck at an entertainment company who gave outrageous gifts to all his staff for the holidays — one year she received a designer snakeskin belt — another year she received a designer silk kimona — she didn’t really have any need for such things — and would just stare at them, saying “Oh my god, do you know how many beers, concerts & movies this is worth? Where can I turn this in for the CASH?!!”

          • AinOakPark said:

            Too right! When you are struggling to make it in the world, some items do seem unreal. Where is the sales receipt when you want one!?

          • Exactly! We almost tried to pawn that snakeskin belt at our local bar! :o)

  8. Ugh, no thank you. Can’t stand people like that! It’s all labels and looking over people’s shoulders to make sure no one more interesting has shown up.

    • Exactly! If I’d been more clever back then, I would have mentioned a designer every time I saw her after that, then act all disappointed when she wasn’t wearing their clothing.
      Like, “Oh hi – Prada?” “Is that Versace?” “Are those shoes Louboutin?”
      And then she’d say “no” and I’d just give her a sad pitying look…maybe even a pat on the arm, with a tender shake of my head.

  9. Due to a series of fortunate circumstances, I was living in the high brow neighborhood of my home town. I never had any trouble being me, so the blank stares didn’t bother me at all when, at a little “coffee” someone held, I announced, “Wow, I am the only one here without a degree!” It was one win after another. One day someone said, why I don’t recall, “I’m the youngest one here.” I said, “No. I am.”

    My daughter was smallish and walked early so baby walking shoes were hard to find at my kind of store. She was walking in soft baby shoes and a neighbor asked if those were those “new French Kid shoes”. I said, “No. K-Mart.” I so wanted to add, “As if.”
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    • I love your line: “I never had any trouble being me.”
      I think if more people felt that way, they’d be a lot less status-conscious and judgmental of others!

  10. I hate people who base their opinions on trivialities like what you wear or where you live or what kind of car you drive or how many times you’ve been arrested for wearing ass-less chaps while Dick Cheney is tied to your bed in a cabin in the woods.

    When I was young and immature I used to see a pretty girl wearing Guess and walk up and say, “Sarah, 19, you live at home with your parents and have a cat?” Amiclose?

    • LOL — you’re the only one who could use “ass-less chaps” & “Dick Cheney” in a sentence and make it make sense!

  11. Haha that’s awesome – that lady has issues. Did you work in the fashion industry or what? I presume that’s the kind of hoity toity behavior that occurs in magazines and such. I’m sure regardless of the designer, your dress was beautiful! Happy Hump Day Darcy! -Iva
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    • Thanks, Iva! It wasn’t even a fashion company, not sure why she was so brand-focused! :o)

  12. You are so funny Darcy:) Remember Guess? My daughter took a Guess label and sewed it onto the back pocket of my husband’s worn in Wrangler work jeans. When he opened this present he said, “You shouldn’t have spent so much money for a stupid label.” Then he tried them on and was totally impressed that they were already cuffed at the ankles exactly the way he cuffed them and they fit him perfectly. He was sold on Guess. The rest of us were all dying.

  13. Lady Anne said:

    The only way I’ve ever managed to wear “label” clothing is by shopping the thrift stores attached to some churches in expensive neighborhoods. I once (!) admired a Laura Ashley blouse in a department store, and when I flipped over the price tag, the bloody thing was $70. All that money and I’d still only be half-dressed! And I’d probably spill something on it first time out.

    • LOL – “$70 – and I’d still only be half-dressed!” That’s so funny! I can just see you traipsing down the street in your fancy blouse, pants-less, explaining that you have a budget per outfit and that you blew it on the top! HA!

  14. That is hysterical! And soooo something I would do!

    • thanks, Ashley! Glad to know I’m not alone! :o)

    • Thanks, Kelly! Speaking of not knowing labels and brands, I remember going on a school trip to New York and visiting the fancy Godiva shop so I could buy my Mom an ultra-sophisticated souvenir. When I returned to our little town in Louisiana, she was very excited to hear I brought her chocolates, but when she opened the box and saw the word, “Godiva,” she looked a little confused, which is when I realized she had never heard of that brand! Then she put on her “mama-loves-it-no-matter-what” face and I could just see her thinking, “Oh, that’s sweet, li’l Darcy couldn’t afford Stover, but I’m sure these will taste just fine anyhow.” HA!

    • So glad I’m not alone, Carrie! I felt like I was in a “Who’s on First” sketch! First I thought SHE was Laura Ashley, then I thought she thought that I was Laura Ashley! Who knew the DRESS was a potential contender for the role? Argh!

  15. You’re in good company—I would have done the same thing, seeing as I am so NOT a label person. Unless the Target label counts. Hey, I LOVED meeting you and Parri at ERMA! What a kick ass time that was, huh? I am missing you and all the wonderful ladies I met that weekend. ERMA 2016 can’t get here soon enough!

    • I agree, Marcia! So fun to meet you and Parri IRL! And I can’t believe we were even treated to a sighting of your Sexy Pirate Honey! We love seeing your Ren Faire photos on FB, so it was like meeting a celeb to see HIM in person too! :o) Hope to see you at the next Bombeck conference!

  16. Darcy, being a native New Yorker who use to work on Wall Street, I can definitely relate to the NYC Corporate world. Good for you though, not letting a rude employee fluster you! Go get’m tiger!
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    • Thanks! Once I realized Laura Ashley was a dress and not ME, I was able to continue on my merry way!