Wednesday, May 6, 2009

My Very Own Seinfeld Moment - Why I'll Never Dance In Public Again

Warhol said we'll all have our fifteen minutes of fame.

Well, I don't know about fame, but recently I had my fifteen minutes of shame.

It was my own Elaine Benes moment, you know, the Seinfeld episode where she thinks she's a hot dancer, moving around, arms and legs akimbo, unaware that everyone around her is cringing.

It happened in a Baskin Robbins.  A happy place, where kids and parents pause their protests in favor of smiles and sugar.  Where families find common ground sharing the joy of catching stray drops of Jamoca Almond Fudge with their tongues.

The other night, this was my family.  We were each enjoying our ice cream, enjoying the night.  I was feeling so good,  in fact,  that I started swaying to the disco tune playing on the store's sound system. 

Get Down, Boogie, Oogie, Oogie. 
Get Down, Boogie, Oogie, Oogie.

I closed my eyes as I lip-synced the words, scrunching my face and swirling my hips with white man's, '70s era enthusiasm.  All the while thinking, I'm cool I've got the moves.  Sure they were seventies moves but I still thought I was cool.

When I opened my eyes, it took a few time-delayed seconds to realize that the look on my kids' faces was not of approval but of shame.  For me, and of course, total embarrassment for them.   But worse than that was the look on the face of a sweet, yellow-haired four year old sitting with her mother and father at the table next to ours. 

As I turned to her, she continued to stare blankly at me.  I smiled, thinking I had at least managed to entertain an innocent little girl, not yet tainted with the haughty adolescence of my own children.

And then she screamed.  Screamed at the top of her lungs.  Tears flowed down her face and into her chocolate ice cream topped with gummy bears.  I looked at the mother who was looking at me. 

"I'm sorry," she said as she shrugged her shoulders, verifying for me that, yes, in fact, her little girl was horrified BY ME.

"Mom," my son said.  "You scared her...Jeez."

My husband was hiding behind his frozen yogurt, smirking. 

My daughter was out and out laughing as she said, while trying to catch her breath, "Mom, do NOT do that again."

I tried to laugh it off but no one, including myself, was buying it.  A few minutes later, I turned back toward the little girl who had begun to quiet and resume breathing normally.  I curled my lips inward and raised my eyebrows in apology.  Apparently this frightened her all over again because she let out another terrified wail.

Her screams did not subside and neither did my embarrassment.  I pulled my family outside and we finished our ice creams in the car.

I may never dance in public again.  That fifteen minutes was enough for a lifetime.


Manic Mommy said...

Oh my God! That was so funny!! My husband would never, ever let me live that down!

InTheFastLane said...

HA HA! That is hilarious! Poor little girl, poor you. I wonder what her parents were thinking :)

Andrea's Sweet Life said...

The poor child was obviously a reincarnated soul who DESPISED disco in the 70's. Totally not your fault!

anymommy said...

She's way to sensitive - she's going to need to toughen up a little to make it through life ;-)

There's a little boy at preschool that always cries when I sing the snack song. Just me. ? I'm not THAT bad.

Bobbi said...

That's funny! I dance in stores sometimes too, but thank goodness no one has ever started to cry because of it.

Elisa said...

That REALLY made me laugh!

sexy said...


Nanny Goats In Panties said...

I was going to say the same thing that Sexy said, but she beat me to the punch. Damn you, Sexy!!!!

Anyway, that was horrible and awesome at the same time! Thanks for confessing that one!

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