I'm sure they'll never forget the first time we met; the impression was embarrassingly memorable.

Julie and James were among a group of eight couples invited to join our neighbors for a low country shrimp boil.  It was a band of strangers brought together by our new friends Renee and Lee who wanted nothing more than to begin building community among a people who lived within, maybe not spittin' distance, but at least borrowing-a-cup-of-sugar distance. 

It was raining outside and James and Julia joined me and Tad on the screened-in back porch, colorful and cozy and the perfect spot to linger a while.  We hopscotched typical conversation, skipping from career to kids before moving on to other vague pleasantries. 

The word-dance of "getting to know you."

My daughter, recovering from somewhere between major and minor oral surgery, was understandably on my mind.  Due to the gore of bone grafting prior to future dental implants, the graphic nature of her medical condition seemed interesting to share.

At least we weren't eating at the time.

As I described the procedure, probably horrified at my choice of topic but recovering nicely, Julia and James nodded and asked questions on queue.  Southerners are polite that way.  

I knew the questions to expect; they're the ones everyone asks.  Between them, our oldest two children are missing 12 permanent teeth and orthodontics is the opening act for the main show:  dental implants.

It was at this moment Julia asked the next logical question, "Did permanent teeth never form?" 

Anticipating that question–and the next one–and armed with the answers, I spouted, "No…" and before I could untangle the rubber band of words clearly knotted in my brain, continued, "Their condition is genital."

{{Blink blink.  Crickets.}}

Not knowing quite what to say to that, my husband threw an anemic life preserver for the rescue, "W e l l, R o b i n, I don't think that's what you meant to say…."  My brain cleared and I tried to self correct as fast as possible, blurting "It's genetic!" or "It's congenital!"  Either is fine, especially compared to what I actually said to begin with.

Awkward hesitation transformed to giggles, followed by unrestrained laughter and then tears and snot, and I'm pretty sure we were just short of rolling on the floor, all of us.  The ice was broken and we were all soaking wet and frozen in the best of ways.  

As we were leaving, James turned to me and said, "I believe you had the most memorable line of the night," and all I could think was at least I didn't wet my pants.

Cause it's not like I haven't done THAT before…!


Pin It on Pinterest