Awkward Family Story: Double Take

August 19th, 2009

One night, my sister had her new friend Mark over for dinner. Making small talk, my Dad asked him what his father did for a living. We all squirmed a bit when he told us that his dad died last year. The subject was soon changed and we all went about finishing our meal when suddenly my dad says: “I am sorry, Mark, what did you say your dad does for a living again?”


(submitted by Colleen)

91 Responses to “Awkward Family Story: Double Take”

  1. Lilith says:

    Reminds me of the time I forgot my sister’s age the day she turned 4…….

  2. kld says:

    That actually doesn’t sound that awkword to me. My mother passed away 7 years ago an I get asked questions like that whenever I meet someone who doesn’t know me. Sometimes they repeat the question. To me the only awkword thing about it is how other people get awkword when I tell them she passed away. I never know what to say when they get all quiet.

    • T says:

      I agree – it’s amazing how people get so awkward when someone passes. When my dad passed away, at his memorial I was shocked at how many people avoided talking about him!! Some just rambled on and on about nonsense, some didn’t say anything, but not many talked about him and that’s what I wanted to talk about the most. I wanted them to ask questions about how we were doing, and about him. When someone I know loses somebody I make a point of offering a shoulder to lean on and asking if they want to talk. And I always make a point of mentioning something about the person they lost and letting them know what a great person he/she was (if I knew them – if not, I just offer an ear to listen and make sure I do listen to what they are saying).

      • Danielle says:

        You are so right T. I make a point of acknowledging the person who passed and talk about something they said or did that I found humorous or kind, etc. It is painful enough that my Dad has recently passed . I don’t want people to wipe him from existence as though that will help me “get over it.”

  3. helen pauley says:

    I’m sure we’ve all been in situations where we can’t stop laughing, even if it’s highly inappropriate. It was so embarrassing when it happened to me. I was only about 16, and I was at a friend’s house. They had a parrot that was the cherished family pet. Then the Dad just walks into her room, where we were, and says “The parrot’s died”. And it just sounded so surreal and hysterical I just could NOT stop laughing maniacally. They were both just staring at me as if I was insane!!!

  4. Graeme says:

    Poster child for “Senior Moment!”

  5. chazz says:

    When I was doing a sitting for a portrait of a couple, I noticed the lady had a bulge, I said “congratulations, when is your baby due?” The man with her screamed “you’re pregnant?” She said “no, it’s just my beer gut”

    • Happy says:

      That’s hysterical!! You must have jumped out of your skin when he screamed….LMAO

      • hannahbelle143 says:

        hahahahahahahahahahahahahaahaha!!!!! that is soooooooo funny! i accidentally did that to my aunt Jen, she had always been large, but i honest-to-god thought she was pregnant!!! at least the lady that you mistook for pregnant didnt get offended… my aunt gave me a spanking and didnt let me eat my dessert!!! BTW: i was 19 years old!!!!! LOL!

  6. Ric says:

    Reminds me of a story. One night, a girl had her new friend Mark over for dinner. Making small talk, her Dad asked him what his father did for a living. They all squirmed a bit when he told them that his dad died last year. The subject was soon changed and they all went about finishing their meal when suddenly her dad says: “I am sorry, Mark, what did you say your dad does for a living again?”


  7. Anon says:

    They just described every conversation I’ve had had with my husband.

  8. K says:

    my husband died when i was 24, leaving kids of 5 and 3. My mom and I were sitting in the kids play park one day. She was discussing a friend of my late husband and I deliberately pretended to misunderstand.

    Mom: but he was so good at the funeral
    Me: he had to be mom, he was in a box and they nailed the lid closed
    Mom: giggles turn to sobs..

    Me: internally (oh dear)

  9. Sara says:

    OMG… I read this 10 minutes ago and I’m still laughing. So glad I wasn’t in that situation!

  10. kenth says:

    Dad was just letting Mark know that he holds the knife to his emotional back.

    “Treat my daughter right.”

  11. Lindsay says:

    I just did that this weekend; my friend had just returned from a funeral of a loved one and was talking about how sad she was.

    I swear I was listening, but out of my mouth popped the old catch phrase, “good for you!”

    There was a dreadful pause where my mouth wouldn’t move. Then I literally spat, “I mean that you had someone like that in your life!!!” Then I abruptly shut my mouth because I realized in my panic I had shouted that last part.


  12. Suki says:

    I just read the story….what was it about again?

  13. Annie says:

    Oh my (insert diety of your choice here)!

    It’s awkward enough when you accidentally mention someone who passed as if they are still alive.

    It’s more awkward when you either don’t get it or forget as OP’s father did.

    The question is: did Daddy feel really awkward or does he still not get it?

  14. Billie says:

    …”well, before my Dad died, he was a calibrator for a regulation size casserole factory.The company changed the measurements one Thanksgiving and an irate woman ( I think her name was Marney) took a compound crossbow to him.

  15. Chris says:

    Reminds me of the time I had my boyfriend over for dinner & my Mom made sure to add some bagels in with the dinner rolls because he was Jewish. ACK!

  16. glasstabletop says:

    I think we have the same dad.
    My dad also used to call my boyfriend(s) the ex-boyfriend’s name and there were not THAT many for godssake.

    • Sasha says:

      This is possibly the best awkward story I have ever read.

    • butcherbaby says:

      my dad had i picture of my brother with one of his nasty ex girlfriends that he carried around in his wallet, because he thought the girl in the pic was my brother’s *wife*. other than having black hair, they had absolutely no resemblance to each other.

      • psygirl says:

        Well of course husband and wife are not expected to resemble each other! I’m confused.

        • craig says:

          no no no. He means that his dad thought that the picture of his son and a previous girlfriend was actually a picture of his son and his wife. In fact, it is not his son’s wife, the picture is old, and the two women do not resemble each other at all. Lol. I definitely took the funny out of that story, but there you go.

  17. Lisa says:

    Ouch!! I hate it when I forget what someone has just told me! Hopefully I would remember if someone said their Dad was dead!

  18. Joe says:

    What a bummer time and situation to have your short term memory to kick in!

  19. Andrew says:

    That’s EXACTLY something I would do. 🙁

  20. Diana says:

    I once met a neighbour by the elevator. She was going somewhere, I said “hi, how are you?”
    She replied “I’m going to a funeral”
    I wasn’t paying much attention to what she said, so I threw in an automatic reply: “Oh, have fun!”


    • Bastet11 says:

      Although I am usually very careful, I have been known to do careless things like asking someone how they are and they tell me they are deathly ill or something and I say “Well have a good day!” and realize that isn’t exactly the best reply.

  21. GuardMama says:

    ***crickets chirping***

  22. Overanlalyzethis says:

    This is why, when someone asks a question like that about a deceased person you tell what they used to do for a living. Then, when you’ve got their attention, you drop the bomb. Further questions will follow. It’s called conversation. Both the father and the daughter and the guest are equally complicit in this awkward moment.

  23. cab sav says:

    Wow, what a time to have a crappy memory! Awkward, indeed.

  24. jimmy says:

    That made me CRINGE!

  25. Melo says:

    could that have gotten anymore awkward? My guess is nooo

  26. Pauline says:

    Oh, God. Something like that happened to me. I made a “your mom” joke to a friend, forgetting his mom died of cancer last year. Somehow, I always forget with him.
    I followed with:
    “Uhm. Nothing.
    I meant MY mom.”

    • Monkeyborg says:

      I have done this. Luckily, my friend was able to laugh it off.

      • Ted says:

        I’ve never known if it is okay to tell “Yo Moma so fat” jokes around people who’s moms actually are fat. Did that to a friend once and it just seemed in bad taste. Thoughts?

    • butcherbaby says:

      i’ve done it to my husband more than once, sadly. worst part is that BOTH our moms passed last summer withing 2 months of each other.

    • Ulla says:

      omigosh! I did the same thing once! The guy’s mom had died just a few months before, and then I made this tasteless “your mom” joke. Everything went quiet. Then one of my other friends leaned over and whispered “You forgot that his mom died!! you were at the funeral!” whoopsies.

  27. KEM says:

    That is when you smack your dad over the head with something close by…

  28. Anon says:

    Oh my, sounds like something my MIL would do … awkward, yep!

  29. FavaBean says:

    Answer…He specialized in helping people develop memory skills.
    And he’s still dead.

  30. Karen says:

    THANK YOU for bringing back the awkward.

  31. jnmcnally says:

    Yes! Awkward story, thanks to dad repeating the question!

  32. SusieQ says:


  33. JJoker says:

    “Oh, didn’t I mention? He helps keep the grass green at Rose Hills Mortuary…”

  34. Dory Dirtbag says:

    My goodness, you poor thing! I hate that nervous conversation where you can’t remember what someone has said.

  35. ErpInBurp says:

    Open Mouth, Insert Foot.

  36. Elle_Woods says:

    Hmmm, I’d love to know what Mark’s response was. I hope he had a good comeback like “He pushes up daisies.”

    Sorry, I know what was tasteless!

  37. Blucat says:

    My dad is an absolute space cadet, and he would absolutely pull something like this. But it’s still awful!

  38. 25forever says:

    Awkward and unfortunately, kind of hilarious.

  39. mel says:

    I swear that was my dad asking those questions. AWKWARD.

  40. Snowrider says:

    Poor Dad. I’d probably do the same thing. I have the attention span of a flashbulb….

  41. 9021-iz0 says:

    that is not awkward, sounds like normal conversation

  42. Jo says:

    Reminds me of my worst “D’oh!” moment in my teenage years. My mother’s partner was still legally married to her husband, though she’d been living with my mom for a few years – this was the 70s, so ~all~ relationships were a bit complicated. Anyway, the husband passed away after a long illness, and my mom’s partner was understandably upset.

    My mom told me what had happened the night they got the call – I was 12 or 13 at the time. The next morning, I got up, and there sat mom and her partner Ginny at the table. Ginny was normally very stoic, stiff-upper-lip and all that. But that morning she was literally sniveling and crying pitifully, the poor dear…

    In a moment of horribly bad judgment, I looked at her and said, “Jeez, who DIED?” Ginny wailed loudly, and my mom smacked the bejeezus outta me. “Oops, sorry,” just didn’t seem adequate. True story!

  43. Andyspsu says:

    FINALLY!!!!!! Back to true awkwardness!! Bravo!

  44. Kathy says:

    Ok, this one is actually awkward.

    Poor guy.

  45. Kristie says:

    Oh, bless him, sounds like something I would do!

  46. Shevek says:

    OMFG, an Awkward Family Story which is actually awkward!!!

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