My first embarrassing moment that I can remember is when I was in preschool. I was going to a Montessori school, and I was a very obedient little girl. (Stop laughing like that. I really was! I was always scared of breaking the rules. I think that’s why I’m making up for lost time now.) Anywho…(I like that word. I should use it more often.) Back to preschool… The class was sitting in a story time circle. We were sitting Indian style. (Oh, wait. You can’t call it that anymore. It’s not politically correct.) We were sitting criss-cross-applesauce on the floor, listening to the teacher read a book. All at once, I felt like I had to throw up. However, we had been told not to interrupt the teacher, so what did little Al do? She puked in her hands and sat and waited. Finally, after half the book, the teacher realized I was sitting with my hands up to my mouth and I had something dripping down my arms. She asked what was wrong, but I think the look on my face told her everything she needed to know. After she helped me get cleaned up, she scolded me for not interrupting her. Talk about confusing! Seriously, lady, make up your mind!
Then, in third grade, I passed gas loudly in the middle of class. I was beyond horrified. You see, southern young ladies do not pass gas, and they certainly do not laugh about it. As the whole class laughed and looked at me, I tried to pin it on the kid next to me who had just moved there from South America. No one bought it.
When I was seventeen, I had jaw surgery for TMJ. This involved many, many trips to the oral surgeon. The oral surgeon just happened to be one of the most handsome men I had ever met. Now, at the time, I wasn’t that interested. He was probably in his 30’s, so to me he was practically dead. However, my best friend thought he was wonderful. My mother also thought he was wonderful. He smelled good, really, really good. That part I would admit. After he shook my hand, as he usually did at the end of each appointment, I could smell him for the rest of the day. He really did smell good. Anywho… (I really do like that word! Wow! I’m very distractible today!), my best friend, Aspen (as always, names changed!) and my mother would argue over who got to accompany me to the doctor. They called him by his first name, Felix (name not changed because no other name will suit him). Ah, Felix. Just the mere mention of his name made them both weak at the knees.
We used to joke about Felix. We said that he was so beautiful but so humble that he probably drove an old beat-up car. That was just the kind of guy he was. Of course he was rich, but he drove an old car so he could give all his money to the poor. And, of course, he was married to an ugly woman, because he was so humble. We had all kinds of theories about him.
After my jaw surgery, I ended up having my wisdom teeth removed, which meant being sedated in his office. He helped me walk out to my car, since I was still pretty out of it from the drugs. Any other doctor would have an assistant to do that, but Felix was just that wonderful. As we walked out the back door of his office, I apparently asked him which car was his, and he pointed to a Toyota. I said that it figured that he drove an old car, just as we had expected. Then, I said the words that I would live to regret. Apparently (I’m not claiming to remember any of this), I said, “I’ll bet you’re married to an ugly woman, too!”
When I finally came back to reality as the drugs wore off, Aspen and my mother were chomping at the bit to tell me what I had said to Felix the Wonderful. They thought it was hilarious. I didn’t believe them. I was sure they were just kidding me….until I went for my follow up visit.
As I sat in the doctor’s office, I heard Felix coming. He came into the room carrying a picture frame. I thought that was weird. Maybe he had taken a photo of my teeth and framed it? Then, he turned around the picture frame and showed me a photo of a beautiful woman. He said he just wanted to prove that his wife was not ugly and he wasn’t sure why I would think that. If I could have crawled under a rock and died right there, I would have.
When the Beetle was 5 years old, I took him on a field trip to Adventure Island Water Park. (That’s a homeschool field trip for you…) I slipped and fell as we were walking up an incline to a water slide. I know the falling part does not surprise you a bit, but that’s not the embarrassing part. The embarrassing part is that I was wearing a bathing suit at the time. What’s worse that trying to get up gracefully from a bad fall? Why, it’s flailing around on the ground in a bathing suit while trying to get up gracefully! And what’s worse than flailing around on the ground in a bathing suit? Why, it’s having a man step over you and keep walking as you are flailing around. I’m not kidding. This man just stepped over me and kept walking. Honestly, I was embarrassed enough and did not really want his help. However, the nerve of him! All I could think was that if I had been a skinny girl in a bikini, he would have helped me!
Now, to get back to the original point of my story before I went on all these tangents, I managed to embarrass myself and my son in one fell swoop yesterday. As we were leaving baseball practice, the coach asked the Beetle, “Ravens or 49ers?” The Beetle gave his typical grunt and, “I dunno.” I said, “I say Ravens. My daughter’s softball team is purple, so that would make my life a whole lot easier easier.” In my feeble brain, he was asking what they should name the Beetle’s baseball team, so it made perfect sense to me. If his team was the Ravens, both kids would be purple. (I was proud of myself for knowing that the Ravens were purple.) The coach gave me a weird look and half-smiled. I got in the car to leave, and the Beetle said, “Um. I think he was talking about football.” And then it hit me. The Superbowl was the next day! I’m such an idiot. I opened the car door and said, “Okay. I’m an idiot. I just realized you meant football.” The coach smiled a smile that confirmed that I was an idiot. With that, I just left. At least I redeemed myself by admitting that I was stupid, but once you say something stupid like that, you can never take it back. Any chance I had of acting like a sports-minded baseball mom in front of the new coach had just gone right out the window.
So, though I’ve had many embarrassing moments as a mother, I really can’t blame most of my embarrassment on my kids. I do just fine all by myself. In fact, sometimes, I manage to embarrass them along with myself. I just have figure out a way to focus my energy on embarrassing my kids without embarrassing myself in the process. Just think of the fun I could have… -Al