Blunderous Applause


Last night while on a rare family outing to see the musical Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (rare because it didn’t take place at a hockey arena), Andrew and I officially became an embarrassment to our kids.  That’s right.  We had the audacity, the unmitigated gall, to openly express our appreciation for the performing arts in public.  I know … someone call Children’s Aid.

Our first bout of emotional incontinence, however, happened even before we got to the theatre.  We were waddling out of Sera’s on Bloor having stuffed ourselves with creamy comfort-linguini when we passed a middle-aged woman standing in the frigid cold strumming her beat up Takamine acoustic.  Ever the sucker for a busker, having been one myself briefly in my twenties, I gave the kids a few coins to toss into her open guitar case, then stood on the sidewalk for a minute to listen to her play.  As she broke into Blue Rodeo’s Till I Am Myself Again, Andrew and I got a little caught up in the camaraderie of it all and started singing along with her.  Loudly.

Mistake #1.

Recoiling in horror as if we’d thrown raw sewage into their mouths, both children moaned incoherently as they turned away in disgust, then stood about thirty feet away pretending not to know us.  Fearing extensive therapy bills (for the children as well), we reluctantly abandoned our harmonies, gathered up our post-traumatically stressed little darlings and headed for the show.

As the curtain rose on the opening act, seven young actors took to the stage and began singing like seasoned little angels, one as young as nine years of age, according to the program.  I was so blown away by the power of their voices, let alone the raw nerve it takes to get up there in the first place, that I launched my retina-shattering thumb and forefinger whistle when the song was over.  In spite of the tasered reactions from my kids, I let that piercing screech of appreciation ring out after every song they sang, unapologetically and without reservation.  Because that’s the sound all performing artists long to hear, that unmistakable shrill tone that says “I’m excited to be here and I love what you just did!”

Of course, an air horn might have said the same thing, but I couldn’t fit it into my clutch that night.

(You’re welcome kids.)

  1. Reese Speaks
    Reese Speaks says:

    I think that kids of a certain age get embarrassed by just about anything their parents do when is not like the boring robot they think we are. It’s sort of a right of passage for our kids to be embarrassed by their parents, or else they wouldn’t have those funny memories of us to hold on to when they become older and become parents themselves, embarrassing their kids the way we embarrassed them!

    • Andie Duncan
      Andie Duncan says:

      It’s all so new for me … I’ve been ‘our there’ for so long with my kids doing goofy voices and goofy dances that I’ve never been uncool … UNTIL NOW!!! 🙁

      • Reese Speaks
        Reese Speaks says:

        Trust me, you’re not uncool! You were just expressing yourself. Tweens and teens get embarrassed by a lot of things we do. I was the same way with my mom, and I now see her as being more of a person, and less of just an authority figure.

  2. Larry Bliss
    Larry Bliss says:

    A great story, thanks for sharing it… It reminds me of when a friend took me to see The Rite of Spring, as performed by the N. C. Symphony. He expressed his appreciation by screaming “Yes!” jut after the last note. Neither of us have kids, but if we had, I am sure they would be embarrassed…

  3. Penny
    Penny says:

    TFF Andie ! Oh yes I have embarrassed the _____ out of my kids on many occasions but one day they will say… You know what ? Mom was cool !! ps. taking the kids to see Elton John this year… I feel the eminent embarrassment of watching Mom go ape at a concert coming soon to a theatre near you ! ps. love all your blogs xo PenPal

  4. KerryCan
    KerryCan says:

    They always tell us we need a great title for a blog post and you had me at “Blunderous Applause”! This was such fun to read! My mother does that whistling thing, too, and I have been known to be embarrassed by it . . . but that was years ago!

  5. Susie
    Susie says:

    Oh Andie, not only “Blunderous Applause”, but, “emotional incontinence” and then, all that came after. Very funny. I was there with you all the way. And since you’ve only just begun, and show no signs of remorse, your kids are going to need Children’s Aid on speed dial.

  6. bakeritalia
    bakeritalia says:

    I love it! Every time I speak Italian in front of the boys it’s like a personal insult to them and they try to run and hide….good thing they don’t know how much enjoyment I get from them freaking out. Little do they know there is more to come ha,haa.
    Happy New Year!!

  7. TIA
    TIA says:

    Singing along with each song, in a loud tenor voice, may have just driven the point home! Youre a great mom ANDIE! Happy New Year!