My mother often complains that I don’t go anywhere with her. This Saturday proved why I don’t. My mother, brother and I were invited to a Wine & Cheese party for her church hosted by her parents.
It started out as a pleasant evening until our friend had every one gather in their large living room to introduce themselves and “say something interesting about yourself”. The room was filled with about 30+ people; many of them painstakingly thinking they are funny and glad for the chance to make a quip in front of a room fill of people. I am the exact opposite. I don’t like being pointed out in a crowd for any sort of recognition. I prefer sitting in a corner and being ignored. As my turn to stand and introduce myself cam closer, my heart rate began to dart to a fast clip and my mind raced to think of something to say other than, “Hi, my name is David.” I didn’t need to be witty. Pretty much everyone in line before me had covered that. I didn’t need to be original. I just needed to say my name and something interesting. I decided on, “My name is David and I’ve met two of the X-Men.” Then it was my brother’s turn. I don’t remember what he said, I was basking in the relief of being out of the limelight an thankful that all of those probing and garrulous eyes were now trained on someone other than me.
The next thing I know, my mother is starting to speak. She began with, “My name is W—–, and I am proud to say that I am David and J—– mom and dad!” The entire room burst into outrageous peals of laughter. Every one, that is, except for me and my brother, who rolled our eyes and began to regret our attendance.
The crowd of people wouldn’t let it go. Their raucous laughter continued with no sign of abating. A friend we had brought along, who was next in line, just sat, staring, not saying anything even though my brother tried to get her to introduce herself so everyone would move on from our mother’s embarrassing flub. But she refused, dumbly looking at my mother like some wild animal into the bright headlights of an onrushing S.U.V. Some friend.
That’s when my skills as a former improv actor kicked in. I shouted above the deafening din of maniacal laughter, “Mom, you weren’t supposed to tell anyone about the surgery yet!” This, of course, brought on more laughter, but it diffused the situation, and after a brief round of laughter at my comment, the crowd’s devilish giggling subsided and our friend finally decided to speak up and introduce herself.
So, Mom, remember, things like this are exactly why I don’t hang out with you very often.