My husband and I were at a basketball game yesterday afternoon, and during a time-out an emcee stood at the end of the court with one of the fans. He asked her if she was ready to play a game called, Guess What Year.
He boomed into the microphone and asked, “What year was the Academy Award winning song, ‘What a Feeling’, from the movie Flashdance, released?
I immediately turned to my husband and said, “1983”.
The emcee went on to ask two more questions, but I didn’t need to hear them.
I knew I was right, because I have Flashdance flashbacks. I clearly remember sitting among my sisters at a cousin’s wedding reception and watching my Mom jog around the dance floor to the Flashdance song, “Maniac“. For the record, she was completely sober.
I was twelve. I watched in horror (and that’s not too strong a word) as my Mom did a crazy, toe-stepping impression, straight out of the movie. The only things missing were the leg-warmers.
I remember holding my head in my hands and shaking it left and right, and when I finally looked up, I was shocked to see my Mom take things to another Flashdance level. She was alone on the dance floor, when she suddenly stopped in the middle of it, and poured a pitcher of water over her head.
My best friend has told me that I use the word mortified incorrectly. She says it doesn’t just mean humiliated, but embarrassed on so deep a level that you wish you were dead. The moment my Mom poured that water over her head, I was mortified.
It didn’t matter that we were surrounded by family members who were hysterical and doubled over with laughter. I was twelve. My Mom could walk through the room and it would embarrass me.
Now when I look back, I can’t help but laugh about it. I can appreciate that my Mom was having a good time, and I love that she was making people crack-up.
But more than anything, I smile because I have a different perspective now. I’m a parent, and I know that soon my daughter will be twelve. And, I find satisfaction in knowing there will be many opportunities to mortify her.