"Eating crow is never pleasant -- no matter how much mustard or ketchup you put on it. But usually the sooner you eat it, the less unpleasant it is to the taste! -- Nido Qubein
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- I thought something was wrong when our neighbor answered the door in his robe and house slippers. He looked puzzled to see my husband and me holding appetizers and a bottle of Champagne.
"Oh no," I said under my breath, "He and his wife must have gotten sick during the day and were unable to let us know the party has been canceled."
"Is something wrong?" I asked my neighbor. "No," he replied, "but the party was yesterday. You're a day late."
Gulp! -- my husband and I got the date wrong. I was mortified.
Our neighbor handled our faux pas with poise and humor and graciously insisted we come in to eat leftover birthday cake. Even though I was extremely embarrassed, we all had a good laugh. While this situation ended on a positive note, I started thinking about other situations that may not end as well as this one.
What do you do when you goof up? How do you apologize? What is the etiquette of "eating crow"?
First and foremost, if you have goofed, offer an apology. This can go a long way toward resolving an awkward situation. Not providing one may harbor feelings of anger or hurt. It's not easy to say you're sorry. It can wound one's pride, cause embarrassment, as well as harbor feelings of shame and guilt.
These feelings may hinder some from offering an apology, hoping the situation will simply go away. Some might even feel that apologizing makes them appear weak.