You know that feeling when you’re embarrassed. Like you could just sink into the floor. Wither away and die. Embarrassment, by nature is dramatic isn’t it?
On Labor Day we went to the Cubs game with our neighbors. My son was super excited to go to a game with the big kids although let’s be honest, he was in it for the hot dogs and ice cream. We are a pretty avid sports watching family so my son knows how to make some noise. He just doesn’t know that he’s only supposed to root for one team. Adorable and hilarious to me but our tween age neighbor was mortified by the whole episode. I wanted to tell her this is nothing honey. It could be so much worse.
You could be me. And let me tell you, it gets pretty rough over here.
Let’s talk about the time when my son was on a play date and they made ice cream sundaes. I went to pick him up and the mom pulled me aside to tell me that my son had grabbed the whipped cream, squirted it on her arm and said “that’s for later.” When she asked what he meant he said “I don’t know but daddy does it to mommy and she laughs.”
Oh. My. God.
I blurted out some bunch of panicked, run on sentence damage control. I think I said something like “What, wait, no that would never happen at all especially in front of my child and we have 800 thread count sheets that my husband isn’t even allowed to drool on in his sleep so that’s not happening I don’t know where he got that I swear” but she clearly didn’t believe me. And I could have died.
Then there was the time my in-laws were visiting us. While we were out one day, my mother in law commented on a photo she saw in our house. She asked who the man was in the picture with me, describing him as “an older man who’s not handsome but he does have a kind face.” She wondered if the man might be a relative of mine that she’d never met. I had no idea who she was talking about so as soon as we got home I went to where she told me the picture was to figure this mystery out. To my horror I realized that the picture that she was referring to was of my husband and I on our honeymoon. Yes, you read that right.
My husband. Her son.
I could’ve just died if embarrassment for her and for my husband too. I mean, does it get any worse than not recognizing your own child? Why yes it does if you’ve basically described him as old and ugly in the process. And by the way, my husband has his hand on my ass in that picture, so I guess my mother in law thinks I come from ‘that’ kind if family. She did think the man in the picture was a relative of mine after all. We all got a good laugh out of it but was bad. Really bad.
Last but not least, how about the time my four year old decided to yell “COCKROACH” at the top of his lungs while we were out to lunch on Father’s Day.
At a Chinese restaurant.
The sketchy kind.
Everyone sitting around us began to look around uncomfortably because a cockroach was not out of the realm of possibility in this joint. I tried to reassure everyone that he wouldn’t know a cockroach from a ladybug but nobody believed me. I wanted to sink into the floor and disappear but not there. No way. Because if I ran into a cockroach I might’ve just died.
So tween age neighbor, I leave you with these words of wisdom. Life is full of embarrassments. Laugh at them. Anything you encounter in junior high is just rookie material. Because someday you’ll have kids and trust me they are masters of humiliation disguised as adorable little people. Laughter is your armor. It will protect you from just wanting to die of embarrassment. Wear it always. It will serve you well.