How I Humiliated Myself on Mother’s Day (The Mother of Freudian Slips)

I have a confession to make. I can see into the future. As a woman and a mother, I rely on instinct, but experience is a dear school. Today I am sharing a story that, once you read and allow it to soak in, you will no longer feel guilt or shame about caring for yourself this Mother’s Day. 

When I look into my metaphorical crystal ball and summon experiences from my past, I see your disappointment by the last-minute Costco offerings your family will present at your exhausted, un-pedicured feet on Mother’s Day.

I can see you crying in your bathroom because when all is said and done on the “Mother-Of-All-Days,” you will be left with one freaking hour to nap, or Netflix, or (insert your poison here).

I feel that it is my responsibility to help you.

To put a smile on your face before you have to suck it up and go on Mom-ing for another year.

So please, take it.

Take my humiliation and be grateful.

Be thankful it wasn’t you.

Mother’s Day Weekend 1996

My future (and now soon-to-be ex) husband invited me to spend the weekend at his parent’s home in the country. Mother’s Day was a big deal as it included attending the family’s church service on Sunday and other family-style festivities. Keep in mind, I was in love with this guy, and I had put the pressure on (myself) to make damn sure his family fell in love with me. Something inside me told me this overnight extravaganza could make or break me, so I maxed out my credit card on the perfect Sunday dress and asked my inner child to keep her damn mouth shut.

She always gets me in trouble.

On Friday, we kept it casual, and thanks to several glasses of Merlot, I dominated the meet the parent’s shindig with no awkward conversation starters or four-letter words. I was golden. I even gave my boyfriend a pass to leave me alone with his Mother the following day. I was confident I had this. 

Or so I thought.

The Big Slip

I joined the ladies-only club in the kitchen on Saturday morning with trepidation and a killer hangover. 

The women were discussing cooking within the restrictions of a low cholesterol diet. Hearing words like canola and saturated fats made me want to check out As Soon As Possible. 

At 20, I didn’t give a frog’s fat a@@ about heart-healthy fats. 

So, I should’ve stayed out of the conversation. 

I should have bitten my tongue and flipped through one of the many magazines or books my mother-in-law had carefully placed throughout her home.

But no….I was on a mission to make everyone LOVE me, so I jumped right in with a big fat lie.

I heard myself say that cooking is one of my favorite pastimes, and I immediately regretted it. 

But his Mother bought it. She smiled and nodded her head with approval.

Dear Lord…

If I can just make it through this conversation, I promise to learn everything there is to know about cooking. Amen.

This prayer was a stretch – despite the fact that my Faith is strong. 

My family’s idea of meal prep was listing off all of the nearby restaurants and choosing one. Considering that I was starting from zero, that would be quite an endeavor. My Mother scrambled eggs in the microwave. Enough said.

I high-key benched myself. 

I completely sat out on the “satay” discussion.

I felt like my silence was getting suspicious. Every woman at the table had a “tip” and I was S.O.L.

The men were starting to file in, and my boyfriend’s presence was making me nervous.

I had to think…fast.

When his Mother pulled a fresh batch of homemade biscuits from the oven and asked my sister in law to grab her favorite margarine spread I totally panicked.

That should have been me!!! 

Damn it, Heather. You have to do something to get in on the action! Impress her! Fast!

As she reached for the low cholesterol spread, I had an epiphany. 

While I knew nothing of cooking, I considered my knowledge of condiments top-notch.

“Ooooooh… I LOOOOVE Country Crock.” I proclaimed with just a little too much enthusiasm,” My grandmother loved it too. Country Crock reminds me of her.”

I realized the slip a moment too late.

You know, it’s funny how one single letter can completely change a word.

See, in my rush to join, impress, and conquer, I dropped the essential “r” in “crock.”

And I brought my late Southern Baptist Mamaw into the mix.

That’s right, I told my Mother in Law how much I loved country coXk and that it reminded me of my grandmother…

I wanted to die.

Die.

I’m Going Straight To Hell

I recall looking out the kitchen window and thinking, Well, it’s been nice to know you, but I’m going to live with Satan now.

It felt like all of the blood in my body was rushing to my head, and I had to take a seat which meant I had to turn around and look at everybody—starting with my boyfriend.

Do you know that face a man makes when they get kicked in the nuts?

His expression said, “I can’t believe you just said that in front of my mother, and that is the funniest thing that has ever happened to me.”

The shame kept me from making eye contact.

My Mother in law showed no reaction. I told myself she didn’t hear me, but I’m pretty sure she did because that brand of margarine was never used again. Ever. She was a graceful woman who showed me mercy in my time of despair.

Now, this was enough embarrassment for a lifetime, not to mention one ill-fated trip, but guess what? It gets worse. 

Adding Insult To Injury: The Choir Robe

After Country Cock -gate, I wanted the weekend to be over. But nooo. As if the embarrassment of my Freudian slip wasn’t enough, the family’s church choir debuted their new robes on Sunday as a special Mother’s Day treat. And guess who’s dress (that would take a solid year to pay for) was a perfect match?

Mine! 

Can we talk about Not Winning? 

As usual, I tried to make the best of it. While I was no choir girl, I could live with the fact that if my future Mother in Law accepted butter-loving liar’s who couldn’t sing, I could blend in anywhere.

I suppose the moral to this story is three-fold: 

A) Trying to make a big first impression can backfire

B) Freudian Slips are real

C) Mothers are Saints

Happy Mother’s Day!

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Reading Fair or Fight Club? The Mom-petition on Steroids

Epic Mom Fail: The Day Bonnie Tyler Made Me Lose It

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