Monday, January 17, 2011

Understanding Embarrassing Parental Behaviors

We’ve all been teenagers, which means we’ve all been embarrassed by something our parents did during those traumatic years.  Now that I’m, um, past that age, I understand why my parents behaved like they did.  First, though, I would like to relate a story from my high school years, during which my parents occasionally embarrassed me.

One weekend, my friend B and I went to a toga party.  Being the good kids we were (notice I said were), we told our parents where we were going and what we were doing.  B and I even giddily showed our parents how we would cleverly wear our togas, using a top sheet from the bed, with no sewing or cutting required.  So off we went to the toga party, gleeful to be included in such a crowd.  Imagine our surprise when my mother showed up along with B’s parents.  In togas.  My mother was wearing a top sheet toga, as was B’s mother.  B’s father, however, was wearing the bottom sheet (with the elastic on it) draped across his shoulders.  And he was drunk.  B and I were horrified.  I don’t remember what happened after that, but maybe that’s a good thing.

Fast forward many years.  Most of the time, I don’t feel my age.  Some people have even been so kind to say I don’t look my age.  I think it all has to do with attitude and personality.  Being positive and happy goes a long way.  Is my life great?  Far from it!  However, I have learned to make the best of any situation, and do the best I can with what I have.  There’s a lot to be said for not stressing out over things you have no control over (although that’s not always easy).  While I am no Pollyanna, I tend to find joy in fairly simple things.  It could be anything from seeing the first sign of Spring in my garden to receiving photos of my wee relatives.  If you feel and act young, people will think you are younger than you really are.

And to you teenagers out there, we act young because we feel young!  The way we look outside is not the way we feel inside.  Don’t let our ancient external features fool you.  We are not doing it to embarrass you.  Well, not usually…..  BTW, if you want to know how to tie a toga, just ask.


  1. in my case, i am not the embarassing parental unit...

    but i still act like a teenager...just ask my wife...

    bruce johnson jadip
    stupid stuff i see and hear
    Bruce’s guy book
    the guy book
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  2. Oh my Dad did it deliberately to embarrass us, he was just good fun like that :).

  3. Hahahaha. That's too funny. I can't wait to be a parent so I can do things like that. My poor unborn children.

  4. I'm not much one to embarrass kids, but I do love to yank their chains. A favorite is to read familiar stories to them, but make stuff up as I go along. Their reactions are SO funny! It is difficult to keep a straight face, though, when all the other adults are busting a gut.

  5. I once got home from a date (I was a senior in hs), and my mom promptly stormed out of the house and yanked me from my boyfriends truck and dragged my ass back in the house. I was not late for curfew so I was a wee bit shocked by this behavior. Turns out, I didn't call after the movie was out and tell her that we went to Denny's for some snacky appetizers. Therefore, I got lectured AND embarrassed. And while I lived at home, anytime boyfriend and I went out, I always had to tell Mommy where I was. After that, he gladly did the same with his Mommy so he didn't get stabbed in his sleep (she was rather scary). Oh parents.

  6. I would never dreammmmm of embarrassing my darlin' daughters...I've always been the picture of decorum....oh, I'm sorry...I must have been thinking of someone else :-)

  7. J.Day, it sounds like you had an understanding boyfriend. When I lived at home, I was too busy trying to be in the "in" crowd to date. Probably saved myself tons of embarrassment, now that I think of it.

    Chief, it's a good thing you got your memory back. I distinctly remember a recent story about "wings".... ;-)

  8. I embarrass my kids all the time. It's no accident.

  9. Firstly, many thanks for visiting and leaving me a lovely comment which I have just read. It's always such a pleasure to get up and find little messages have been left for you overnight. So, thank you again.
    Secondly, I really, really liked this post. It expressed exactly how I feel. I've done my fair share of embarrassing dear 'Son' and am still embarrassed by my 76 year old mother but you are absolutely spot on...behaving in a youthful cheerful manner makes people feel and look younger. Who's for a Zimmer Frame race?

  10. Mrs. Hyde: Somehow, I am not surprised. ;-) However, I have the feeling they will survive juuuuuust fine.

    Facing50Blog: I enjoy your blog because you seem to have the same "youthful" outlook that I do. My mother, too, is still quite embarrassing (fodder for future blog posts). And when the time comes, I will take you on in a Zimmer Frame race! They will have to pry my sportscar keys out of my hand first, though.


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