Mit With a Side of Dummkopf

Have you ever had to come up with your most embarrassing moment and you couldn’t think of what it was because you’re skilled at blocking out bad memories and you choose to live in a world where you’re as refined and smooth as a spokesmodel? Well, here’s a tip: Ask your family what it was and they’ll come through in spades, bringing out of cold storage every thing you’ve ever done that made them laugh and point their fingers at you.

My family is a walking encyclopedia of every stupid thing I’ve ever done. I occasionally look for Web sites called Bonehead Things My Mom Does, because with their combined experience in technology, writing and Web design skills, they could be making a decent side income on such a site.

My kids remember every time I mispronounced a word. I won’t be writing about any of those because they’re only funny if you can hear them being mispronounced (“Merlot.” See? Not funny.) And we’ve already established that I will not be doing a video blog.

Here’s the only one embarrassing story I can remember on my own:

It was when my husband and I were still in the “lunch-and-other-daylight-activities” phase of our dating relationship. We had gone to lunch twice (Correction: We had had two lunch dates, but he stood me up for the first one - and no, that’s not my most embarrassing moment), we had gone to Mill Creek Park, and we had driven up to Kent to pick up my ironing board, which I had left in the house that I used to live in. (No, that’s not it either.) I think there was a stop at the grocery store as part of that trip, so I could buy some Milk of Magnesia. (No.)

After all that, he asked me to lunch again. (No one will ever accuse us of having a whirlwind romance and rushing into marriage.) He suggested this little German restaurant just off Wick Avenue on the north side of Youngstown.

So we sat down and I was looking at the menu and I recognized some of the German things on the menu, like der wienerschnitzel,  der bratwurst, and der sauerkraut. Also der chicken fingers.

The side dishes I was having a little more trouble with. So I asked the waitress, “What’s mit?” 

“What?” she said.

“What’s ‘mit?’” I repeated. “I notice that most of these lunch entrees come with something called ‘mit.’"

I can’t remember if it was she or my husband who told me that ‘mit’ means ‘with’ in German. So "der bratwurst mit sauerkraut" would be only the two things on the plate.

My husband has told that story as recently as 6 weeks ago. Over the past 27 years, it has been puffed up with embellishments, tinsel and lights. By the late ‘90s, it was an international incident, the entire kitchen staff was involved, and the German embassy was notified, and they are still laughing their arsches off.

I don’t know how a person’s supposed to forget all the embarrassing things she’s done with these constant reminders. It’s getting kind of hard to keep up the spokesmodel lifestyle.

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