November 17, 2006

Claiming the "Embarrassment Right"

I am 28 and my parents still embarrass me. I suspect they signed a special "Embarrassement Right" contract when I was born: "Thou shall be allowed to embarrass thy Daughter as often as thou wishes."

Case in Point:
My parents were in town the other day (from Madagascar), so I celebrated by taking them to dinner (well that's technically untrue. I showed them where the dinner place was, but as all good parents will I suppose, they paid for dinner).

We went to this wonderful place called Mimi's American Bistro.

It's described as a "Cabaret restaurant with singing servers and a variety of live music". Which means that every waiter and waitress is involved in plays and live theater, but works at Mimi's part-time for extra income. It's such a fun place to go, when your waiter could be up on the stage belting out a rendition of Les Miserables one minute and asking you if you want white or red with your salmon the next.

I hesitated a little bit before making that decision-my parents are cool and all that, but it takes a special kind of person to appreciate the place. Namely, a young, gay or very open person. My parents were born on this earth around the 1950s and well, the world was a different place back then.

Well we sat down to dinner and my dad was slumped-over with fatigue. I started explaining the spirit of the restaurant, when he sat up, looked over at the stage...and mouthed every word that was being sung! Oh my god it was embarrassing. Furthermore, he fully recognized a Liza Minelli song and enjoyed a young waiter's imitation of Renee's performance of a Chicago song, slinky moves and all.

When our waitress came around, he kindly asked her to sing from the Evita soundtrack-which (I couldn't believe) she graciously obliged. When she started singing, he gesticulated wildly and I cringed with embarrassment at his enthusiasm. I felt like I was in a sailor's bar with my dad singing along with the old drinking songs and waving his arm for emphasis. Except this was Mimi's and these were show tunes.

Thankfully, I looked around to assess the damage of his enthusiasm...and saw that everyone else was doing the same thing. Pfeww!


Anonymous said...

Now you've awakened my curiosity :)

Anonymous said...


We enjoyed the place very much MAIS tu ne pourras jamais empecher Dad de reagir comme cela.....(30 ans que je le connais comme cela!!!).

Laura said...

I was feeling grumpy about an incompetent co-worker when I decided to check your blog - now I have a huge smile on my face imagining your Dad singing along with show tunes and you cringing in embarrassment. This post made my day!

p.s. It could have bene worse - my mom would have been dancing around the restaurant with the staff.

Amanda said...

Dorothee, that's one of the many things I like about your dad!

Anonymous said...

Your parents should be the ones cringing from embarrassment! How could you not join in the singing and dancing as well? :)

Carl said...

one of the little known pleasures of parenthood is discomfitting your adult children, or so i've been told.

Garci said...

I agree with Laura... If your folks are cool... they WILL embarrass you! I cant remember since when my mother has been rising to the ocasion... And siging, dancing, playing the guitar or anything!!

Hope Washington is treating you nicely!


Anonymous said...

bhaaaaaa ! it's no big deal. my mum does the same, and dances, and MAKES ME join in !

Sounds like a fun place !