17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

When I Said I Love You, I REALLY Didn't Mean It

Yesterday I left a voice mail for my boss that has left me red in the face ever since.

I work part-time teaching SAT and GMAT test prep classes for a large, well-known educational services company. Yesterday my boss, 30-something, good looking but most certainly gay, called and left me a message early in the morning. I was still laying in bed trying to get motivated for another day of Sesame Street, mushed bananas and potty training. The call needed an urgent answer, so I called him back, still half-asleep in my warm, cozy bed. I groggily ended the message, "Love ya, Bye" and clicked off my cell phone. And then I sat straight up in bed, suddenly wide awake with the horrible realization of what I had just said.

I fumbled for my phone and left him a second message that went something like this:

"Umm...what I said at the end of my last message, please just ignore it. I was still half asleep and I end a lot of phone conversations with that phrase, to my HUSBAND (trying to emphasize the word in the most loving way possible), to my brothers and sisters, to my mom and grandparents, and I say it a lot to my kids, so I'm really sorry about that but it just slipped out from habit and I was also really sleepy and I hope you have a good day, BYE!"

How's that for professional?

So now, despite my second message, I am still completely mortified and absolutely positively dreading work tomorrow. I figure my options include, in multiple choice format (I am teaching standardized testing after all):

A) Pretending nothing happened
B) Apologizing in person once again and then letting it go
C) Making a joke out of it and trying to laugh it off with him
D) Quitting my job
E) None of the above

So far the correct choice for me is E. I don't like choice A because pretending it never happened doesn't mean that either one of us has forgotten. And if I never address it again, I feel like I will be presumed guilty of having some kind of crush on him, kind of like criminals and politicians that give the "non-denial denial" of guilt. Choice B might work, but it would force me to relive the embarassment in front of the embarasee. I wish Option C would work, but I don't think I know him well enough. He is annoyingly professional and impersonal at work. I don't really want to quit my job right now (Choice D), so now I am back where I started... dreading work tomorrow. I don't suppose any of you have ever accidently told your boss you love him and have some advice for me? And please don't go all Freudian on me. I can honestly say that I've never had an indecent thought about that man. He annoys me way too much.

I haven't told DH what I did....honey...are you reading this? But he would probably laugh his head off, and tell me I am blowing the incident way out of proportion.


  • I'd probably go with the joke: "So what's it going to cost me to get you to delete that message instead of giving it to my husband?"

    Julie M. Smith
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 10/10/2006 05:47:00 PM  

  • This reminds me of the Seinfeld episode, the phone message when George tries to explain something in a message, but ends up sounding ridiculous (not that you sounded at all ridiculous :)

    Here's a quote from the message he leaves

    "For me to ask a woman out, I've got to get into a mental state like the karate guys before they break the bricks."

    - George, in "The Phone Message"

    I say "love ya" to almost everyone at the end of my conversations, but my husband requested that I stop saying it to close converations after I said it to the mechanic in front of him.

    BTW George's solution was to try and steal her answering machine.

    Good Luck.
    posted by Blogger trimama at 10/10/2006 06:24:00 PM  

  • HA HA HA HA HA HA I love it.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 10/10/2006 06:54:00 PM  

  • Perhaps it's for the best that your boss is gay; he's not so likely to take your slip as indicating any interest in him.

    Don't feel too bad, I'm in the habbit of babbling all sorts of endearments at my children and husband, and when I get especially tired or distracted, I've been known to call my mother "sweety-heart" or something else equally apalling, and then immediately apologize. I know that's not in the same league as leaving it on your boss's answering machine, but it's still kind of embarassing.

    You do have my full sympathy, though, because there is one thing that I sincerely hope I never, ever do, but it may happen some day. I suffer from a fairly mild case of Tourette's Syndrome. Most people who've known me for years never know about it out until I tell them, because I can sucessfully supress most of the tics when I am in company. However, I do have a lot of vocal tics, ranging from sudden nonsense syllables to complete sentences (and not including any profanities; we don't all do that.) One of the most common and persistent of my vocal tics is me suddenly muttering, "I love you" without meaning to. It's may be only a matter of time before this happens aloud in front of a stranger. That could be awkward, to say the least.

    I like Julie M Smith's suggested joke.

    Whatever you do, I'm sure you'll manage to live it down.
    posted by Anonymous isidora at 10/10/2006 07:46:00 PM  

  • HA!!!!!!!!!!!!! So funny! OK, not funny for you because it's your life but REALLY funny to read. I vote option E...

    Have fun at work tomorrow!

    Seriously...so funny...
    posted by Blogger chloe at 10/10/2006 08:44:00 PM  

  • You are blowing the incident out of proportion. When you get as old as me, you will have said "'love you" to lots of people.
    posted by Blogger Mabel Maybe at 10/11/2006 02:22:00 AM  

  • Ohhhhhhhh Jen. You will indeed laugh at this once you get past this initial day and it is gone, but I'm a fretter myself, so I feel your pain!

    I don't necessarily think you need to say anything to him, but if doing so will give you some "closure", go for it, I don't think it will make it weirder or anything. If you can't get away with a joke with this guy, here's what I'd do. In my first conversation of the day, if he didn't say anything about it, I'd just end the conversation very casually with "Oh yeah, sorry again about that phone message yesterday." I wouldn't say it first thing (= I've been obsessing about this ever since) and I wouldn't wait until later in the day (=I've been strategizing on when to say this and therefore obsessing about this). I don't think you need to explain, you already did in your message. Just short, simple, and then let it go. (Easier said than done for some of us...)
    posted by Blogger marian at 10/11/2006 04:52:00 AM  

  • Is it another Seinfeld where the teen age kid selling concessions at the movies obsesses about saying "you too" to someone who had just said "thanks"?

    Funny story. Since I am not one to pull off a joke easily, I like marian's suggestion. Good luck and let us know how it goes!
    posted by Blogger Michelle at 10/11/2006 09:07:00 AM  

  • I say option A- you already explained and apologized, so it's over.
    posted by Blogger cchrissyy at 10/11/2006 09:25:00 AM  

  • E. I'm sure its fine. And if he is gay, you're TOTALLY fine. Don't stress about it!
    posted by Blogger tamrobot at 10/11/2006 09:53:00 AM  

  • Jen,
    Option A or E. Don't say anything unless he brings it up. If anything, he'll just tease you a bit.

    If he is gay, you're husband has nothing to worry about, and he (the boss) is probably even flattered to have you as a "fag hag" friend.

    When people are lieing down in bed, your voice sounds different, and most people can tell you're lieing down, so he probably knew you were half asleep.
    posted by Blogger Bookslinger at 10/11/2006 10:59:00 AM  

  • I saw this in an episode of "King of Queens." It was the exact same deal, except I don't think the boss was gay. She was tired and she blurted out "I love you" because (a) she says it to her family often and (b) her husband and her boss have the same name.

    It being a sitcom I don't recommend you trying to handle the situation the way she did. I'd go with what Marian had to say. :)
    posted by Anonymous Proud Daughter of Eve at 10/11/2006 02:20:00 PM  

  • Don't even worry about it. You are NOT the first person to have an embarrassing moment. Things happen. Don't worry about the specifics of it. You could have had a wardrobe accident that caused you to expose yourself in some way, you could have had an embarrassing body sound, you could have tripped and fallen in an embarrassing way, you could have accidently said a swear word, you could have accidently sent an email intended for someone else to him.....
    So, just realize that this is a part of life and EVERYONE else has embarrassing incidents like this. We can't just hide at home for the rest of our lives.
    The best thing to do is either ignore it (less said, soonest forgotten.....he really does realize it was an accident so you don't have to keep explaining) or make a joke about it. It just depends on your personality. If making jokes helps you handle things (for some people it does) jokes work. It kind of relieves the tension and embarrassment by adding humor to it.
    But if jokes don't make you comfortable then just pretend it didn't happen.
    If HE happens to bring it up, just say something like "I am just SO embarrassed. You must have had quite a shock listening to that message" You really don't need to apologize again because you did nothing wrong. OK?
    posted by Anonymous JKS at 10/11/2006 02:38:00 PM  

  • Have you ever accidentally ended a phonecall "in the name of Jesus Christ...uh, I mean, uh, I'm really tired. Talk to you later. Bye."? It could always be worse.
    posted by Anonymous Beijing at 10/11/2006 03:43:00 PM  

  • I have ended conversations with, "Love you, bye" several times but never to a coworker or boss. I would love to hear a follow up to this one. I hope you can find a way to use humor. It is quite funny when you think about it.
    posted by Blogger The Daring One at 10/11/2006 03:56:00 PM  

  • This is why I never say "I love you" to my family.
    posted by Anonymous Susan M at 10/11/2006 04:52:00 PM  

  • The real question is, why is this so embarrassing? it's cute and funny, but if I had said it, I'd laugh, adn not be embarrassed. I'm sure he's not embarrassed either. I know I'd love it if a gay co-worker told me he loved me! :-)
    posted by Anonymous meems at 10/11/2006 11:26:00 PM  

  • Jen, I have so done the same exact thing. I know I've done it to Kage (which wasn't so bad because I do love her except for it came out as more of the habit form of the phrase that is clearly reserved for my husband). BUt I have done it to my boss before and I wasn't even half asleep. I think I was just zoning off in the long, boring conversation and forgot who was on the other end of the phone. Pretty embarrassing but I just laughed it off with him.

    I love Julie M Smith's response.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 10/12/2006 08:12:00 AM  

  • Update: Sorry that this is so lame, but I went to work yesterday and didn't even see him because he was in meetings in the back conference room all day.

    I think in most circumstances I would not have been embarrassed. However, you have to know my boss. We have never talked about anything remotely personal (unless he looked for a ring, he wouldn't know if I was married) and our communication is often awkward because he is not a very good communicator. He is also not openly gay in the office....so the combination of it all made it an embarrassing situation. Yeah, and I probably embarrass too easily at times as well.

    I didn't realize how much of a sitcom situation this was...but it was very Seinfeldesque...life imitates art, I guess. And I do, have to admit, I briefly thought up crazy ways I could intercept that message before he got it.

    But, yeah, I'm over it. Thanks for the comments everyone.
    posted by Blogger Jen at 10/12/2006 09:00:00 AM  

  • Can I just tell you of my mortification when I was RSVP'ing to a party invitation from my husband's grad advisor (who I'd never met and wasn't LDS) and I inadvertantly ended the answering mahine message with "In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen." I have NO IDEA why I did that, but as soon as it popped out of my mouth I realized that I WAS A TOTAL MORMON FOOL. Um, and I didn't attend the party. Way too embarrassed.
    posted by Blogger jana at 10/13/2006 10:03:00 PM  

  • Ha! Jana, my DH did the same thing the other day on my voicemail. At least it was his wife I guess, so we could laugh about it together. What a funny story.

    Jen - glad things worked out. These are what I always call "Bridget Jones Moments". Somehow you have to find the humor in it all. I guess it's hard to laugh about in the moment though.
    posted by Blogger Beth at 10/15/2006 02:39:00 PM  

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