Have you ever had an embarrassing cultural moment? Perhaps in which your idea of what a word meant was quite different from someone else? Most of the time these hiccups in cultural expectations are no big deal. No blushing of cheeks should happen if you call a lorry a truck or a jumper a sweater. But have you ever turned heads?
I did. In public. In Ireland.
I went to a set dance in Skibbereen, County Cork. For those of you that don’t know, a set dance is similar to a celidh (kay-lee) minus the live music and tea & cakes. A caller announces the name of a dance, for instance, the Antrim Square. Over recorded music 4 couples make a cross and dance 3 dances within the set. Some sets have up to 6 dances. Each dance builds on the moves of the previous one and some of the patterns are quite complicated. All ages participate, but there is a high attendance of people over 50.
I innocently decided to wear my Shift Happens shirt. I don’t know what I was thinking. This shirt turns heads no matter where I go. For some reason on this warm day in June it didn’t enter my conscious mind to reconsider.
When I arrived people kept looking at me. I did know some of the people and others I’d met once or twice, so I chalked it up to that. Or was it the fact that I’m large-chested? Or as the night wore on, sweating profusely from the dancing?
Liam went on to tell the woman across from us this newest joke. She listened and without missing a beat said, “I didn’t even see the F in it!”. Me, I was blushing and giggling like a schoolgirl.
Question answered. Some people thought my shirt said Shit. Others thought it was a crude joke. Perhaps some saw the word change within it. Or still others might have referenced their computer. I’ll never know. I do know that if I hadn’t been so hot from dancing I would have put on my jacket to hide my indiscretion:)