I had just complimented my cousin on her hair when my mom told me that my cousin's mom was very upset because her daughter's hair was falling out. I was shocked and it seemed weird. What would you call this situation? Ironic?

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    It is ironic. It seems you put your foot in your mouth :) Anyhow, I bet it made your cousin feels better, not worse :) – Araucaria - Not here any more. Nov 8 '14 at 17:12
  • It definitely is not ironic. It is just an unfortunate coincidence or inopportune. – Joe Dark Nov 8 '14 at 18:48

Your comment was a "gaffe"

gaffe (noun) - a social or diplomatic blunder. "He realized that he had committed an awful" gaffe when he mispronounced her name.

and the situation was "embarrassing"

embarrassing (adj) - causing to feel shame or chagrin or vexation

or "awkward".

awkward (adj) - marked by or causing embarrassment or discomfort: an awkward remark; an awkward silence.

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    It certainly wasn't a 'foolish tactless remark'. The OP was not aware of the circumstances concerning the cousin's hair. If you ask me, @Centaurus, it is you that are guilty of tactlessness. It is seldom that I ever down vote anyone, but on this occasion I will. – WS2 Nov 8 '14 at 18:02
  • @WS2 If every member explained the reason behind downvotes, they would be much more easily digested and the answers would certainly be improved. (I've edited) As for being guilty of tactlessness, you're wrong. I may have been guilty of ignorance and haste. Thanks anyway. – Centaurus Nov 8 '14 at 19:24
  • I accept what you say, and I have read your amended post. I still feel that words like 'shame', 'chagrin', 'awkward silence' etc are quite OTT and inappropriate to an unintended little faux pas by a youngster. I shall not say any more. Best forgotten. – WS2 Nov 8 '14 at 20:47

It sounds to me as though it was just an unfortunate remark, ( though unless the cousin, him or herself, was upset, I can't think it will matter in the least). It couldn't be helped in any way, was no one's fault, and is most easily rectified on the basis of 'least said - soonest mended'.

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