Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Winners of the "My Embarrassing Parents" Contest!

Robyn Harding's book My Parents Are Sex Maniacs introduces us to sixteen-year-old Louise, whose parents are in the middle of some very public, very embarrassing relationship drama (one parent has an affair; the other starts dating Louise's math teacher!).

I asked readers to send in their own tales of parental embarrassment, and the following submitters of teen trauma tales each won a copy of the book!


When I was in fourth grade, I used a weird, nonsensical, and babyish name when I addressed my mother, but only at home. I don't even remember how I arrived at it, but it was definitely not for everybody and their sister to know.

At a Girl Scout meeting, we made puffy-paint shirts (yeah, I'm betraying my age now) and it wasn't until my mother's shirt had dried and she was wearing it all around, showing everybody, that I realized she'd written THAT NAME all over it. Of course, expecting other fourth-graders to overlook that is like thinking sharks are going to just ignore that bucket of blood in the water. I didn't hear the end of it until middle school. Needless to say, that name never left my lips again, either.


Grade eight. Mom came to pick me up after school, and the parking lot was, as usual, filled with all the cool kids who were standing around and chatting about make-out parties (I'd never kissed anyone) and the latest episode of The Simpsons (I didn't own a TV). The cool kids walked home or took the bus. They acted like they didn't have parents. I had tried to convince my mom to pick me up a block or so away from the school, but she thought I was being ridiculous. She drove right up to the front of the school and I got in the car with my backpack and my bag of gym clothes. I slunk down low in my seat so that maybe nobody would see me with her. She said, "Well, if you're going to be embarrassed, I might as well do something embarrassing!" and she reached into my gym bag, pulled out my shorts, and put them on her head. She then started jigging around and singing a little tune that went something like, "I'm wearing gym shorts on my head! Look everybody, Alison's mom is wearing gym shorts on her head!" Luckily the windows were rolled up and I don't think anyone heard her. But the windows were made of glass, a notoriously transparent substance, and as we slowly moved through the parking lot, pausing frequently to wait while the crowds of kids got out of the way of the car, I thought how nice it would be if I could just evaporate.

I cut high school with my best friend. We went from NJ to NYC and... ran into my dad in the Village! He let us go, but we got in big trouble.

Congratulations to all our winners... it's about time being embarrassed by your parents paid off! Hope you enjoy the book.

Up next: Q&A with author Robyn Harding!


Inderjit Deogun said...

Joanna, you couldn't be more right. It's not often that embarrassing stories get such a great pay off.

Robyn said...

Hilarious!! Thanks for sharing (hope it was therapeutic, not traumatic)!

Anonymous said...

Fourth Grade. I had a teacher who hated me. No, really, she hated me. So, it was the year the classroom got "the sex talk". My teacher met up with my mother outside in the parking lot, and told her all about the film. My mother is a shy person and didn't know why the teacher felt the need to come out of the class and tell her about this in front of me. The teacher had never spoken to my mother before. It was weird. I was just embarrassed, at 9 years old, that my teacher felt the need to talk about sex with my mother in front of me and my friends!