This week I’m answering the MamaKat’s prompt #5: Describe a moment you felt embarrassed by your parents
I think a more apt prompt would be “When WEREN’T you embarrassed by your parents?” My mother is not usually one to over-share or cause a scene (except when she passed my baby picture around my class in middle school, or took my girlfriends and me to see Spice World [I only saw it out of peer pressure, I tell you!] and screamed OH MY GOSH THOSE ARE NAKED BUTTS COVER YOUR EYES! during the “male dancers” part…). My father, on the other hand, was an artist with bipolar disorder. We lived in a small town and EVERYONE knew who he was, for better or for worse.
Now, in high school we lived in a house whose back could be seen well from the highway. Not built by us, it was an open-beam home and had been constructed with a crane dropping in the skeleton of the house, which caused attention in our town: enough that we got a lot of unsolicited feedback when we did some necessary remodeling.
Christmas was Dad’s favorite season of the year. He loved to decorate the house inside and out, sometimes in unconventional ways. The new house proved to be his perfect canvas, and our first Christmas there he decided on a blue theme.
I don’t have a problem with blue Christmas lights. I do have a problem with abstract designs done randomly all over the exterior of the house in those huge, no longer sold, blue Christmas lights. Frustrated with trying to detangle the lights, my dad literally threw the whole lot of them onto the side of the house and nailed the mess in place.
You can imagine the comments I heard around town.
The icing on the cake though occurred when I was being driven home from a babysitting gig by a neighbor. “Oh my GOODness!” she yelled as she slammed on the breaks. “YOU HAVE THE VIRGIN MARY ON THE SIDE OF YOUR HOUSE in Christmas lights! How did your father DO that?”
I looked at the mottled mess.
“Oh, you know, he’s really creative like that.”
Please don’t strike me down for that fib. I was an embarrassed teenager.