Embarrassing Moment: Red wine vs. White carpet

QUESTION

So, I am at a New Years party drinking a glass of red wine and you guessed it……I accidentally spilt some on the, yes, off-white carpet.
There was a gasp from everyone around me, then a silence. I just wanted to be swallowed up by the now wine stained carpet but no such luck. I just stood there stammering apologizes while the hosts tried to clean it up. They were kind about the whole thing but what should I do now? Offer to have it cleaned, send flowers or just forget the whole thing?

ANSWER

JILL:
There are certain times in life when we have to simply apologize, with no explanations or excuses. This is one of those times, so no, don’t forget the whole thing and if you ‘offer’ to have it cleaned they will probably decline.

Not to put too fine a point on what happened, because it was an accident, but not only was there damage, the event did affect the evening however briefly. Guests were uncomfortable and the hosts had to break from their duties to clean up and then get the party back on track.

My suggestion would be that you find a quality carpet cleaner in their area and buy a coupon/gift certificate for at least enough to have that area cleaned. Speak with the owner; they should be able to give you an approximate price amount. Pop it into an envelope with a card and send it to them. If your budget allows send the card and certificate with some flowers. Now you have done the right thing.

VICKI:
Follow Jill’s sound advice. I’m more concerned with how you now feel than remedying the situation.

There is nothing quite like doing something where everyone in the room stops and gasps. In those moments we all wish we were invisible. Yet these are the moments that we need to remember to take appropriate action and still be able to laugh at ourselves. There wasn’t one person in that room that didn’t understand the way you felt or hasn’t been in a similar circumstance.

After a situation like that some people are too embarrassed to show their face in front of anyone who witnessed it. If you or anyone reading this is presently experiencing this please stop and take a deep breath. You haven’t done anything with malicious intent – it was an accident and they happen. No one is exempt. Offer yourself some compassion and if needed forgiveness. Being hard on yourself will neither remedy the situation nor make you feel any better about yourself.

Be kind to yourself and remember to be just as kind to anyone else you may witness in a similar situation.

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