Not To Trump Sheila Nevins’ Ace in the Faux Pas Department, But …

Margo Howard weighs in with a foot-in-mouth story of her own

I, too, am famous in the faux pas department – such that my brother-in-law calls me “Foot.” But wanting this to be a fair fight, I will only discuss MY portrait story, since that’s what Sheila talks about in her piece (left).

Many years ago (with the starter husband, to be precise) we were asked, by one of his bankers, to take a couple to dinner who were new to Chicago and had moved in just down the street from us. They were older, and the man had just bought a bank. They had moved from Miami Beach, and the woman looked quite, well … Miami Beach. She had Lucille Ball red hair, and a nose job such that it looked really rather tiny. So, anyway, after dinner they invited us to their house, and we go into the  library for a brandy. Over the fireplace is a portrait of someone who looks to me a little like Lady Bird Johnson. So I say: “Who is that?” The woman says, “That’s me.”

Honest to God the next thing out of my mouth was: “Noooo. Who would have a portrait of themselves with their old nose?” We were – and I’m not exaggerating – shown the door about three minutes after I’d made my observation.

But you know what? What I asked her was an honest question, and I think a sensible one. And as one of the old comedians used to say, “I got a million of ‘em!”

4 comments so far.

  1. avatar Laura says:

    Ha!  Margo that is a crack up!  I bet you are really a lot of fun at parties!  Keep it up!

  2. avatar sandra b says:

    Seriously, I would have thought the same thing. Like yeah – there’s a picture of me over the fireplace when I was really fat! You would think if the man could afford to buy a bank, she could certainly contact the artist to “update” her portrait for a few bucks if she insists on the charade. And besides, if you’re brave enough to have surgery to change your appearance, you could be brave enough to admit it. I would have said – yeah I keep that picture up there to remind me I got my money’s worth on the nose job. It’s the same thing as women who color their hair and keep trying to convince everyone it’s their natural color. Please. There’s nothing wrong with enhancing your appearance if it’s fun or makes you feel better. Like Dolly Parton said in Steel Magnolias, “There’s no such thing as natural beauty.” (Unless of course it’s inner beauty.)

  3. avatar Annie H says:

    I love it!  I often tell my boss that it is a good thing that the filter from my brain to my mouth works so well.  I am too much of a smart aleck.  Honestly, I doubt I could have gotten the filter to work at all looking at a picture like that without saying what you did Margo.  AND I think that it’s an honest question.  If I hated my nose that much, I’d get new pictures!

  4. avatar Jennifer juniper says:

    Oh come on – that comment is nothing short of rude. We can dress it up because we think Margo’s a bit of a hoot but this sort of thing is just bitchy. Honest question my arse.