Why do you suppose that when my son was young, he suffered from a severe case of embarrassment when I wore my raincoat in public with him? He couldn’t seem to give me any sort of reasonable explanation for this. It is simply your ordinary raincoat with a hood — maybe that’s it — could it be the hood? I suppose, it could give the image his mother is a monk — maybe? Or could it be that it’s too loud and swishy which would call attention to the fact that he is with someone — .and oh, heavens — it’s his mother!! Horrors.
There is one positive aspect of this. It offered a wonderful alternative to disciplinary action. Rather than privilege loss, I would simply threaten to take him out in public wearing my raincoat. Worked every time! Why do you suppose our parents are a source of humiliation for us in our youth? I can remember shopping for my first training bra (training for what?) with my mother. She held up a flimsy band aid of a bra and whispered, “This little thing would be perfect, honey, since it’s really all you need just yet.” However, instead it felt like she had spoken through a megaphone yards away so the whole store could hear of my impending and obviously unnecessary purchase.
Even after “parental embarrassment” resolution we can still have embarrassing moments no matter what age. My most embarrassing moment ever occurred on a job interview right out of college. I was interviewing for a position as a sales representative for a company in Georgia. They flew me down for a rigorous day of interviews with seven of the top executives. I arrived at my hotel late the night before the big day. Now — I need to preface this by telling you that I had not eaten since lunch time. They, however, were not serving dinner on the plane. So — I decided I would just eat dinner at the hotel. Well — there was no restaurant at the hotel or even a vending machine. Another important aspect is that I had just gotten over a case of mono. I was still coughing quite a bit.
The next morning, still starving and still coughing I made my way to the company for my long day of interviewing — and, of course, no breakfast I might add. Somehow I made it through the interviews until I began the sixth one with the president of sales. (only the most important one). I coughed through the entire interview to the point of practically being unable to speak anymore. I felt compelled to explain my problem to him.
I decided that total honesty would work the best. So — what I said was — too embarrassed to admit — here it is anyway — I said, “I’m so sorry, but I’ve been sick and I have all this “drainage” in my throat.” What a ridiculous word choice. Way too blatant and repulsive, don’t you think? It must have worked because his look softened and he said, “I just happen to have some cough syrup in my drawer”. He pulled it out and I downed it on the spot. However, he failed to mention that it had codeine in it. (only a powerful narcotic) It wasn’t his fault — how could he have known I hadn’t eaten in twenty-four hours. I was in the middle of the seventh and final interview when I discovered how codeine on an empty stomach manifests itself. Here’s what it does — it makes you laugh — uncontrollably, unceasingly, endlessly giggling like an immature child to the point of utter ridiculousness.
The ending to the story will shock you. They actually hired me for the job!! It seems I looked like the president of the company’s daughter. To think I could have avoided that entire catastrophe by just sending a picture. Wonder what would have happened if I’d worn my raincoat to the interviews? Footnote: In case you’re wondering, I finally got to eat. I was taken out to lunch by the last man who interviewed me. I think he felt he needed to get me out of the building….