Before we had children, I was determine to instruct our future kids on how to be outgoing and how to deal with embarrassment. Lord knows I’ve become an expert in the latter. It’s not that I want them behaving like jerks but rather to say, “Ooops” from an innocent faux pas rather than shrivel in humiliating horror. This can’t come at a better time for our daughter, who’s approaching her teen years.
“Hey Dad! You know what happened today?”
I assumed it was a rhetorical question so I answered, “The mailman came this afternoon?”
“No really! Do you know what happened today?”
“Does she REALLY think I know what “happened” today?” I was forced to give her the response she was looking for. “No sweetie, what happened?” If she said, “How come you don’t know,” I was going to bop her.
“I was at my locker and slipped in front of all the kids. I felt like a dork so I just turned around and did a pirouette and took a bow, like you taught me.” I hope you guys know that I didn’t actually teach her how to do a pirouette.
“Ah, so you handled it well, good for you, what did your friends say?”
“They just thought I was weird and looked at me funny.”
“Were you embarrassed?”
“No, I just remembered the story you told me about the time you were alone in the elevator and figured it was OK to f…
“Ah! That’s OK! We don’t have to remember that!”
“And then this beautiful girl yelled, ‘HOLD THE ELEVATORE!’ and ran in and it was just you and her and …”
“ALL RIGHT! ALL RIGHT! I don’t need to remember that.” We were both laughing hysterically at my retroactive humiliation.
We calmed down and she asked, “Did you ever say anything to her?”
“No, but I had to watch her roll her eyes when she got to her floor. Wish I knew how to do a pirouette back then.”
“Yeah! That might have helped.”
Anyway, that’s one way to bond with your daughter. See you guys next time.