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.