It was an absolutely beautiful brisk fall morning, and Sam just couldn’t resist making his trek to the downtown bank on foot, normally done by car. Some exhilarating fresh air, and much-needed exercise, plus the chance to greet any friends who had the same idea of enjoying the unusual day – the idea was irresistible.

 

All was going great, he was clipping along at a good rate, breathing deeply, and relishing being out of his office for a while. But a glance at the ID when his cell rang caused him to sigh and accept the inevitable. His venture away from responsibilities was going to have to be put on hold. This call was one that really shouldn’t be ignored, just for his own pleasure. So he dutifully stepped off the sidewalk and onto the narrow strip of grass, to be out of the way of others and concentrate on his caller.

 

Business completed, Sam stepped back on the sidewalk and continued on – only to suddenly notice that the air around him no longer held the scent of pine trees and fall flowers. In fact, it had an almost nauseating odor. What in the world was that? Suddenly, he realized the sickening aroma was staying awfully close to him. Suspicion turned to fact as he examined his shoe and found doggie droppings smeared from north to south. Evidently, Fruitful Fido had recently visited the same strip of grass.

 

Hurriedly vanishing behind the back of the next building, he tried in vain to clean his shoe, scraping, kicking and wiping with whatever he could find. But Essence de’ Fido was imbedded into the leather. So he rushed to the nearest bathroom to scrub it with soap and water. But balancing on the other foot while cleaning it was not an easy task - all the while stifling his gag reflex. Finally finished, he put the now soaking wet shoe back on and continued his trip - minus his former sense of well-being. But at least people he met smiled and talked for a little while to him now, instead of a brief nod and a wrinkling of their nose. 

 

Yep, stepping in it really stinks. Whether it is a ‘Fido moment’ or a ‘really-stupid-you moment.’

Like calling your spouse by the wrong name. Or commenting on the growing baby-belly of a friend, who indignantly lets you know she is not pregnant. Ever been caught commenting to a trusted friend about the total idiocy of your supervisor, and suddenly notice their eyes widen as they look past you to see that idiot listening intently? 

 

What to do? Follow Sam’s lead. Wash with apologies, wipe with humility, kick aside your pride, and accept any punishment. If you don’t, your relationship will stink to high heaven until you finally actually deal with it.

 

One more thing you can do…watch where you step.