Saturday, June 29, 2013

Embarrassing your children

I don't have children, but I will do the best I can to embarrass my nieces and nephews. It is the senior's duty to embarrass their family youngers, just like their parents did before them.

Father used to embarrass me by his clothing, when Mother had not dressed him. He had not a clue about how to look smart and would wear his farm clothes to town. He also embarrassed me by his whistling, to announce his arrival at someone's place, unannounced. He did not knock on the front door, but went to the back door, whistling along the way to announce his arrival.

For god's sake Dad, can't you just knock on the front door? But I loved him dearly when we walking in the bush and he was singing, 'If I was a rich man.' He was clever and I thought he would be wealthy one day. We kids had to pay for his funeral.

Mother did her fair share of embarrassing her oldest son. She still does, but as she is so old now, no one takes any notice. At the top of her voice in the street, 'this is my son and he....'. Mother always talked too loudly in public and was way too out there for me. She drew attention to herself, and to me unwanted attention. Mrs Woog, are you taking notice? As a smart dresser in a country town with clothing bought in Melbourne, Mother always stood out and had a huge presence anywhere she was.  I recall the day my drunk father threw out the front door all of Mother's 62 pairs of shoes into the garden and then I saw something that children should not see.

Almost inexcusable, but he may have once again caught Mother up to fun with his brother.

22 comments:

  1. As a child, my parents embarrassed me just by appearing different from all other parents I knew.

    My parents were from the Baltic states and in my child's imagination, all other parents in Australia were like those WASPs in the American family situation comedies we watched on television in the 1950s.

    Of course I realised later on nothing could have been further from reality than that and I loved both my parents for the hard working caring couple they really were who lived their lives just for me.

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    1. That's lovely Victor and I can't say much more than that. Ha, you know me better. Our neighbours were a physically demonstrative family. Why did my mother not cuddle me? Later, other neighbour's children came to school with home made ginger nut biscuits. Why can't my mother cook biscuits? We swapped our bought ones for their homemade ones and all was well.

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  2. As a child nothing my parents did embarressed but by the time I was a teenager everything they did was embarressing, it did go full circle and as I go older they became the wise and wonderful again.
    Merle.......

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    1. Merle, it is very much the teenage years where they embarrass you. I have not reached the stage where my parents have become wise and wonderful, but I do understand them better now.

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  3. I can't recall being embarrassed by my parents as a child, but now as my Dad gets older he gets embarrassing. More like his own Mum, which I remind him of, often!!

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    1. Fen, it sad to be so focused on appearances, but in spite of Mother being a bit out there, my father embarrassed me more. I think it is a gay thing. At your age, your Dad cannot really embarrass you now.

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    2. He can and he does. He shouts so loudly at the football that I try to hide under my seat!! Then I tell him to hush!

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    3. The one time I went to the MCG, I couldn't believe the way people seemed to embarrass themselves with their loud calling out. I don't think you father is so different to that.

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  4. I don't recall being embarrassed at all as a child, even though we did things a little differently because of following a few German customs. I've probably embarrassed my own kids though.

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    1. River, as Victor suggested, foreign born parents might have been, in my mind, very embarrassing. Only probably embarrassed them? You must try harder.

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  5. 62 pairs of shoes! The Imelda Marcos of Australia. My childhood was an oasis of calm in comparison - I don't recall ever being embarrassed by them.
    But there's still time (for my mother at least)...

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    1. Lucky you Craig. I don't think they can embarrass you once you become a mature adult, and possibly exhibit the same behaviour as they did.

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  6. Hi Andrew

    Despite my best efforts, Niece Pants resolutely refuses to be embarrassed by me. She prefers to direct her disdain at her beautiful, Boho-stylish mother instead. Go figure. I did manage it once with seriously clashing separates though so it can be done.

    My father had been a football player and had a great physique, even into his fifties. He was also a snappy dresser and had the air of a Rock Hudson circa McMillan and Wife about him, sartorially speaking. He did manage to embarrass me to the point of no return by arriving to collect me from a dance wearing only a pair of tiny white shorts with his bollocks peeping out. It was the seventies but really...

    xxx

    Pants

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    1. Pants, your sister and niece sound very Edina and Saffy.

      Your father collecting you is the stuff of nightmares for me. Only to you would I say, I think I used to seek approval by the appearance of my parents. Of course now thirty or forty years later..........I don't think I have changed.

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  7. LOL yes I embarrass my neice and nephew as well. That's what uncles are for. Right??

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    1. Keith, I would like to think that we as gay men, are people who would understand the problems of youth. That is my fantasy, instead we just embarrass them.

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  8. P.S. I am now following you on Twitter!

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    1. Good, I rarely tweet, but I do read.

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  9. I had an aunt who used to squeeze my cheek between her two fingers and twist. Then she called me LOUDLY by an infantile nickname that was never mine.

    At 5 I couldn't do anything about it; at 12 I told my mum I didn't want to be embarrassed again.

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    1. Hels, initially I read,
      At 51 I couldn't do.... The thought of an aunt pinching your cheek at the age of 51 is amusing.

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  10. I would like to think that I could sometimes embarrass Aimee, but she just thinks I'm wonderfully eccentric no matter what I do...makes me wonder if it's 'trendy' to have odd parents :))))))

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    1. Yes, you are the kind of mother I wish I had, that is one who can drive and operate a better camera than a disposable one from the supermarket.

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