Friday, April 13, 2012

Embarrassing Parents and Tweaking People's Comfort Zone

I recently embarrassed my kid in public.
Actually, this is not news. I consider it part of my job description to embarrass my children. Regularly. I also consider it my duty to shock and perplex my husband on at least a weekly basis. Mostly because my hub is utterly unflappable. Like, nothing phases him. Ergo, I must flap his unflappableness as often as possible. 

But this was different.

Sometimes parental embarrassment of a child occurs simply because the parent is in public and actually breathing. This time it happened because I posted a video of myself on this blog ("Caytelynne" the movie PruViewer, reviewing "Breaking Dawn".) Now this is no big deal. My family has seen me on video and stage lots of time. They're used to me being a giant spazz in public. 

But this literally made my child cray-zay. In fact, two of my kids, my husband and a family friend all wanted to peel their skin off after watching it. Like, they hated this clip (and others I've done in the same character).

I was in "High School Musical" last summer. I played Ms. Darbus, and her character is more than over the top. Yet my daughters gave me an unembarrassed thumbs-up on the performance. Sooo what was the difference?

I don't know, but here's a thought: Darbus is roughly my age. Caytelynne is younger. My kids and hub are used to seeing me as an adult. Seeing me act like a teenager takes them out of their comfort zone. And what little dignity they think I do possess goes right out the window. And they. don't. love. it.

Hmm. Is this a bad thing? Taking people out of their comfort zone? Being taken out of ours? Catherine Pulsifer said: "If you remain in your comfort zone, you will not go any further."

That's a horrifying thought. I mean not that Caytelynne is some sort of brilliant new horizon that I must pursue. But it took courage to put her up here. Because she is different from me, and I knew some people didn't like it. Maybe everyone didn't like it. (Except Maegan, bless her! She actually asks for the silly posts.) But, I'm ultimately not sorry I posted Caytelynne's PruView, even if it means I made an idiot out of myself. It's good to be uncomfortable once in a while. (Like when I posted a picture of myself with no makeup on on my other blog. EEP!) And it forces me to deal with some insecurities and not take myself too seriously.

Well, I'll probably still do the occasional Movie PruView, because it's fun. And Maegan, at least, giggles over them. I like making people giggle. But they'll come with a Surgeon General's warning so those who value their skin and don't want it peeled can avoid it. In the meantime I'll leave you with this great poem I found on www.essentiallifeskills.net, whose author is, ironically, listed as unknown:

My Comfort Zone - A Poem
Author Unknown

I used to have a comfort zone where I knew I wouldn't fail.
The same four walls and busywork were really more like jail.
I longed so much to do the things I'd never done before,
But stayed inside my comfort zone and paced the same old floor.
I said it didn't matter that I wasn't doing much.
I said I didn't care for things like commission checks and such.
I claimed to be so busy with the things inside the zone,
But deep inside I longed for something special of my own.
I couldn't let my life go by just watching others win.
I held my breath; I stepped outside and let the change begin.
I took a step and with new strength I'd never felt before,
I kissed my comfort zone goodbye and closed and locked the door.
If you're in a comfort zone, afraid to venture out,
Remember that all winners were at one time filled with doubt.
A step or two and words of praise can make your dreams come true.
Reach for your future with a smile; success is there for you!


Maegan Langer said...

It's true. Caytelynne does make me giggle.

William Kendall said...

At some point you'll have to go into detail on ways you try to shock and perplex your husband, of course!

Robin said...

I love Katelynne. She makes me laugh. She makes me crazy, too, but that's why she's funny.

I sometimes wonder why people go to all the effort to be embarrassed in the first place. Such a waste of energy. [It smells of control issues run amok]

Russo said...

I loved this post. Hey, its not childhood unless you get embarressed :)

I realloy needed the poem too. Crazy stuff happens to me but sometimes, I stay in my comfort zone. So, your poem inspired me.

PS- you were incredible as Ms. Darbus