Ever been embarrassed by your parents? Probably not as much as Jamie Martin has…
Recently, while at dinner with my older sister who now has her own children, the conversation turned to motherhood – or, to be more specific, the darker side of motherhood. The side that leaves you scarred for the rest of your life. The side that leaves you with a complex.
My sister made a bold declaration: she said that she would never lie to her children or force them into embarrassing situations, as a direct reaction to my tales of woe. Reminiscing, I told her stories of my childhood that she had missed. I told her of the horror of mandatory tennis lessons and how my mother, upon losing my white shorts in the wash, forced me to wear my illuminous orange swimming trunks to a lesson.
“But Mum, there’s an all-white policy! They won’t let me in wearing these. Please don’t make me wear them Mum! PLEASE!” Of course, the response to this was, “Don’t be so silly! No one will even notice! Now run on in, you’ll be late.” Someone did notice. Everyone noticed.
I think my mother confused the colours of ‘illuminous orange’ and ‘camouflage’, or something else similarly low on the radar. In fact, the people who designed safety jackets picked the colour illuminous orange for the very reason that it is noticeable. Joggers wear them at night to be noticed.
First the other children began to point. As I walked in, I could feel my face growing hotter and hotter. It was only a matter of time before the club’s president came over and kindly asked me to vacate the tennis club. Mother’s wisdom, huh?
Then I told my sister about the time myself and my older brother were on summer holidays in Donegal, and my mother and aunt thought that it would be hilarious to drive to Daniel O’Donnell’s house and make us go up to the door and “tell him your mum just loves his music!” Myself and my brother, probably about eleven and fourteen, pleaded with them for the whole drive to wee Daniel’s house and still found ourselves ringing the door bell. I kid you not: out came Daniel O’Donnell, a bath towel wrapped around his waist, unrinsed shampoo still in his hair, shaving foam on his face. Panicking, I looked at my brother. “My mother loves your music!” He blurted out.
Daniel O’Donnell, all credit to him, deserves his nice guy reputation. He was very polite and even went over to the car, starkers except for the towel, to say hello to the wee Mammy and the wee Aunty.
My sister, upon hearing all these stories pointed out that maybe it was these experiences that made me the person I am today. I agreed with her. These experiences have made me the person I am today. So if you have any problems with me, my behavior or the things I say or do, blame my mother.