I have memories of riding the bus to school. I have memories of my mother/aunt/whoever standing on the sidewalk while I climb aboard. I don't really remember feeling embarrassed, but I know that had my mother climbed on the bus I probably would have died of shame.
Even though I'm 20 now, times have not changed. I found this out last weekend. It's always nice to think you've matured and then suddenly come face-to-face with your inner 13-year-old.
My family came up to visit last weekend, and they are tourists
. I grew up in the country
. Eleven acres of oak forest for a backyard, in a town of just under a thousand. I now live in a city
and have been for a few years. They haven't been up up here before, so I was trying to think of interesting things to do with them. Go catch a play, go the ice skating rink, take a day-trip around the neighborhood, etc. As a local and their daughter, I'd like to show them parts of the city that I enjoy and frequent. They wanted, you guessed it, tourist locations. Mall of America, Ikea, ride the light rail, ad extreme amounts of nauseam.
As a hostess, I generally cater to my guests, even if it will cause me any and all manner of torment and despair. So, we got up and got on the bus to take the lightrail to MoA. It was amusing to watch my parents scramble to find enough change to make their fare, try to figure out where in the hell to put the fare, and then frantically try to find a seat as the bus lurched forward - almost launching them into the other passengers.
Mind you, the other passengers know that my family does not
belong here. The locals can smell tourists a mile away. Most tourists at least try to look the part, but not my family. My brother is a striking kid. Not because he's handsome, but because he's tall, broad, and extremely strange. That actually kind of describes my mother and father too, but they've learned how to hide their quirks until you are trapped with them in private. In public, they look like your typical upper-middle class country folks. My father was wearing his camouflage sweater, camo NRA hat, and looking very out of place, indeed. My mother is the most adaptable, because she looks like a suburban mom - which she is; however, she was talking loudly about the diversity of people on the bus, and how she hasn't been in this city for 30 years, so her cover is quickly blown.
My mother has never been on a light rail. I dont know why, but she thought it would be something exciting. It's really not. It's convenient, but it's also loud and filled with crazies. My brother sat by the window, looking awkward. My mother sat across the aisle from me, proclaiming loudly that she thought it would be a mono-rail while my father dramatically over-contorted his face every time there was a slight squeak. It was entirely embarassing.
After a few minutes of torture, I hid my face in my beanie and wished desperately that I had brought my iPod, but then it got worse. A really shady guy got on the light rail at the government building, which seemed hilarious at the time simply because of the look on my parents' faces. He had a trench coat and fedora, and looked exactly like your film noir bad guy. He sat directly behind me, which is par for the course seeing as I attract crazy like Britney Spears attracts sleaze. After about 45 seconds, his phone rings and the conversation goes somethin' like this:Sinister Man:
*super squeaky voice* Yes. It's where it should be. Third floor. *click*
That was nice, suspious, and vague, I thought. 30 seconds later, he got another call. Sinister Man:
*still in a squeaky voice* Tell me something good, are our boys where they should be? My Thoughts:
Is this guy in the mob? Because that would be an awesome
first impression for my parents.Sinister Man:
You're changing teams on me? My Thoughts:
Jigga what? Are they planning a gay strip party? That would be another great first impression.Sinister Man:
Well you can do what you want, and I wish you success but I really believe that they're a wild card. I'm stickin' with the original plan, I think they're a sure bet. My Thoughts:
Oh come on
, guys. Fantasy football is never this serious. Sinister Man:
I dont know, I'm just gonna play it safe this time. Last game cleaned me out. I got nothin', and a few people to answer to. My Thoughts:
Oh damn. This isn't fantasy football, is it...Sinister Man:
Also, I got the heads up on next week's match, do you think you'll be wanting to do business? (pause) Well I'm about to be going into the tunnel, so I'll call you back.
I was mildly mortified. Thankfully, my parents were totally oblivious... or they're just good people who don't eavesdrop. Whatever. The point is they were too busy talking about what the Mall of America would be like, and it was an extremely awkward experience. Especially since the cute boy at the other end of the train was giving me "eyes". *ahem*