A couple months before we went on the cruise, my sister informed me that my mom was having shirts made for all of us to wear the day we boarded the ship. After I groaned, she told me to suck it up, they were paying for the whole thing after all and the least I could do was wear some silly shirt for a few hours. Of course I would, but still, the immediate thought gave me teenage flashbacks of embarrassing mom stories. Everyone has them. The fact is my mom is notorious for doing things like this.
When I was twelve and we came back from living in Okinawa, Japan, she had shirts made for all of us that said, "Hello America, I missed you." I was a pre-teen at the time and I think that may have been my first taste of "Oh My GAUD! My mom is SOO embarrassing!" She herself was always dressing up in a silly costume or crazy Christmas sweater, when I was a teenager. There was a good reason for i, however. She is a teacher and most of her career has taught kindergarten or first grade. Kids that age love it. Teenage daughters, however, do not.
There was also the time she picked me up from the airport on Christmas break during college dressed as an elf. At the airport. An elf. With a pointy ear hat and everything. She did this again, when I brought home Andy to spend Christmas with us for the first time. I think she may be part of the reason why nobody is allowed at airport gates anymore. Now that I'm older, I have gotten over being completely embarrassed by her. At this point who cares? I'm not a teen and have nobody to try and impress. Now I'm just taking notes so I can bring that look of horror to my own girls in a few years. This blog will probably be a good start. Perhaps embarrassing your kids is a way to get back at them for being little teenage assholes. Because seriously, I was one of those. Still, the thought of all sixteen of us wearing the same silly looking shirt while boarding the cruise made me cringe just a bit, but her doing this was not at all surprising. In fact when I mentioned to my friend Melissa that my mom was having matching shirts made for us she said,
"Huh. You know what? I am not even one percent surprised."
Yeah, none of us were really. I think I was just more worried about what they were going to look like. I wasn't sure how crazy looking or attention getting they would be. But instead of being annoyed by it, I decided to throw an idea I had myself to put on the shirts. You know-the old if you can't beat 'em join 'em thing. A few weeks later I was excited to find out that she used my idea to put on the back of the shirts.
As it turned out the front, that my mom and the t-shirt lady created together, were incredibly cute. They weren't loud or annoying in any way and it's actually a shirt I will wear again. The shirts also did exactly what I'm sure my mom was hoping they would do. We received LOTS of attention and comments on how cute they were as well as congratulations to my parents on their upcoming anniversary. It was the good attention. The "look how fun that family is with those sweet shirts" kind of attention. Not the "what the hell is that whole family wearing with those crazy shirts?" kind.
So thanks mom for keeping my inner teenager in mind when making the shirts and making them adorable. And also thank you for not doing something silly like making us all wear Mickey ears with them. Ah- you didn't think about THAT now did you? Finally, thanks for using my idea. I actually feel quite honored that you did.
|My sister Beth showing off the shirt. It might be hard to see on here, but our names are under each Mickey and Minnie by family.|