The View From A Slightly Twisted Angle

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Who Did I Just Embarrass?

on May 25, 2012

   I will never forget the day I learned the power that the treat of embarrassment had over my children.  We were grocery shopping and I, being the frugal mother of four, was at the check-out price matching some items. I had several ads with me.  Suddenly my then-fifteen year old son said, “Mom! Can you be done doing that???”  Apparently one of his friends from school was in the area and he didn’t want him to see me being “cheap.”  I refrained from pointing out that said friend’s mother probably did the same thing that I was doing.  I just smiled and said, “Almost done.”  He went to a different aisle feigning a sudden interest in batteries.  I suddenly felt giddy over my new found power. 

All I have to do is threaten to do something embarrassing in public and my kids panic.  They’ll do whatever I ask just so that their mother won’t act like a dork.  I don’t blame them really.  I can be an incredible dork when I want to.  What they don’t realize is that I’m not overly interested in embarrassing myself in public either. We do have different definitions of what is embarrassing so that works to my advantage, but I really am shy enough that I don’t ever intentionally draw attention to myself.  I’ve threatened to sing loudly in the mall parking lot, but I would never do it.  I have threatened to be kissy smootchy baby-talking to them or their father in a public place but that probably isn’t going to happen either.  I even threatened to get on a dance game in an arcade one time.  They scattered like cats at a bulldog convention.  Please, I haven’t danced in public since my husband’s senior prom…but they don’t know that. While there are some things that they find embarrassing that I don’t: price matching, using coupons, asking the doctor questions, for the most part I really am not going to do anything that is going to embarrass myself.  On purpose anyway.

Two weeks ago today everyone was home except my husband.  It was a Friday night so everyone was in a pretty good mood. I was planning to bake a pizza and we had a night of hanging out and watching movies planned.  A happy night.  It was a lovely cool evening so we had the windows open in the house.

Everyone was being a bit silly, which is fine (according to teenagers) as long as it is in our house and no one can see us.  My oldest daughter was in an especially silly mood.  Her little sister had posted earlier on Facebook that she had a song stuck in her head.  Of course that prompted several comments suggesting new songs to get stuck in her head.  I was trying to help by singing songs, loudly and as badly as possible. I don’t think she was appreciating my efforts.  Daughter #1 decided it was time to pull out that timeless song that gets stuck in everyone’s head: The Final Countdown. (You’re welcome.)  Instead of just posting a video like a normal person would do, she decided to type out the lyrics.  Except for there aren’t many lyrics to the part that gets stuck in your head.  Her comment looked like this:

 “ITS THE FINAL COUNTDOWN! BUH DA DUH DUUUH. BUH DA DAH DAH DAH. BUH DUH DAH DUH. BUH DA DAT DUH DUH DUH, DUH, DUH DUH DUH. DUH DUH DUH DU DUH DUH DUH DUUUH DUUUUUUUUH DUUUUUUUUUUH”

(You just tried that and it worked – right??)

I saw her comment and I, being me, asked her, “are those the official lyrics?”  “Hey! I worked really hard typing those out while singing it in my head!”  I must have given her a funny look because she said, “I did!  Try it yourself!”  So together we began singing through the buh da duhs – loudly – to the song’s tune.  About halfway through I heard, “Mom.  MOM!” It was our youngest daughter who was in the living room.  “What?” I yelled from the dining room. “You’re throwing off my groove!”  Red faced she walked into the dining room. “There’s someone at the front door.”  OHHHHHH NO!  The front door.  Right outside the open dining room windows. That front door?  Hoping it was a close friend I went to the entry way.  Standing there was a man I didn’t know.  I opened the door, my face now red, and met the gentleman running for the County Board of Commissioners.  He was out meeting his constituents.  I hope I never need him to listen to me on an issue.  I’m pretty sure I’ve blown my credibility.

It’s really tough when dignity dies…..

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