notquiteold

Nancy Roman

How To Embarrass A Teenager

I don’t have kids of my own, and perhaps it takes a hell of a lot more these days to make a kid blush, but here’s the most cringe-worthy event of my teenage life (apologies to my sweet – and very manly –  little brother):  

I must have been about sixteen. I was on my way downtown for a little shopping.  Yes, we had a downtown.  No malls yet. And it was certainly a “little” shopping because I never had much more than two dollars in my pocket at any time during those years.

My little brother was about to start Little League.

My mother, always a lady, asked me to do her a big favor.

“Your brother needs something in order to play baseball.  Stop in at the men’s store and buy …”  she lowered her voice to a whisper, although we were alone in the kitchen…”an athletic supporter.”

I begged her not to make me do it, even a good size bribe didn’t make me feel any better, but my brother needed it for the next day, and I couldn’t make her change her mind.

So I reluctantly dragged myself to the unfamiliar store. Since they didn’t sell girly things, music, or snacks, I had rarely entered that dreary place.

I looked around.  I didn’t see anything that looked like what my mother had described. I figured it came in a little box, like a Playtex bra, and I thought maybe even Playtex would be a good name for a jockstrap.  But they weren’t anywhere.

I had to ask the salesman. I put on my nonchalant face.

“Excuse me,” I said to the tall gray-haired man in the ugly sportscoat. “My brother needs…” and I dropped my voice discreetly like my mother had done,… an athletic supporter.”

“Sure,” he said, and he went to a stack of drawers behind the counter.  “What size?”

And I said:  “I don’t know.  He’s only ten.  How big could he be?”

And just to make sure my humiliation was complete, I even demonstrated with a lovely little gesture!

And the tears began to flow.  HIS, not mine. The old guy was crying and choking and quivering pretty much from head to toe…

As he was falling to the floor, he explained: “WAIST SIZE!”

Thanks, Mom.

42 Comments

  1. pharphelonus

    I used to cringe buying Kotex. Now, is anyone looks askance at me, I tell them we have a flood in the basement, or that they work great on windows.

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  2. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Oh, Lordy! Gasping for air, here!

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  3. I hope you can laugh about it now! Thank you for starting my day off with a big ole’ grin!

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  4. This is absolutely priceless! Love it! (Does your brother read your blog??)

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    • I’m not sure whether my brother reads my blog, but his wife surely does. They both have very good senses of humor, so I’m hoping they can laugh at this – like I can after all these years!

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  5. Great story! My older brother always tells about the time I took his supporter, strapped it through my arms so it sat on my back and called it a parachute!

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  6. bigsheepcommunications

    To be fair, I hope at some point your mother sent your brother to the drugstore for maxi pads. I bet that sales guy still tells that story!

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  7. Great story!

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  8. Talk to me...I'm your Mother

    I love to laugh. Thanks!

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  9. Hilarious! I remember finding one belonging to one of my brothers and trying it on my knee. It’s the only place it would fit! I didn’t find out for years what it was for.

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  10. Laughing and more laughing…. :))

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  11. Truly one of the great stories. . .it goes on my “recommend” for next week’s Monday Joy feature! Thanks! Excuse me while I wipe up the tea that just spewed out of my nose. . .

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  12. JSD

    That’s priceless…even better than my five-year-old brother explaining that he got the cotton for his Santa picture from those big white pads in the bathroom closet.

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    • Did he bring it to school for “Show and Tell”?

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  13. This is truly hilarious! Your poor little brother…I am only glad that he wasn’t with you in that store! He would have been scarred for life!
    Great post…thanks.

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  14. Ahhh!!! This was hysterical!

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  15. How funny!!!

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  16. Now you know how WE FEEL when we say … “Honey, do you need anything from the store?” and you say, “Yes, bring me a box of uh, uh, those things!”

    Nice post … I loved it.

    lds

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  17. I would’ve been right there with you-I wouldn’t have known what he meant by size. Luckily, I didn’t have to do that. By the time my brother was that age, I was out of the house.Great job in telling the story!

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  18. Oh, that’s priceless! You told it so well, and the picture at the end threw me off until the 2nd to last sentence. Masterful! 🙂

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  19. Just rolled on the floor with this one!

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  20. That is what is fantastic about being a big sister! The older but wiser girl. Little brothers have to deal with us no matter what we do. Love it!

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  21. This is great! After a long, frustrating day, this story was exactly what I needed. Thanks for the laugh!

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  22. Great story, well told. You didn’t mention whether your brother has any children. You might be able to finance your next car by threatening to tell the kids about Dad!

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    • Three kids… but I’ve embarrassed him enough just telling this story.

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  23. So funny! I’m sure that was embarassing for you but that salesman got a story he probably told for years.

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  24. OMG. I am totally LMAO!!!!!!!!! Love the pic! Sad confession – I didn’t know he meant waist size either until the last line. Glad my only child isn’t a boy…

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  25. RVingGirl

    LMAO…..brilliant. I had 7 brothers and I always used to see those contraptions around the house. Never knew what they were but knew enough NOT TO ASK…ha ha ha
    And by the way, I thought the salesman meant the same thing. No idea it had anything to do with waist size even TILL today! Yikes!

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  26. Perfect visual.. . really, really brilliant.

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  27. That’s got to be one of the funniest stories I’ve ever heard. Hilarious! The picture at the end is priceless.

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  28. So funny! Great story!

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  29. After this HILARIOUS story, it might be time to stop calling him your “little” brother.

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  30. Oh, this really made me laugh!! I would have done/said the same thing!

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  31. This has got to be the best of your best! I couldn’t stop laughing.

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  32. Classic.

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  33. Paula promised a laugh here, and you sure did deliver!

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  34. msmeta

    I read your posts on Google Reader, so I don’t always have the opportunity to respond. BUT THIS WAS HILARIOUS! I love your stuff!

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  35. Perfect….Just perfect.
    BTW, I couldn’t help notice your post. Hydrangea. I’ve spent a life time disliking them as ‘old people flowers’ but this year, I can’t resist them. I am 37. I guess it’s all down hill from here!

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    • I love hydrangeas… but them again I am old! Those in my banner photo are “Endless Summer” from my yard.

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      • …I said post, of course I meant banner. Old age….terrible thing 😉

        Like

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