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Embarrassing Moments

For every single embarrassing story I could tell about a member of my family, they could tell two — at least — on me. Even so, David McMahon wants to know if I have any embarrassing relatives, and I’m going to answer him. I’ve thought and considered and I’d have to say, I found my relatives much more embarrassing as a teen then I do today.

My father insisted on talking with my dates. They had to come in the house, sit on the couch and chat with him for 15 or 20 minutes before we could escape. Whenever I protested, my dad would ask me why I persisted in dating boys I was too embarrassed to introduce to my parents ….

If a young man called me on the phone and my father answered, much the same process ensued, though it usually only took two or three eons for dad to surrender the phone. I used to tell my dates, “If you call and my father answers, hang up the phone!” But none of them listened.

One Sunday after church my cousin and I were trailing after my grandmother and my aunt in the grocery store. My aunt said something about needing to buy new clothes now that she’d lost so much weight — and seconds later her half slip slipped to the floor. She calmly stepped out of it, scooped it up and put it in her purse. My cousin and I died of embarrassment right there on the spot. Fortunately teenagers can die of embarrassment eight to ten times per day without it having any ill effects on their health.

Wearing her bright orange swim suit, with her hair in curlers and zinc oxide on her nose, my step-mom used to sunbathe in the front yard. I don’t know why she couldn’t have done my step-brother and I a favor and chosen to do so in front of any other house on the block.

And then there’s my sister who sang sings, Mary Had a Little Lamb, as though it were a grand operatic solo.

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. Hehe!

    I have a book on my bookshelf by Douglas Coupland called “All Families are Psychotic”. It’s very fitting (though, wasn’t really impressed with the book).

  2. 😀

    I agree with Walela. “The Grownups” is epic, and not just one of the best titles, but the best blogs.

  3. Oh my gosh! Once upon a time I was going to write a book. But then… I think self-preservation set in and my mind just starting BLOCKING OUT all the old embarrassing stories! Most of mine were not too funny though… more… UNbelieveable… or sad!

  4. oh, i used to be embarrassed by things nobody else even noticed… but it’s a terrible feeling nonetheless… and you know how difficult is to hide when you are already taller than everybody else around you… oh well 🙂

  5. David — embarrassing relations are universal.

    SN — the title is accurate!

    Doug —
    I should resurrect,
    The Grownups Wanted Us Dead,
    but writing takes time.

    Brig — see the above comment to Doug (Walela). The haiku is a special needle just for him, but the message includes you.

    Melli — I only write the funny stuff, the rest I strive to forget.

    Polona — I think that is true of most teenagers.

    David — glad to entertain. I was certain you’d know I was being funny, not literal. (In fact, about the only time I am literal is when I am trying to drive O’Ceallaigh crazy, but don’t tell him that.)

    OC — my love, and then you were inflicted with me to ensure your turbación.

  6. Good post on quirky relatives….

    Good to see you on mine. Have just scrolled back and think your photos are stunning!

  7. (Ooops – I’ve logged in from my wordpress blog (which is a new art journal for when blogger goes on the blink) rather Virtual Voyage on blogger.

  8. Dr. John — I knew we were related. That can be the only explanation!

    Shrinky — yes, much less stressful then being a Race Marshall with no training, tools or instructions!

    VN — thank you. Welcome. Thank you.

    VN — you haven’t left a link to either one! Virtual Voyage I’ve fixed that, sort of!

  9. Lol…I guess I am now realizing taht I was never embarrassed by things that I probably should have been…hahahaha. Growing up in Florida with a bunch of hippie spirits, I guess I learned to accept the unexpected

  10. Skinny — I was a shy, easily embarrassed teen — mouthy only to my own family. Now, I’m pretty much mouthy all the time. Not sure it’s an improvement, but it sure beats those painful blushes!

  11. It is a father’s right to embarass his daughter. Especially when she’s not yet 13 and the “boy” who wants to take her to the movies is already out of high school.


  12. Sauer — hmmm, that never happened at my house. I didn’t have a boyfriend over 18 until I was over 17. Send your daughter to her room. Send the “boy” packing. I have some rock salt for that shotgun …..

  13. My family aren’t embarrassing at all. We’re all very loud, artistic and theatrical.

    The only thing that was vaguely embarrassing was when I had friends over to rehearse drama performances and my father would hang around, insinuating that there were sordid relationships going on between us, when we seriously were just rehearsing!

  14. Eons ago …….when I was still a little girl, I was dispatched by my father to fetch my brother home, who could’t live without computer games.

    As I was waiting on my neighbor’s corridor, suddenly I strongly felt the call of nature……….

    You know, it’s quite difficult for a little girl to refrain that urge….

    I got loads of embarrassing memories…….ha

  15. Wonderful memories! I’m glad I am not the only teenager who died of embarrassment and I bet I make my son die of embarrassment now…. at least on a daily basis!

  16. Tina — so, whenever your neighbors saw you coming after that they left you to wait outside? 🙂

    CrazyCath — a parent isn’t doing his/her job correctly if the kid isn’t mortified at least once per day (though twice is better).

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