Mispronouncing Beige at a Dinner Party Cost Me Everything

9/29/2022 by Jimmy Pitts

I lost everything. My kids. My career. My commemorative fast food cup collection. I’ve got nothing left. My life is a fiery car crash. And it’s all because I mispronounced ‘beige’ at a dinner party.

Honestly, I had no business being there. I don’t like parties and I definitely don’t like small talk. Hell, I hardly even like dinner. I’m more of a lunch guy. I’d rather stuff two five-dollar footlongs down my gullet and camel that shit until breakfast. But I went because I’m a nice guy. And because I lost a bet with my wife. I mean ex-wife. Wow. I’m still not used to saying that.

Believe it or not, I’d never heard anyone say ‘beige’ out loud. Or if I did, I didn’t know that’s what they meant. I probably assumed they were saying ‘bag’ with flair. Maybe they were Canadian? I don’t know. I never really know what people are saying. I just nod my checking my phone for commemorative fast food cups on eBay. Mispronouncing Beige at a Dinner Party Cost Me Everything. Pardon my lack of French.

Sorry I’m not an Ivy League, Coastal Elite who spent their 30’s jizzing over paint samples to find the perfect eggshell white. Some of us actually work for a living. I don’t have time to think about things like ‘color’ and ‘soft’ consonants. When I’m not working my fingers to the bone and providing for my family, I like relaxing. And for me, self-care isn’t making sure I pronounce every word how I want to pronounce it.

I’ll be the first to admit I messed up. But in my defense, I was trying to do the right thing. The party was in the shitter. All anyone wanted to talk about was the chicken. I mean, they were just crapping their pants over it – like a bunch of babies that had solid food for the first time. Imagine, a grown-ass adult raving over bone-dry chicken cutlets. No exaggeration, I’ve had better chicken in a five-dollar footlong from a truck stop.

But I was raised right. Mom always said, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” So, I tried to tactfully change the subject. And it just so happened the walls were a lovely shade of pale, yellowish-brown. We’re talking textbook beige.

I didn’t think I was going out on a limb saying it. I’ve read the word at least a handful of times. But it’s not a word you hear that often. Not like lilac or goldenrod. I can pronounce golden rod good. I can say the shit out of it. GOLD. EN. ROD. But that’s not the kind of luck I’ve got. I’ve got beige luck.

So, when I opened my dumb mouth to tell them I loved the color of their stupid dining room while I choked down that fucking dry-ass cutlet, I pronounced beige like I always do in my head. Like ‘bike’ with a ‘g.’ A rock hard ‘g.’

I complimented their tasteful use of BIGE.

I knew immediately I said it wrong because it felt really bad coming out of my mouth. They had no idea what I was talking about. Total silence. But I’m a gambler at heart, so I did what a guy against the ropes at the blackjack table would do. I hit on 17. I hit hard. I doubled down, reared back, and unloaded the only other way I could think to say it: like the first part of a bagel.

I took a deep breath, put down my fork, and commended their use of a truly lovely shade of BAEG. And all hell broke loose. 

Our hosts threw their glasses of Chardonnay in my face and started kicking my shins under the table. My ex-wife was jabbing a steak knife at me, screaming worse than when I told her the commemorative fast food cups weren’t for drinking.  Chairs went flying. A baby crawled across the table and spit in my face. A maid came out of the kitchen and told me the exact hour I would die. It was chaos.  Screams of “It’s beige! Beige! Bei-JAH!” followed me as I ran out the door and into the night. I left behind my whole life at that dinner party, in a sandy brown dining room streaked in blood and chicken. My kids streamed the whole thing on social media. It’s a TikTok trend now. Maybe you’ve seen it – it’s called the ‘Boomer Beige Botch.’ But you know the worst part? It’s not living out of a suitcase in a Motel 6 near the airport. It’s living out of a suitcase in a Motel 6 near the airport knowing that my ex-wife is running my commemorative fast food cups through the dishwasher. They shouldn’t even be used, let alone washed at those scalding temperatures.