Social faux pas

Everyone at the martial arts school I recently started attending is super nice and exceedingly patient.  The black belts cheerfully help the less experienced.  However, there is one particular black belt I’ve been terrified of ever since our introduction at my second class.  Not because she's dangerous (she is) but because I humiliated myself in front of her.

Towards the end of class that day, my brain was completely saturated.  I could not absorbs one more fact.  If you have ADHD, I know you know what I mean.  She introduced herself using what I later learned was her Korean title.  It had about 24 syllables (okay, maybe six).  I couldn’t begin to comprehend what she was saying.  I was finally able to mutter her name back to her after four or five embarrassing attempts.   Then I just looked at her blankly.  Didn’t even give her my name in return. 

On the way home, I thought, she must think I have severe brain damage. I’ll be she hopes to never have to work with me again.  I certainly didn’t want to work with her again. Well, we had to work together the other night. I was terrified.  I’m still slow to figure out what I’m supposed to be doing (you know, typical ADHD difficulty with multiple step instructions), but I was able to follow along pretty well.  She was smiling and patient, as if she had complete faith in me.  After class, she said to me, “I’m sorry, I should have introduced myself. I’m not sure we’ve met”. SHE DIDN’T REMEMBER! 

Oh, what relief! I’m not afraid of her any more. Lesson learned:  Sometimes what we perceive as a social faux pas is barely noticeable, or forgotten within five minutes.  It lives on in our own minds much longer than it needs to, mingling with faux pas past and becoming a gremlin that’s hard to tame.   The truth is, most people are too busy worrying about their own stuff to remember our minor mistakes.