Whenever I’m out and about with my kids and they tell me I’m embarrassing them by existing in any capacity, like for instance the annoying habit I have of converting oxygen to carbon dioxide, I like to kick it up a notch by showing them what it really means to be embarrassed because they have no freaking clue. I grew up with a mom who chain smoked and wore “housecoats” 24 hours a day no matter who was visiting, and a dad who inspired countless episodes of “What Not To Wear.” My parents and their wardrobe were constantly embarrassing me. Like the time I spotted my dad outside of my high school during third period taking pictures of the marquee because it featured my name and my status as a National Latin Scholar. ( I know, being a National, not Regional, Latin Scholar is pretty cool, so you think that would outweigh the horror of seeing your father outside on the lawn snapping pictures with a disposable camera, a cigarette hanging out of his mouth, wearing cargo shorts/white tank combo, athletic socks, and black Velcro shoes while doing it, it doesn’t). So, in order to really teach my kids a life lesson, and yours as well because I know I’m not the only one dealing with assholery, I’ve compiled a brief list of ways to embarrass our offspring. Feel free to use them at no cost to you (except for the therapy bills you’ll be paying to reverse their childhood trauma). Let me know how it goes.
1. Flossing- not the dental kind, the dancing kind, though I imagine if you started flossing your teeth in public that would also be pretty embarrassing, so go ahead and add that to the list.
2. Billy Bob Thornton Sling Blade voice- loud and relentless. I recommend watching the movie as a family first and then going to Applebee’s and ordering for everyone at your table in this voice.
3. Ed Grimly walk- must include hop and pants pulled to chest height while exclaiming, “I must say it’s pretty decent!” (If you’re wearing mom jeans like I am it’s easy to accomplish the pants to chest). I recommend watching old SNL sketches to fully get in character and whipping out the walk next time you’re clothes shopping with them at a mall. While their friends are there.
4. Toilet paper on the bottom of the shoe- not just a square, but like literally a whole roll of toilet paper glued to the bottom of your shoe. Walk around like you’re oblivious to it. Also works if you put a large stream of it hanging out of the back of your pants. Bonus points if you can pull this off at a neighborhood fest after coming out of a Porta-John.
These are my top four go-to-moves for embarrassing my kids, but eating an Oreo and pushing the chocolate into my teeth and talking loudly to strangers while they watch mortified, and rapping to a song that I barely know the words to but still doing it confidently, (like Ice Tea’s “Colors” or DMX’s “ Party Up”) with the windows down at a stop light, are some other quick yet effective ways to also make your kids cringe. And yes, fully aware that I am a psychopath walking, nightmare-mom talking and I will likely end up in a nursing home, but it will be one hell of a party up in there, up in there when I do.