So earlier today, my almost sixteen-year-old son said this: “Hey Mom, can I YouTube the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show? Because I heard Maroon 5 was awesome on it and I want to see their performance.”
He asked this with a straight face. And I’m not as stupid as I look.
But this conversation got me thinking. How many times do I say one thing when I really mean something else? Way too many, I’m afraid.
Like this: “I really don’t want to cook, because my kitchen is finally clean and I’d hate to mess it up.” Let’s get real. I NEVER want to cook. Someone could upturn bottles of ketchup and mustard and Ranch dressing and use them to splatter-paint the room, and I would still look for a reason not to cook.
Because who wants to cook in a dirty kitchen?
Of course I do it anyway. But it just isn’t my thing. I’d rather clean toilets. I’d rather watch Baywatch reruns (eww!). I’d rather pluck my eyebrows one by one until they are nothing but flat, little pencil marks on my face.
I did that once—the eyebrow thing. In sixth grade. But only to one of them. To look like Brooke Shields, or so I thought in that super-awkward, not-quite-all-there head of mine back then. Instead, I wound up looking more like Boy George, complete with the perm.
Here’s another one: Only minutes ago, I told my youngest daughter, “Yes, I’ll sit with you while you fall asleep. Just lay here and close your eyes for a few minutes until I come back.” But what I really meant was, “Please close your eyes and fall asleep now, because I have a million things to do and I just need you to GO TO BED!”
Maybe not a shining example of my stellar mothering skills, but to be fair, I’d spent about fifteen minutes on her bed already and she would not stop talking. And this was AFTER I’d already read two books, searched forever for a lost blanket, retrieved a cup of water, and taken her to the bathroom twice.
But then my dryer went off, my phone rang, my sofa wanted me to sit on it, and I was tired of being on that bed. So I fibbed a little on the “close your eyes” thing.
But it worked. Within two minutes, she was asleep. And I won’t believe any mother or father who claims not to have pulled that bit of parent trickery at least once.
And then there’s the classic: “Next year I’m going to lose ten pounds.” Now with this one, every time I say the words, I mean them. Except that it would be so much more convenient if the pounds just melted off. Because unlike cooking, eating is my thing. And it would be such a shame to stop. So like a child’s spinning toy that turns and turns and never goes anywhere, this one is on my list every year.
But we can’t all be model skinny, and I don’t really care.
Which brings me back to the original question. Can my son watch the VS Fashion show? Um…no. And if he expected a yes, he was out of his mind.
Then again, though it physically hurts to admit it, if I really try to believe he’s never seen one of those models in all their lingerie glory…maybe I’m out of mine.