EMBARRASSING Teen Texts – from My Own Teen!

So then…my teen daughter shoots me the glare of a thousand blazing suns and motions for me to BEHAVE.

And for no reason!

I’m merely sighing, foot tapping, and looking pointedly at the clock in a subtle effort to indicate to the two employees sitting behind the desk of this tutor center that it’s well past our appointed appointment time.

Chloe, age 15, whispers, “Stop that!” and nods her head toward the employees.

I whisper mock-seriously, “It’s fifteen minutes past our appointment with the manager! I’m a super-important busy woman with super-important things to do!”

Chloe whispers, “Shhhh!” then texts me fast and furiously on her phone so the staff can’t hear us:

TextAAAA1

Tsk – she’s worried I might embarrass her when we meet with the center manager. How about the appalling lack of punctuation and grammar in that text she just sent?

Chloe took the mock SAT test earlier this week, so today the center manager will tell us the test results, recommend which areas Chloe needs to strengthen, and try to sell us on a package of SAT prep tutoring sessions. Many of Chloe’s classmates study for the SAT and ACT at this center.

If you’re wondering why on earth Chloe thinks I might embarrass her in the meeting…

1) I’m a mimic.

Not in a mean way. Just in a “that-seems-cool/fun/awesome-I-want-to-do-it-too” sort of way.

So if we’re on the dance floor and you’re bustin’ some sweet moves, I will instantly copy those moves. Not to make fun of you. Just because it looks cool and I want to do it too!

If you’re humming a song when I pass you in the grocery store, I’ll still be humming that same tune 3 aisles later.

If you have an accent, I will speak in that accent. To your face. I don’t even realize that I’m doing it. It’s an unconscious mimic reflex!

If you’re Southern, a slight drawl will creep into my inflection.

It’s undetectable at first, but eventually my speech pattern will emulate yours, even if you’re from New Yawk or Bah-ston.

Now if your accent is British, French, or Australian – my involuntary imitation of your manner of speech is either adorable – or awkward – or mildly annoying.

But if your accent is Spanish or Asian – my unintentional simulation can come off as slightly racist.

But I swear I’m not racist!

Honestly I’m not! You can ask my ethnically-diverse friends and relatives!

I genuinely make an effort to curb this inadvertent replication, but every once in awhile, I slip. My kids are there to shoot daggers if I do.

So Chloe might be nervous about our upcoming meeting since the manager and two employees of this education center are all Asian.

2) I like lemon.

Well, that’s fascinating, Darcy, but what the hell does lemon have to do with anything?

At restaurants, I always order “a Diet Coke and a water, with lemons, lots of lemons.” Usually I get no lemons. Or one tiny lemon slice in each drink. But I like LOTS of lemons.

So I’ve learned that if I say, “May I please have a Diet Coke and a water – with a little tray of lemons?” accompanied by hand motions that form a little tray, the server knows exactly what I want – and they bring me a little plate covered in lemon slices.

I’m thrilled – and my children are mortified.

“Why do you have to make the hand motions?!?”

“It’s the only way to get the plate of lemon slices. I’ve scientifically experimented with, and without, the hand motions. It’s the only way.”

“It is NOT the only way!”

“Shut up and eat your bowl of pasta I could’ve made at home for 79 cents.”

3) I like discounts.

Look, I’m not a fanatic. I’m not price-haggling every merchant like a loon.

But if I find myself buying something at Bed Bath & Beyond when my 20% off coupon is still back home on the kitchen counter, you’re gonna hear about it. All day long. And possibly into next week.

And if someone’s trying to sell me hundreds of dollars of SAT prep classes, you can bet I’m going to inquire about a discount – or at least ask if my friend Yvette can get a discount on her daughter’s classes since they referred us to this center!

So now you know the context behind these texts:

Chloe’s texts are on the left in grey – and my responses are on the right in green or blue.

Since she told me to behave at the meeting, I reply:

TextA2A

Chloe looks horrified!

I text:

TextA2B

TextA3

I giggle a bit.

TextA4

Chloe smirks, so I respond with:

TextA4B

TextA5

I crack up laughing.

TextA6

At this point, Chloe snatches my phone and texts me on my own phone:

TextA7

Just then the door opens. The manager says, “Thank you for waiting. Please come in.”

Chloe fires me a warning look. I smile innocently. We follow the manager into her office.

— Darcy Perdu

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(What are your favorite ways to embarrass YOUR kids? Anybody else out there with “involuntary accent mimic syndrome?”)

EMBARRASSING Teen Texts - FROM My Teen! #funny @SoThenStories.com

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54 replies on “EMBARRASSING Teen Texts – from My Own Teen!

  1. Dana said:

    I love this! My favorites: “You can ask my ethnically-diverse friends and relatives” and your daughter saying she’ll “whoop your ass” !!! :)

    • Ha! Thanks, Dana! She’s pretty tall — she probably COULD whoop my ass!

    • Yes! It’s the most fun part of parenthood! :)

  2. Raelin said:

    Rules in my car: you want to change the music that is currently playing on my radio, you ask or suffer the consequences. My 14yo daughter changed the song and after a polite warning, she still didn’t put it back. I said fine, changed it to Like A Virgin by Madonna, rolled all the windows down, turned it up lord and began to sing.

    This was while we pulled up to swim team practice at the local college. The dropoff is next to the football teams locker room entrance/exit. There happened to be a group of college boys standing there, watching and smiling. I then turned the music down and yelled “have a great practice smootchie poo. I love you pumpy-umkin. Be a good girl” We tend to have a very twisted sense of humor in our household, and she was laughing as she walked away, I don’t think I have ever seen that particular shade of red on my daughter’s face. The college boys were cracking up by then.

    Now when she goes to change the radio, I just start singing Madonna and she changes it right back and makes some comment about how she is going to need therapy when she gets older. You’re welcome my dear – my job here is complete.

    • LOVE THIS!!! And I especially love your choice of song: Like a Virgin — possibly the most embarrassing song to belt out as you drop your kid off in front of other kids! That’s priceless!

      • AinOakPark said:

        OH MY GOD! PERFECT RESPONSE AND I DID SOMETHING LIKE THAT MYSELF!

        I will write about it later.

  3. Arionis said:

    Awesome! So three different quirks and we are now getting to the genesis of some of the reasons you have so many “So thens…” to tell. Keep ’em coming! Is there a part two to this one?

    • Ha! You’re learning all my faults and foibles! :)

  4. Karen said:

    I love the text messages! I am also a mimic. I blame my military dependent childhood. Nine different schools created an urgent need to blend in that hasn’t completely gone away. Even worse, I’ve caught myself mimicking facial expressions. Okay when it’s a smile, but not so good when it was the habitual sneer of my boss! (I think his was just a weird shaping of his lips.)

    • Omigosh, Karen, your comment gave me an epiphany! Maybe THAT’S why I’m a mimic too! I’m a military kid too — we lived all over the states, Japan, and Panama! One minute we’re living in Massachusetts and the next minute in Louisiana and the next minute in Japan! Maybe that’s why I unconsciously mimic people to blend in! As for your imitation of your boss’ sneer — that’s pretty hysterical!

      • Grace said:

        For all of you who find yourselves unintentionally mimicking others accents or facial expressions, that is a GOOD thing. A primary sign of a sociopath is someone who does NOT do that.

        • Grace, you are AWESOME! The next time my kids tease me for unintentionally mimicking someone, I’m gonna tell them that!
          I’m gonna say, “GRACE said that means I’m not a sociopath! So that means I WON’T be murdering you in your sleep with a dull butter knife while wearing a necklace made from your baby teeth. Well, probably not, anyway.”

    • Exactly, Cassandra! And I take my job VERY seriously! :)

    • Apparently, according to a focus group of one 15-year-old girl, I was totally embarrassing because I stretched during the meeting. I put my hands clasped behind my head for a couple minutes, mainly to keep myself awake since it was very warm in that little office in the late afternoon and the discussion about stats and tests and textbooks made me very sleepy. When I put my hands behind my head, Chloe looked at me like I was a lunatic – she actually tapped my arm! She acted like I just jumped up, stripped my clothes off, and began belting Broadway tunes! Honestly, sometimes the way I BREATHE embarrasses my kids! Ah, a mother’s work to embarrass is never done!

  5. ha! I never get enough lemons either. I have to repeat “many. many lemons” like an idiot.

    I’m saving photos of my children for future blackmail. Like that one where my youngest is running around in nothing but a cape and one sock.

    I’m am super self-conscious about latching onto accents because I’m so guilty of this and I’ve been made fun of for it before! But I’m not trying to do it! It just happens!
    Beth Teliho recently posted..BE A REBELMy Profile

    • Ha! A cape and a sock! I’m adopting that for my new go-to business outfit!
      And I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one who accidentally mimics accents!! :)

  6. Ok, I love your daughter, I think she is awesome. She reminds me of my daughters, lol! Your story shows me what a great relationship you guys have.

    • Thank you so much! She’s pretty amazing! And my son is too! They inherited my warped sense of humor – and it sounds like your kids inherited your too! That’s awesome! :)

  7. Lizzy said:

    I sing AND dance in grocery stores, and waiting rooms, dressing rooms during dance concert rehearsals, parking lots, basically anywhere and everywhere.
    Depending on their mood my kids either find it endearing and beg me to never change. Or ask why I’m so embarrassing and can’t they go shopping with Dad from now on.
    And yet, even when it is the latter, if I grab their hand and spin them, they end up singing and dancing with me.
    Yup I’m *that* crazy lady at the store.

      • Lizzy said:

        Yes! Dancing shopping buddies!

    • momchelle said:

      One of my proudest moments was dancing with my boys and their friends during the credits for some movie. We were all over the aisle and the seats- I don’t even remember which movie- but it had a great soundtrack and I’m first on the list when the kids need a parent to take them to the theater!!

      • Aw yeah! Let’s hear it for the dancing parents! Love it!

      • Lizzy said:

        You can totally be my friend.

  8. Lizzy said:

    Oh and I totally mimic accents too. I even mimic handwriting. Teachers would think it was weird to see their own handwriting on my note taking from the board.
    My oldest hates the mimic thing the most. But mostly because if you speak with any sort of accent suddenly she can’t understand a word you are saying. Seriously, I can spell things out, say things in Spanish or German, and she knows exactly what I’m saying. And a Texas drawl to it and she’s suddenly “What are you saying?!” I *might* find it entertaining to give her permission do things in an accent and then watch her brain explode.

    • Oh, Lizzy, you’re my kind o’ peeps! I love that you use a drawl to confuse your daughter! And based on your earlier comment about public dancing/singing, I’m all in, baby – ALL IN!

      • Lizzy said:

        Ja! And we throw a vittle bit ov ze Svedish an ve confuse all zee people.

        • Oooo, I LOVE that accent! I’m gonna be talking like that all day now!

  9. AinOakPark said:

    Too funny! Don’t you just LOVE embarrassing the kids when they are at the stage where they have NO sense of humor?

    I do.

    Keep up the good work.

    • Ha! Thanks. Just trying to keep up my quota of Humiliating Teens episodes! :)

  10. Jordan said:

    I also inadvertently do the accent mimic. And depending on how long I’ve spent with the people depends on how long it lasts afterwards. Sometimes it lasts a week or so lol

    • Glad to know I’m not alone! A week or so! That’s funny!
      I’m especially susceptible to Southern accents since I used to live in Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi…plus I enjoy acting like a Southern Belle! :)

  11. momchelle said:

    NO LEMONS!!!
    NO LEMONS!!!
    NO LEMONS!!!
    Lemons are for home- never at a restaurant!! Everyone I’ve ever known who worked at a restaurant said that they NEVER wash them- dropped on the floor? no problem!
    in the sink? no problem!
    just pick them up and slice them!
    –this is probably why I’ve never worked in food service…I’d get fired for spending too much time on citrus hygiene or be forced to tell the patrons to bring their own lemons next time!

    • EEEEEEEEEEK!
      I’m totally freaking out now! I guess I’ve consumed lots of lemon cooties over the years!
      Maybe I should travel with my own!

  12. My mom also likes Diet Coke with lemon. A good percentage of the time, however, she’ll ask for it and they will bring her lime. This is in restaurants where I KNOW they have lemons, because I usually get iced tea and/or ice water, and when they arrive at the table there’s a lemon wedge, but at the same restaurant, at the same time, my mom’s Diet Coke will arrive with lime. Then the other night I was out with some friends and the same thing happened, except in reverse–one of our group was eating fish tacos and asked the waiter to bring some lime wedges. And, you guessed it, he showed up with lemon wedges. I think the word for lemon in Spanish is limon, but I’ve also been told that that word is sometimes used for lime, so I don’t know if it’s a language barrier issue or what. It’s always fun to play “which citrus fruit will I get”, though.

    • Yes! This happens to me lots of times too! Then I feel bad asking for lemon after they bring me lime because I feel their expression is saying, Really? Green, yellow, what’s the diff? Then I just eat more warm bread and everything is all right again.

      • Lizzy said:

        I feel like a terrible person, because I’ve been teaching my kids that all citrus water is good, doesn’t matter if it is lime, lemon, or orange, it all works.
        Now I worry that someday my kids will be the server thinking “what’s the big deal? It’s all citrus.”

        And yes, warm bread makes everything better. Now I might need to go make some.

  13. Seriously f-u-n-n-y shit Darcy! You crack me up. But, I have never embarrassed my children. So I can’t really relate.

    • Hahahaha!
      I’ll bet if I popped all your kids on a conference call right now, I’d hear a completely different story! :)

  14. Terri said:

    Oh….the accents. I do the SAME thing! My daughter came to work at my office a couple of years ago as a summer intern – and later one of my co-workers said he thought she was from England as we spoke to each other in English accents the entire time. And I’m sure you do the same, but sometimes I embarrass myself if I am retelling a story to someone I don’t know that well and if I’m speaking about someone’s reply, I will use their accent to retell what they said. But it’s like you said, I’m not racist, I just enjoy people’s accents! One of my friends has only been in the U.S for a little over a year, she’s from In-di-ah! I LOVE her accent. I tease her when she says something like: “Please, put this in the rubbish bin.” One day we had a long conversation how you can ask for a “kleenex” and people will know you are asking for a “paper tissue” or whatever she called it at the time. love it

    • Yes, Teri, I completely agree about sharing stories of something that’s happened — and someone in the story has an accent. How can we NOT use that same accent when we tell the story? It’s impossible! :)

      And yes, the brand names like Kleenex = tissue must drive foreigners crazy. We say things like “When you grab a coke, can you please xerox this?” Ha!

  15. Kristina said:

    But… but…

    What happened in the meeting?!! Did you behave? Did your daughter get banned from taking the SAT because simply banning her from the course wasn’t enough punishment for your crimes?

    Don’t leave us in the lurch!!

    • Ha! Let’s just say we learned that there’s a 10% discount if you pay for a package of sessions — and I’m happy my friend Yvette will receive a $100 gift card since she referred us to the center.
      (You KNOW I was gonna ask about discounts! Hell, I almost pulled out my 20% Bed Bath & Beyond coupon!)

      • AinOakPark said:

        Who doesn’t like a discount? Well, as Oprah once said, “Even rich people like a discount.”

        Discounts for everyone! It never hurts to ask (unless you have a teen, apparently).

        • Lizzy said:

          My high school Music teacher once told our class that rich people stay rich by using coupons.

          My husband was a bit scared on our first date when he used a buy one meal get one free on our first date. He said he’d known girls that would have been absolutely offended that he used a coupon. I was all “coupons for everyone!” And that is how we knew we were meant for each other.

  16. Hi Darcy. Last Thursday, I recommended your website on my blog. I hope this will send a few new readers your way. I always enjoy your stories.

    Take care.

    • Gail, you’re a sweetheart! I just checked out your post and you’re awesome to recommend my humor blog to your readers! Thank you!!