Thursday, June 3, 2010

Someday, You’ll Pay!

I guess if you made up a job description for children, high on the list would be embarrassing Mom and Dad. Though, I’m quite certain I never embarrassed my parents. I think it skips generations like twins. The first time my son discovered how much fun it was, we were visiting my parents the summer he was three. We were all seated around the dining room table, passing serving bowls, and chatting away. Once our plates were full, and the room was silent as we started to eat, my darling little cherub of a son said “This tastes like sh--.”

Everyone stopped what they were doing and looked at him as if they were seeing him for the first time. He looked very pleased with himself. I glared at my husband, knowing full well where he had heard that word. I  had to break the silence, so I told them he had never said that word before, which was the truth. Even my mother, who desperately wanted to believe me, looked skeptical. Well, I thought, always the proud mom, at least he used it properly in a sentence.

My daughter would never have embarrassed me on purpose. She just had a habit of blurting out the truth. You can’t get mad at a child for that. But, you can die from it. She was three, we were at the grocery store, and just as we came out of the bakery aisle, a man weighing about four hundred pounds walked by us. I tried hard to distract her, but her eyes locked on him, and lit up like headlights. Please, I pleaded silently to the universe, please keep my child from saying the man is fat. Two seconds before he would have been out of earshot, she looked at me all excited, and said louder and clearer than any toddler in the world, “Mama, that man has REALLY BIG PANTS!”

As my son got older, he learned exactly what embarrassed me the most, and used that knowledge like a gleaming sharp sword. When I was in my thirties, I had rhinoplasty, otherwise known as a “nose job.” My son thought the whole thing was hysterical and would bring it up at the worst possible moments. “Hey Mom, did you get to bring your old nose home in a jar?” he would blurt out in front of friends and neighbors. “Hey Mom, did you get to pick your own nose, or did the doctor pick it for you?” he would yell, and then collapse into a fit of laughter.

Even as adults, I never completely relax around them. Recently, we were out to dinner with a large group which included my daughter and her boyfriend. I was just sitting there enjoying my salad, and I heard my daughter say from the other end of the table, “Hey Mom, he doesn’t believe that isn’t your real nose” while pointing to her boyfriend. Every eye was on me as they waited for my response. My son told me his wife didn't believe I wasn't a real blonde, "So could you send her photos of you as a brunette. Maybe something with your old nose, too."

What they don’t know is that the older I get the less I care about being embarrassed. And, eventually the tables will turn. I will dedicate the last years I have on this planet to being a complete embarrassment to them. I will dye my hair bright red, wear lipstick smeared from ear to ear, and leave the house with my bra on the outside of my shirt. I’ll teach their children every swear word I know. Yes, I have it all planned….

1 comment:

Michele Roth said...

Love your journey back in time and the evolution of......payback!