Have you ever had this happen?
I’m walking out to my car through the courtyard of the apartment complex. I enter the narrow hall to the locked rear door. One of my neighbors, a girl I don’t know very well, approaches the same door from the other side–the side where you have to use a key to get in. I figure I’m going to get there first, so I’ll save her the trouble of having to unlock it. But I think she knows this and doesn’t want me to have to go through the trouble because she’s got her key in the lock and she’s turning it and I’m only now just reaching the door. But in her haste, she pulls on the door instead of pushing. She fumbles. She gets the door open.
“You’re quick,” I say with a laugh. She passes by without a word.
And then it occurs to me that it sounded as if I just delivered a stinging sarcastic insult. Oh, man. And now I just want to go back and knock on her door and explain that I was really commenting on her action. You know, with the key. I wasn’t–I didn’t mean she’s stupid–I mean, you know, for pulling on the door when she should have…
Oh, never mind.