Parents as Dorks

Today, during an email exchange with MIB, we discussed the views of children of their parents. I mentioned that his children may someday consider him a “dork.” He did not agree, stating that he didn’t see his own father as a dork. I thought that was unusual, because I have considered my own parents pretty dorky at times, and I know that my own children think of me and their father as colossal dorks right now.

Really, it’s a rite of passage.

Somewhere after the blush pales of Mommy and Daddy being All-Powerful-And-All Wondrous (which is usually sometime toward the end of elementary school and definitely by middle school), children will turn on you. Okay, maybe not all children, but many do. I did it. Mine did to us. My children caught on right away that we weren’t God, we were just a couple of human beings, and totally imperfect ones at that.

In my parents’ case, it was when I noticed that my father called all of my friends “Suzy Q.” This name was equally given to both male and female friends – my dad made no distinction as to gender. At the time, it was embarrassing. Now, I think it’s kind of cute. One of my friends from high school still visits him from time to time, and he still calls her Suzy Q.

For my children, I guess I’ve been the paragon of dorkyness. I’ve set the gold standard of dork. I’ve got dork down to a science.

Here are some (admitted) examples of my dorkyness:

1. It could have been when I started liking the boy group, Hanson, after my daughter started to listen to them. As soon as I became enamored of them, she dropped them like a hot potato.

2. It could have been after I took my children’s love of Beanie Babies to a new level, by collecting them like a nut job (I still have all of them, stored in the basement, and there are thousands). After I missed getting on TV because I didn’t make it to Nordstrom in time for the televised soccer-mom brawl, they gave up on the little stuffed toy. I didn’t though, which still qualifies me as dork heavy.

3. It could have been when I started my own MySpace page. This didn’t sit well with the offspring. “Why are you on there?” my daughter sputtered. “Well, I’m spying on you,” I answered. “That’s so gay!” she replied, then she stomped off to her room.

4. My fate as queen dork was sealed when I got on Facebook. Ms. Mini D: “What are you doing on Facebook!? It’s for students! YOU’RE not a student!” Me: “Your brother invited me, I couldn’t say no!” Ms. Mini D: “Well, you’re both dorks!”

5. Of course, when I show up at the high school and ask for an audience with the principal (who is an extremely nice woman) that is the absolute end. Only dorky parents would have an actual conversation with school administrators! (Never mind that I am in close contact with several school administrators every day.)

6. When I took up the violin a few years ago, I was pronounced “dork” by sheer choice of instrument.

7. Likewise, when I took up a drawing class and they found out we had nude drawing as part of the class, they collectively said, “EWW!” and christened me dork.

8. And lastly, the Internet. Ever since I’ve been writing online, reading online, and making friends online (some of whom I’ve met), I have attained the status of Ms. Universal Dork. I won’t even try to reconstruct some of the conversation that has been thrown my way.

There’s more. Both my husband and I are dorks because we golf. I’ll admit that traditional golf clothes (especially for women) are exceptionally dorky, which is why I shop elsewhere for similar clothing that defines my body a bit better.

Even a dork has to look good.

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12 Responses

  1. I always told mine I was a dork, but I also was the dork who paid the bills.

    Dr. B

  2. Yup, Dr. B. Isn’t it funny that the dorks have most of the cash?

    😉

  3. I have many crowns of dorkdom.

  4. Ahh! Now that that is explained, I see what happened. I simply never matured to the point of teenagehood. I’m still essentially 12.

  5. Oh, I have been christened a dork ages ago by my daughter for blogging and Facebook and for every single thing I do.

  6. Join the club, AJ. The upside is that someday the feeling will mellow and we will be Gods again. I hope.

  7. i think we repeat the cycles. I never saw my parents as dorks or spoke to them as if I saw them that way. I have never back-talked to my parents or raised my voice at them. I don’t expect my kids to do any of that either. They haven’t yet. The one time my son raised his voice at me (he was 13) I slapped him. Never again has he done that. He’s 26 now. I imagine that my grandkids (boy does that sound weird) won’t treat their parents like that either. I think, in essence, we learn what we live and repeat it in subsequent generations. And that is not always good by any means. It just is that way.

  8. Even some of the most respectful children think their parents are dorks, Corina. I know I was very respectful (are you kidding? my dad would kill me if I ever sassed back!) and yet there was something about them when I hit my teens that just rubbed me wrong. Maybe it was like looking into a mirror in the future.

    It didn’t mean I didn’t love them. If you are a parent, you have to be prepared for your children to be embarrassed by you.

  9. Hanson, Beanie Babies – really? You must be a capitalist…

  10. I agree, Pan. My kid doesn’t give me any sass, atleast not so I would notice, but that doesn’t stop her from thinking I am the Queen of dorks.

  11. I don’t think I ever went through a phase of thinking that my parents were dorky per se, although I must admit that they both embarrass me sometimes now. They’re doing old people stuff, and they’re too young to be doing it. In my mother’s case, I call her on it, because she’s asked me to tell her if she gets old and weird. Sometimes I think she really wishes she hadn’t asked.

  12. A capitalist? Heh… not really. I just thought a dork. After all, who listens to Hanson anymore, and Beanie Babies have been so passe for so long…

    David, I guess you’re just realizing parental embarrassment. Hmmm… I wonder if my children will feel it again when I’m really, REALLY old.

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