Flashing and Other Talents

On a mildly cool winter night 25 some-odd years ago, my family and I attended a Christmas music program at our church. I was going to be singing a few songs with my preschool class, so I arrived dressed to the nines in a pretty red dress, white pantyhose, and black patent shoes.

I was ready for action.

flashing1

Once my tiny classmates and I were neatly lined up on the sanctuary steps, the pianist took her seat and began playing the accompaniment. Under the direction of our teachers, my class and I sang the first of our Jesus-related songs. I don’t remember what song it was, but I’m sure we butchered it, because preschoolers are terrible but hilarious performers. I’m sure there was lots of fidgeting, blank staring, and nose-picking going on. Nevertheless, we made it through our first song, and then the music began for the second one.

And that’s when things got weird.

No, that’s not true. Things didn’t passively get weird. I made them weird.

Those of you who read my blog regularly might have gotten a slightly inaccurate impression of me. In my writing, particularly on a blog where I’m unidentifiable to the majority of readers, I’m free to get a little … goofy. Theatrical. Totes inapprops.  On here, I use language and make jokes that I wouldn’t typically make in person, except in the presence of my closest friends. In a way, y’all know me better than many of the people I see on a regular basis. In real life, I’m a bit more reserved and professional until I’m comfortable with you. Then I unleash the crazy.

I was just as quiet and well-mannered as a little bitty girl. I was no one’s definition of a wild child. I want to make sure you fully understand just how much of a goody-goody I was, because it makes my behavior that evening that much more bizarre.

I don’t know what happened. Maybe I zoned out and thought I was at home. Maybe I was bored and thought the music program needed a little spicing up. We will never know what was going through my warped little brain.

Okay, enough stalling. Let’s get down to it.

Pop Quiz: What did Amanda do in the middle of her conservative Baptist Christmas music program, attended by her pastor and lots of impressionable children?

A. Barked at the audience
B. Punched a kid next to me
C. Lifted my dress up above my head
D. Muttered “red rum” in a demonic voice
E. Both A and C

If you chose A, B, or D, you probably didn’t pay much attention to the title of this post. The answer, my friends, is E. While my classmates sweetly sang songs about angels and mangers, I decided to take the performance in a different direction. I began by unleashing some ferocious barks at the audience, and when that didn’t seem quite “spicy” enough, I lifted the skirt of my dress right above my head, exposing my panty-hosed little tummy and bare chest to the world.

I turned every adult in that audience into accidental and unwilling pedophiles.

Here’s a photo that my parents were kind enough to snap before they hunched down in the pews and pretended not to know me. As you can see, my teachers are frantically motioning for me to put my dress down, while my pilgrim classmates stare at me with either judgment or jealousy.

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Admirably, I was undeterred by my protestors. I didn’t let their negativity hold me back. I cared not about my family’s embarrassment, and my barking noises intimidated others from trying to remove me from the stage.

Like the determined creature I am, I continued my peepshow-slash-animal-impersonation act until my class’s performance was complete.  As the audience awkwardly applauded my religious striptease, I like to think that I took a confident bow and strutted off the stage. I also like to think that I then made a full transformation into a werewolf and began climbing on the furniture.

But I probably just stood there, unblinking, until one of my teachers hurriedly pulled me away.

We all know that the Christmas season is all about peace, joy, and junk food, but I think it should probably also be about making amends with people you’ve wronged. I’m willing to be the one to get this fad started, so here are some holiday-themed apology notes I will be writing this year:

Dear preschool classmates,
I apologize for overshadowing you in the Christmas program. I’m pretty certain NO ONE in the audience, including your own parents, was watching you be adorable and well-behaved when there was a disaster to behold two feet away. If it makes you feel any better, I’m sure your moms and dads were thanking their lucky stars that they were going home with you, and not me.

Dear preschool teachers,
I apologize for my artistic, but nonetheless unauthorized, change to your fine program. Training toddlers to memorize and perform songs is a maddening task, I’m sure. I’m certain that you wish I hadn’t chosen that particular venue to unveil my new talent, and I’m sure Jesus wishes that as well. I’m also sorry if you later had to apologize to traumatized church-goers for my skanky behavior.

Dear parents,
You probably deserve an apology for the immense embarrassment I caused, but heck – you’re the ones who raised me in the first place. You should just feel lucky that I didn’t do that shit more often.

Does anyone else have a history of flashing or streaking? What other things did you do as children that embarrassed your parents?

 

 

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26 thoughts on “Flashing and Other Talents

    1. It amused me even more that they didn’t remember that they had a pic of it. My mom insisted that they “wouldn’t do that” haha. But I was convinced that I’d seen the pics, so I begged her to look through the old photo albums, and sure enough! Clearly, they’re more traumatized by it than I was 🙂

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  1. momsranting

    Oh I love it…. I LOVE IT…… although that’s probably not something I should admit but seriously…..that is probably a favorite story for your parents to tell as well. I also love catching my kids in odd moments 🙂 There have been several, but I can’t think of anything quite as entertaining as your story at the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That was exactly my mom’s comment about it haha – it was humiliating at the time, but now it’s funny to her. I think the story stands out because it was so out of character for me! Had I been more of a wild child, they probably wouldn’t think anything of my little striptease!

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  2. Susu

    Dear sweet little Mena!! Thanks for that laughable memory! I had forgotten that wild side of you that until then only a few of us close to you knew! I needed this laugh tonight! Thanks sugar pie!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this story! Adorable. As a parent, I have no idea what I would do if you were my kid! I’d be horrified! And… eventually I’d laugh about it.

    When I was little, I used to strip down to my undies and steal my dad’s pajama pants. I would put them on and hold them up so the waist was up to my neck. So there I was… inside giant pants. Not that my dad’s pants were giant… but I was tiny. I know my mom still has pictures of this somewhere… but I’m not sure I want to ask her to dig them up. But at least I only did this at home… in front of my family…

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    1. They were definitely horrified too! My mom said that every eye in the room followed me to see which set of parents I belonged to. I’m glad I remember nothing of this event, or I’m sure I’d be embarrassed too.

      That image of little you in your dad’s pants is so cute! I’m sure the pictures would be adorable, but I don’t blame you for not asking your mom to dig them up – after all, she might find something even more embarrassing 😉

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      1. I do have baby bath pictures of my kids… wouldn’t be surprised if my mom has those, too…! Funny thing is that if you don’t see the “private parts” in the pictures of my kids (as infants), they look like they could be the same kid… even though they’re a boy and a girl.

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      2. Everyone can tell they’re brother and sister… but they have changed a bit. When teachers at the elementary school first saw my girl, they guessed that she was my boy’s sister by appearance alone. Oh… the other weird thing is that in pictures of my daughter as a toddler, she looks exactly like me at that age. If it wasn’t for the different clothing styles, no one would ever know which was her and which was me. And the birthday thing… hers is 11/6… mine is 6/11…

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      3. It’s so cool when that happens in families. My nephew as a baby was identical to my brother, too. We’d show baby pics of both of them, and people couldn’t tell them apart. Same dimples, same big goofy smile. It’s fascinating to think about the genetics (being a nerd for a second haha). They don’t have the birthday thing like y’all do though – that’s really special!

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      4. I knew her birthday ahead of time because she was a scheduled c-section… but I didn’t pick the date… my doctor did. I didn’t even realize the numbers thing until after… (and numbers things fascinate me because I’m a huge nerd…) 🙂

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  4. Roy

    Oh! Too funny! I know of a few on my children, but I’ll let them fess up themselves!
    On the other hand, I was a streaker in college (not really surprising, it was the fad at the time). I shot my brother with a BB gun, and was the worst kid in school during third grade when I broke my leg playing superman! If another child made fun of me, or tried to be mean to me while I was in my cast (8 weeks of solid pleasure), I tried to hit them with my crutches, which were bolted together with wingnuts! Needless to say, I had few friends until well after I was out of my cast.

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    1. I probably know of at least a few of those stories 😉

      Oh my goodness, I can’t believe a pastor had such violence in his childhood – haha! Those kids probably learned a valuable lesson though – never mess with someone wielding a heavy instrument.

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  5. Oh that’s hilarious, and it’s awesome that you have a record of it!

    It’s so funny that a shy “good girl” would have the cojones to pull a stunt like this with a huge audience watching. Can you remember what you were thinking at the time?

    Though actually, it may be *because* you were so good all the time. Everyone needs a break, relief from all that pressure of being *on* all the time…

    I was a goody-2-shoes kid too and you’re reminding me of the day I was sent home from the Brownies for pinching people. My mother was too baffled to even punish me.

    I vaguely remember just having HAD IT with the cookie sales, the dopey songs, and all the little brown uniforms with the stupid hats. Started pinching people and it just felt SO GOOD…

    Actually, it

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    1. I so wish I could remember what I was thinking. It’s fun to hypothesize that I wanted to spice things up (or was tired of being good), but honestly, I probably just spaced out and wasn’t really paying attention. And maybe the barking was to drown out the sounds of little kids’ out-of-tune singing haha.

      I’m glad I wasn’t the only well-mannered kid! I absolutely love that you reached your threshold for patience and just lost it. I picture this cute little girl with formidable fingers! It’s even better that you were sent home for it – I’m guessing they tried to stop you, and you wouldn’t have that 🙂

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      1. That’s true- sometimes kids are in their own world and totally obvious!

        I always try to ask my kids why they’re doing the weird things they do. They usually have a reason. Sometimes it’s a completely irrational reason.

        Ha, yes… they tried to stop me but I was OUT OF CONTROL. Just kept pinching the other Brownies to watch them squeal and run.

        I do remember wondering if we were all being used to sell cookies and thinking the whole thing was BS. See, now that’s why I’ve never thrived in a corporate environment…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ohhh I love that little rebellious streak in you! Oddly enough, I’ve always had kind of an anti-authority thing too. I was well-behaved and wanted to please, but if adults got TOO bossy and demanding of me (whatever I determined that level to be), I would feel insulted – like, they should just expect that I know what to do without them giving me specific instructions. So then I’d end up dragging my feet to get tasks done, or rebelling in other ways. Instead of flagrant disobedience, I just irritated the hell out of people. 😄

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  6. Yeah, so that photo is everything in the whole world. Kudos to your parents for capturing it! Once when I was around six, I showed up to a school concert wearing sequined tights, a paisley skirt (in olive green), and a purple blouse with floral prints. Knowing me, I was also probably wearing some sort of terrible sparkle makeup. Apparently my father didn’t feel the need to edit my outfit choice and my mom was thoroughly embarrassed when she arrived at the event after work. I may or may not have barked at the audience too? I’ll never tell. Great job with the blog as usual!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m probably the highlight of the picture, but I also get a kick out of the huge camcorders and lovely 90s dresses seen in the pic.

      Haha your outfit sounds absolutely amazing! It’s funny to see how little kids dress themselves when they’re allowed the freedom. Paisley or flowers?? Ohh, I’ll just wear both!

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