What is it about embarrassing your teenage daughter that makes a person sooooo stinking happy? No, really. I mean like almost giggle giddy. Oh, that doesn't happen for you? Sorry. Because there is nothing that makes me happier than rolling up to the school in the swagg wagon with the luxury electric side sliders and Lady Gaga bumping to drop my 14 year old off...her duffel and backpack crammed into the backseat with her only to have her stumble over two carseats super gracefully and kick out the leftover McDonald's bag lying in the floorboard as she goes. It is one of the few things in my life I live for. And then I remember when I was her age and my mom stopped at the flea bag motel in town because she saw there were mattresses and box springs sitting at the curb. She wasn't interested in those but buried beneath them was a gem of a headboard footboard she couldn't live without. Us in our pea green station wagon with the wood paneling, me slunk down in the floorboard of the car praying no one would notice us (IN A PEA GREEN STATION WAGON WITH WOOD PANELING PICKING UP MATTRESSES FROM A MOTEL, I am sure we were completely inconspicuous). Meanwhile she stood outside screaming at the top of her super capacity lungs, "Ang, come help me! Get out of the car. Check this out!" Like she had found the holy grail of $5 pressed board furniture. The thing had gold knockers on it and looked about as clean as something you would expect to find sitting on the curb outside a motel you could probably rent for about $15 a night. I nearly died. YUP!!! Nearly died! And every single time I tell that story my mom rolls on the floor laughing hysterically. Part of me thinks she never really wanted the bed in the first place and only wanted to teach me a vital lesson in humility. One I learned over and over again with her.
My mama is amazing when it comes to that. NOTHING embarrasses her. EVER. She just doesn't care what other people think of her or what she does. It's an amazing quality if you can get it. I don't have an ounce of it. Everything embarrasses me. Well, almost everything. When I was in junior high my mom had a "falling out" of sorts with the principal over my little brother. We were between classes. I was minding my own business, sailing through a day of no tripping up the stairs, tucking my skirt into my tights, stabbing people with pencils, slamming hands in my locker, and all the other usual catastrophes that seemed to happen to me daily, earning me the nickname, "Grace" when out of nowhere there was a HUGE crash. Every head popped up and turned in unison toward the principal's door. There she was in all her usual Mama Drama glory, cursing our principal up one side and down the other. She had burst out of his office and hit the door so hard it slammed into the wall behind it. Every head then turned to look at me. My best friend whispered, "Hey, isn't that your mom?" Nope, never seen her before in my life. I slunk off to class and didn't even see how the whole thing ended. She laughs about that too. And so do I...NOW. Now that I am a safe 20 years away from the humiliation of that 8th grade incident. The exact age Kinsey is now. And I laugh every single time her face turns red because of my mad car dancing skills and my ability to sing just like Beyonce at the top of my lungs when her friends are in the car...okay maybe not JUST like Beyonce. I always swore I would never do to my kids what my parents did to me. And so far I have never stopped at a motel and picked up a bed but regardless, someday she will tell her kids how embarrassing I was when she was younger and how lucky they are to have her for a mom instead of me. But the truth is, she will never forget how I embarrassed her just like I will never forget my mom embarrassing me. It's our very own rite of passage. So if you see a silver van pull up outside a high school with the base bumping to an inappropriate tune and a red faced girl attempting to extract herself from it as quickly as possible, throw me a peace or a deuce as the kids call it these days. I'll be sure to return the favor!