Sunday, September 16, 2012

Week 37 of 2012 - Life's Embarrassment

I am amazed at how thought provoking some of these topics can be....Each week they make me dig deep into the memories of things I have not thought of in a long time. Each phase of your life presents you with moments of embarrassment and eventually amusement. There is the moment when the little girl in church farted so loudly that everyone around her hear it. At an age when you don't understand how your body works, it's hard to know if it will be silent or loud! I hoped that the people seated around us thought that it must have come from someone else but I think they knew it was me! Or when my baby brother belched like a sailor during a prayer...and my case of the uncontrollable giggles which followed. Or the time when you were trying to sit quietly in church but your sister kept pestering you until you hit her....and of course that is when your Mom noticed the commotion but not all the pestering which lead up to it. 

Janet, Spice being held by Sharon, Andrew and Mark - 1963
 I remember one morning standing in front of our school by the door waiting for the bell to ring so we could enter the school. It was at the elementary school in Washington, Michigan and I was waiting with the other kids from my bus. I must have gotten impatient. I began to kick the metal door jam. It made an interest noise and I discovered that if I varied the tempo, the sound for a few loud and crazy moments...I did just that! I made a music of sorts with this loud banging noise. I can only imagine the sound as it echoed in the empty halls of the school. Well, all the noise brought the ladies from the front office running to find out what was happening. I got scolded like I had never been scolded before! I wanted to crawl in a hole for the rest of the day. I was positive that everyone was looking at me for the rest of the day because I had started my day by getting in trouble ! I was afraid that they would call my mother! I honestly can not remember if they did or not. Just being afraid that they would was bad enough.

Or the time when you went to the movies in Romeo with all your new friends from Jr High school.  After the first few minutes, I realize that all they wanted to do was to hook up with the boys and maybe sneak a kiss or two. But I really wanted to see the movie! I got stuck sitting next to a boy I did not know. Some boy from Romeo who just happened to come along with the other boys. I made it perfectly clear to him that I was not interested in him or kissing.

My birthday sleepover in 1967 with my friends.
Or the time when you were dragged along on a “date” with your older sister because your parents thought that there was some “sense of safety” when the little sister came along. Well, it wasn't really a date...It was more hanging out and cruising in the car with boys who could drive.... but you get the idea! “ You can go but you have to take Janet with you!” I remember them telling Sue! Was I the witness or the deterrent ...I never figured it out. I was not too sure what the boys thought of it. Not that it mattered because if they wanted to spend time with Sue, I came with the package! I learned early to keep my mouth shut. It was along the line of “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” only it was what “happens while cruising, stays in the car”. Eventually Sue protested loudly, “ Do Janet and I have to do everything together? “, and Mom and Dad relented.

Or years later when my young son, Shawn was helping Grandpa Smith on his day off. The project of the day was to replace the old leaky window in the family room. They worked diligently together all day, side by side. They tore out the old window leaving a gaping hole in the family room for part of the day. They re-enforced the wall, added some insulation, a little drywall, measure this and that.., make a cut here then there... ”Shawn, Grandpa needs a pencil, please...” “How about a tape measure?” They were working buddies! Grandma made them sandwiches at lunch time. And back on the job they went trying to get the window in before dinner time. Shawn was Grandpa's little helper all day. They made quite a mess in the family room. There was saw dust, dirt, old plaster, a bit of old and new insulation laying on the floor. As the project was completed, Grandpa took a step back to admire the day's work. And Shawn, following his Grandpa's lead, did the same. After a moment of surveying the mess, Shawn tugged on Grandpa shirt to get his attention. And in the most grown voice that a three year old could muster, he proclaimed “ You know what Grandpa, you know how to make one hell of a mess!” It took every ounce of restraint that Mom and Dad had to to keep from laughing. After a moment or two of recovery, Grandpa said, “yep so we better clean it up, huh!” When I arrived to pick him up that day, they could not wait to tell me what he had said. I was more than a little embarrassed that I had not realized that the language that I used regularly when my children were around was under constant scrutiny by my children.

All phases of life bring you moments of embarrassment. As you age, these moments often are rapidly followed by a good laugh for all who were a witness to them. Hopefully I will always be able to see the humor in them. Life would be no fun with out humor.

Sharing memories...

Love, Jan

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