Category Archives: embarrassing stories

Locked Out

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When I was growing up, my mom stayed at home with me. I always had a hot breakfast (unless I demanded Raisin Bran), always had snacks & dinner waiting when I got home, and always had a mom available during the day to come to school parties or pick me up if I got sick. Not that being a stay at home mom itself made her a good mom – I work outside the home and I’m a good mom – I’m just making the point that she was present – always at my beck and call.

Once I got into junior high, however, she stopped being quite as available. Which is fine – she had a right to a life – but it was more of a problem in 1980 than it is today. Remember – there were no cell phones, so if she wasn’t in the house and I or the school called – she couldn’t be reached. At times, I liked this. I loved the solitude of coming home to an empty house. I enjoyed following the recipes she left for me and getting dinner started. I felt grown up.

But at other times, I hated it. Like when I forgot something that I needed. Or if I wanted to go to a meeting or a friend’s house after school and couldn’t reach her to get her permission (I knew better than to just go). It was frustrating and there were times I resented her not being there (for many reasons). I learned to call my grandma (her mother) when I wanted to go somewhere, because Gram would always tell me yes and would stand up to my mother if she had a problem with it (Gram was – and at 92 – still is a badass).

My first year of junior high, I didn’t use the bathroom in school. I was terrified of stories (urban legends, really) of hazing that I heard went on in the bathrooms. So usually, by the time I got home, off the bus, and walked half a mile to my house (none of that right out front bus stop stuff back then), I usually had to pee relay bad. Really, REALLY bad. I would run into the house, drop my books all over the place (backpacks in those days were NOT cool), run like hell to the bathroom, and pee for about 5 straight minutes.

But one day, I got home and the door was locked. This was 1980 in a small town – we rarely locked our doors. But this day, for some reason, my mom did. So when I rushed down the walk & slammed into the door, only to find it locked, I pretty much lost it immediately. In addition to having to pee, I was tir4ed and freezing. There was about 8 inches of snow on the ground.

I immediately tried to get in a window, but my dad had recently painted them and they were stuck. We had a neighbor next door (the other neighbors were a lot further away) that we were friendly with and for a second, I thought about running over there, but I knew that I didn’t have time. I wouldn’t make it. And a millisecond later, it happened. I started to pee myself. Having a full bladder after avoiding the bathroom all day, I couldn’t stop it. And it went on and on. I was mortified. 30+ years and a couple of kids later, I wouldn’t even blink, but back then, I was filled with shame, even though there was no one around to see it. And since it was clear I had had a “potty” accident, there was no way I was going to the neighbors now. I just stood there, crying my eyes out and wondering what to do.

And for some reason, in my 12 or 13 year old mind, the solution was to sit in the snow. I guess I figured that if my pants were wet all over, it wouldn’t be obvious what had happened. So I did it. I sat down, already wet, in the almost foot deep snow. I rolled around. I let myself get good and wet. And when I was satisfied that I had camouflaged the problem, I got up & realized that I still didn’t know what to do. I stood there freezing, wet and tired and ashamed and cried some more.

Eventually, I found a tool my dad had left on the porch and used it to work at the dried paint around the window. I climbed in & immediately ran to my room to change. I was mad at my mom for not being there, mad at myself for not being able to hold it, mad at the hazers in the bathrooms that kept me from going in. I threw my pants in the washing machine (which was something I never did – my mom handled ALL the laundry) and jumped in the tub. My mom came home a few minutes later and I claimed I was cold and wanted a hot bath. I told her I threw the laundry in because I just wanted to help out.

As much as I wanted to yell and scream at her for not being there (and a lot of my anger went further than what had just happened – I was really mad at her not for not being there, but for being somewhere else), my shame was greater. So I kept my mouth shut. I never told her what had happened – how her not being there affected me. Instead, I just started getting hall passes and going to the bathroom during class. And I asked for a house key so I’d never get locked out again.

This post is part of Mama Kat’s Writers Workshop

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It was nothing like that Marilyn Monroe scene

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I read something on twitter a couple of days ago and it brought to mind an incident that I had clearly repressed because it’s too damned embarrassing to remember.

It was about 11 years ago, and I had to visit our company’s main office in Maryland for a meeting. As it turned out, there was a celebratory lunch the day I was visiting, so I joined the office waking to a local restaurant.

Being the 90s, I was wearing a long, flowy flowered dress. And also being the 90s, there were no such thing as Spanx. You may not know this, but I invented Spanx. See, back in the day, when I wanted to suck it in a little, I would wear control top pantyhose. but if it was summer and I didn’t want hose on, I would cut the legs to accommodate my clothes – at the thigh for short skirts, near the knee for longer dresses, etc. So this day, since I was wearing a long dress, underneath I had on a pair of ratty black control top hose, sloppily cut off at the knee.

As we left the building to walk to the restaurant, we broke off into little groups. I was walking with some coworkers near the front and most of the office was behind me. And directly behind me was the owner of the company and all the other top brass.

About a block from the office, we walked over a grate and – you guessed it – the metro went by at just that moment, blowing my long skirt up. And not up in a cute, sexy, Marilyn kind of way, but up as in OVER MY HEAD. And then, to make matters even worse, one of the buttons got caught in my hair, meaning that it took me two million years to get my damned skirt down. Or something like that. It might have only been one million years but it seemed like two million.

My bosses and coworkers were kind enough to pretend like they hadn’t seen anything, but I could see that their eyeballs were all bleeding.

And then I died of embarrassment. And then since that wasn’t enough to cover it, I came back to life so I could die of embarrassment again. The end.

Her Mom Probably Embarrassed HER, Too

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March for Maddie Giveaway is still going on. Can you help? Donate and you could WIN!
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Yesterday on the way into work, the radio station was asking for embarrassing mom stories and I immediately thought of…oh…one hundred million of them. Seriously. There are so many I couldn’t even narrow it down. I’m sure we all have them and I’m sure our kids will have them, too. Of course, in my case, I sort of get double, since my mom has an identical twin that I am really close to. And since they are together so much: Embarrassing times two.

If I had called in to try and win a prize, I would have been tongue tied trying to decide which one is best – like maybe the time my mom & aunt decided to dance (or actually “dance”) at one of my birthday parties, thought it would be a good idea to finish the big “dance” with a dip, so they yelled out “Dip!” and then both dipped. And fell into the TV. Yeah, that was fun. At least they didn’t fall into my Shaun Cassidy cake (I had him on my cake several years in a row. Shut up). Good times. (You know, now that I am thinking about it, that one wasn’t actually Aunt Twin, but my Aunt Cee, and since she reads this, I probably shouldn’t be telling you about it, but – and I hope you are reading this Cee – TOUGH SHIT! Because even though I love you very much, I still feel the pain and trauma of you de-pantsing me in front of Old Joe and sitting on me and doing that gross spit thing, and let’s not forget the time you locked me out of the house IN THE SNOW! WITHOUT SHOES! And I had to walk a whole block in the snow to get my mom and Gram to come home and fix your ass SO THERE! And also – after you left me pantsless behind the couch while Old Joe was visiting and you took off? He used to give me money! I WIN!!!!)
Ahem

Where was I? Oh yeah – the embarrassing mom stories. There are many, many more. The fact that my mom and Aunt Twin seem to think that if they don’t move their lips when they talk that no one can hear them makes for many, MANY ways to embarrass me. Like when the immigrant cab driver was driving us around Toronto and they were “whispering” about how they thought he was cheating us because “they say” that the cab drivers will do that and even worse, some will abandon you in a bad part of town and make you pay them to get you out, blahblahblah UglyAmericanCakes. Or the loud search for a non-Portuguese cab driver because one person they knew met a Portuguese man and he used her to get into the country (thus all Portuguese men are guilty of this). Not that Portuguese cab drivers are easy to spot or anything.

Or the numerous times she drove me to school in her pajamas (which in the grand scheme of things is not so bad, but when you are 15? Kill me!)

Or the time my we went to the pool and my mom mentioned that she hated walking past the front row of women in lounge chairs because she always felt like they were looking at her and judging her, and Aunt Twin said, “Leave it to me” and proceeded to make a GIANT ASS of herself as we walked by – presumably to make the focus off my mom, but OH! MY! GOD! I wanted to DIE!!

Or the time when my mom got mad at me for something stupid and then my Aunt Cee got mad at her for getting mad at me and then my Nana got upset because everyone was mad. And then my mom was chasing me, so I ran out of the house and up the street to the car (I don’t know – did I think I was going to drive away? I was 12 or 13.), and Cee was chasing her, and Nana was chasing us all. I jumped in the car and my mom jumped in after me and grabbed me by the hair (don’t get all crazy with the abuse claims here – anyone with a teen can relate to at least wanting to pull their hair). So Cee opened the door and grabbed my mom by the hair. And then my mom let go of me and grabbed Cee’s hair and they fell out of the floor onto the street between the car and the curb and rolled around, both refusing to let go of each other’s hair and my Nana was doing a Fred Sanford to get them to stop and I was sinking down in my seat praying no one would see this. And then the next day in school, not one, but TWO people told me they saw me and my aunt and my mom and my great grandma running down the street and when I tried to say they were crazy, they proceeded to describe the entire scene in front of the entire lunch table and then I died of embarrassment. The End.

(I feel the need to say that Cee is appearing in these stories a great deal. Cee – consider yourself ON NOTICE!)

But one of my favorites (??) was the time my Gram was watching me and my cousin Cheryl. I was eight and she was two. We ordered pizza with mushrooms, since it was our favorite topping. We got it from a brand new pizza place called Pizza Shack. In those days, all the pizza shops used canned mushrooms, but Pizza Shack used fresh ones. And if you’ve ever had fresh mushrooms on a pizza, you know they aren’t the prettiest things. Anyway, the pizza was good and we ate most of it. And then my mom and Aunt Twin came home. They took one look at those unpretty mushrooms and decided then and there that Pizza Shack was trying to kill us with spoiled, poisoned mushrooms. My mom called Pizza Shack and ranted at them about the spoiled, poison mushrooms. And though they tried to assure her that their mushrooms were perfectly normal, she was having NONE OF IT.

They were freaking out, crying and saying incoherent things about poison and hospitals and stomach pumping. I heard those words and decided that I would rather die of poisoning than experience that. So I told them I didn’t eat any mushrooms that night – I picked them all off. Somehow they believed me, despite the fact that I LOVE mushrooms, and the fact that there was no evidence of picked-off mushrooms on the plates. They looked at Gram next, but she’s a tough bird and told them to shove it (actually, I think her words were something like “you two are crazy and the mushrooms were fine and I’m watching my show and not going to any damned hospital so shove it up your ass, I need a drink and a cigarette!”). All that was left was poor Cheryl, who – at two – was too young to know what was coming and escape the crazy. The poor thing got packed up into the car and dragged to the hospital, where they had no choice but to believe that she had eaten spoiled, poisoned mushrooms and treated her with a nice big dose of ipecac.

Although I felt bad for her, I was glad I missed that torture. What I didn’t know was that I was in for an even more delightful treat. As we left Gram’s house to head home, my mom grabbed what was left of the pizza. I didn’t understand why, since she was so sure it was poison, but I was hoping maybe I could sneak another piece when we got home. Unfortunately, my mom had other plans. She drove to Pizza Shack. And while I sat in the car under the lights (where I thought everyone in the entire world could see me), my mom proceeded to stand on the front steps of Pizza Shack and announce to the gathered patrons that Pizza Shack served SPOILED POISON MUSHROOMS!! Then she dumped the remaining pizza on the steps and – Good Lord – jumped up and down all over them. Then she realized she couldn’t see me (since I was ducking down in my seat so no one would see me) and started yelling “Gina? GINA!?!” thus killing any chance I had of remaining anonymous.

Looking back I can laugh, of course. But that doesn’t mean I’m not doing my best to make up for it by embarrassing my own kids. It’s the circle of life, people.

Things I Have Learned

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I have learned that, as my family always used to say, Little Pitchers Have Big Ears. Especially when you are swearing, almost swearing, making stupid potty jokes about the dog’s ass, or telling horribly embarrassing stories. To wit:

While watching old episodes of The Office (at 1:48 minutes in):

She slowly looks at the TV, then at me, then the TV, then me. And with a totally puzzled look on her face, “What the HELL are they doing?”

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After picking up her and a friend from pre-school:

The Girl: “Look mom! I got candy! I’m having some!”

Me: “You can have one piece. One. Piece. Only.

The Girl: “I know, I know, lay off the freaking candy!

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With family:

The Girl: “I see Rocky’s anus all the time. Anus. Anus. Blah blah blah anus blah blah anus anus ANUS !”

Me: “Haha, OK, that’s enough.”

The Girl: “ Rocky has an anus and Dad has an anus and brother has an anus, but I don’t have one and you don’t have one.”

Me: “That’s a penis!”

Family members: “oh my”

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In front of snooty people that seem to hate me:

The Girl: “Hey Mom! Remember the time you pooped in a bag?”

Me: crawls into hole and dies.