Before we get to know each other a little more — before you spend even one more minute reading this blog, it’s important that you know something about me:
I am embarrassing.
There. I said it.
It apparently runs in the family. My mom tells a hysterical story (she always tells things better) about the unflattering snowsuit my grandmother made her wear, long past the time kids in her neighborhood were wearing such things.
She thought she’d get out of wearing it if she ruined it, so decided to slog through a swamp on her way to school. Unfortunately mom didn’t swim and nearly drowned as the horrific garment took on water. There was no sympathy from Mimi when she got back on the front porch, either. The snowsuit remained a part of her winter wardrobe.
When I was a kid, I endured my share of embarrassment, too. I guess that old saw about living what you learn is true.
- My sister and I were the only kids at our school whose mom picked us up each day with the family dog riding in the FRONT seat.
- And there was the pudding incident. Mom threatened to send the next day’s lunch serving in a zippered plastic bag. I called her bluff. Do you know how awkward it is to explain a bag of pudding to your lunch table?
Some years ago, my own habit was in need of intervention.
The morning of Catherine’s 13th birthday, I stood in the driveway holding up a big “Happy Birthday” sign as the bus went by the house. I never got to see her reaction. Just the top of her head as she slid down in her seat.
Following the birthday incident, I tried to clean up my act. I thought I was doing much better, but the state of being embarrassing is not easily overcome. Among my more egregious transgressions:
- I sing in the car, while doing the grocery shopping and in the house.
- I make up songs.
- I sometimes speak to strangers.
- I ask Catherine’s friends questions.
- I sometimes write on Catherine’s Facebook wall.
- I joined the Rye Town Community Band, which performs. In public.
- I have performed as part of Jazzercise demonstrations, including at a minor league ballpark in upstate Connecticut and during the Big East tournament in Hartford.
- I dance on stage at Jazzercise of Southwestern CT, in the aisles of ShopRite, in the kitchen and while stopped at traffic lights.
- I dance.
- I wave at the ESF camp counselors when picking Catherine up.
- I am too friendly greeting the counselors when dropping Catherine off.
These are just some of the many ways I am embarrassing. I vow to do better in the future.
In the meantime, if you or someone you know is embarrassing, too, take heart: The debilitating symptoms of this ailment are overlooked during the holiday season, in the weeks leading up to a child’s birthday and during back-to-school shopping time. While there is no cure, I’m told the condition is completely ignored once your child is grown and has children of his or her own.
I just hope I can keep myself in check that long.