Sunday, December 13, 2009

Drinking the Kool-Aid

My mother used to be terrified I'd one day join a cult.

Sounds ridiculous, but who could blame her, really? Back in the 70s the media fixated on Satan worshippers, Jonestown, and the Manson Family, not to mention all the teenagers high on Angel Dust hallucinating roaches crawling all over them. It probably seemed like weirdos would creep into your window at any moment and carry your kids away.

All that percolated in her brain throughout my childhood and heightened when I started wearing a lot of black and listening to the Dead Kennedys. Definite proof of my cult activities presented itself as a cassette tape on the passenger seat of my '68 Mustang:

What could all those symbols mean? Nothing good, god knows!


So I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that she flipped out in front of all my friends at the public pool when she caught me sipping a Dr. Pepper and reading Dianetics in 9th grade. Remember those mysterious volcanic TV commercials about "discovering the answer to it all?" I just didn't want to miss out.

She should've sat down, slathered on sunscreen, and waited for me to lose interest--it only took about four pages or so. Bor-ing. Instead, she screamed DON'T YOU KNOW THAT'S A CULT? I FORBID YOU TO JOIN A CULT!

OMG. Time stopped. Some girls laughed. The cute boy who'd been checking me out abandoned his flirtation with Crazy Mother Cult Girl. I could never return to Fassnight Park Swimming Pool ever again.

And mom? Just so you know--no cult activities to this day. Although if I had to choose one, it would be the hare krishnas. They seem fun.

That was her deal: cult fear. I wonder what's going to be my phobia? 'Cause you know it'll be something once I have two teenage daughters to stress over. Any bets? Maybe I'll have nightmares about them starring in a reality show?

Has your mom ever embarrassed you?

11 comments:

Janna Qualman said...

You had a '68 Mustand? I have a newfound love for you.

My mom was surprisingly laidback with me and what I was into. Nothing worrisome, mind you, but she didn't bat an eye when I cranked Color Me Badd's I Wanna Sex You Up at full decibel... But I'm a worrier, so it'll all go through my head in regards to my own girls. *sigh*

Janna Qualman said...

Mustang? Yeah, that's it.

DebraLSchubert said...

Has my mom ever embarrassed me? Um, yeah. Like a million times. Even though I wanted girls, thank goodness I have boys. I would definitely be one of those shotgun-yielding parents who my imaginary daughter would be dreadfully embarrassed by. From what I've heard, you're in for the ride of your life once your girls reach their teenage years. Just saying... ;-)

WendyCinNYC said...

Janna--Yes, my dad was foolish enough to fix up an old Mustang for his daughter. I wasn't...um...the best driver.

Now I have that song in my head. Tick tock yeah don't stop.

Debra--That's what I hear! I know a lot of sweet, wonderful teenage girls, but I think the dynamics are different when you are the mom.

Sharon Mayhew said...

Isn't that part of their jobs???

My daughter's school is under construction and doesn't currently have a gym. They started coming to the cities rec center. I made her promise to not look at me or speak to me if she saw me there (and I would do the same). LOL I could have died on Tuesday...I was doing pilates (not the toughest looking workout class) and in walked her gym class. I saw her, cast my eyes down and hoped she didn't tell anyone that her mom was laying on the floor doing supermans to build up her core strenght. :) I just thought it would be fun to let her know my goal isn't to embarrass her, but I'm still going to be me. :) BTW...I hate pilates...I'd much rather be lifting weights. :)

Robert Young said...

Those hare krishnas are a fun little bunch. They serve a pretty mean spaghetti lunch every Wednesday in the middle of my school's campus. I've never gotten it, though. I'm too worried that if I participate, I'll end up having my soul sucked out of me and cooked into the next batch of delicious spaghetti lunches. Such is life.

SharonK said...

There's something about my dancing / singing / breathing / writing / speaking / sleeping / eating / showering / driving / worshipping / loving / cooking / gardening / swimming / golfing / reading that mortifies my 13 year old.

I'm giving serious considering to knitting my own one piece cat-suits and wearing them to school functions while I extoll the virtues of collecting Nascar themed plates just so she can appreciate how normal I really am.

My own mother however? That would be an improvement... enough said.

WendyCinNYC said...

Sharon--It could have been worse. The class could have walked in while you were in downward facing dog.

Robert--Ha! They'll either suck out your soul or hand you a daisy. Could go either way.

SharonK--I always threaten to walk my girls to school wearing my big velcro rollers and soothing facial mask.

Shelli said...

when she made me a cabbage patch instead of buying me one. BTW it didnt fool anyone if though she signed the butt.

Melanie Avila said...

Ha! Now I have that song in my head too. I was going to say that my mother never really embarrassed me, but then I saw the comment abuot the cabbage patch kids. My aunt made then for awhile and they were just not right. I finally got the real ones when I saved up my birthday money.

Allie said...

I remember those commercials! I totally wanted to read that book so badly!

This is too funny!