It always works out that my mom will walk into the room right when a steamy sex scene is on the TV. Or when someone is talking about steamy sex. Or just plain naked.
It doesn’t matter if the scene is two minutes out of a two-hour long movie, my mom will somehow wander into the room during those exact two minutes, and will make everyone (me) incredibly uncomfortable.
“Um….excuse me?” she will ask me and my twin sister, Joy, while pointing at the actors undressing one another. “Is this rated R?”
“Uggggggh,” we’d groan, and pretend like we didn’t know what the characters were talking about.
“A gag reflex? No, I don’t get it, mom.”
I’m pretty sure that a parent walking in during inappropriate TV moments happens all the time. It’s a little gift from God to keep things completely mortifying.
It doesn’t help that my parents in particular were very strict about us watching anything “suggestive” on TV and would make loud, obvious comments that added to the mortifying process.
“You know, that’s NOT how people act in real life!” My mom would say pretty much anytime Samantha from Sex and the City was on screen.
“Ok, mom. Got it,” we’d say, hoping to end the conversation.
“No, really," she pressed on. "People don’t just sleep with men like that with no…”
I find it’s worse when you are actually watching something with your parents and can’t change the channel and can’t leave.
You can try to avoid it, and only watch "PG-13" movies with them, but one day, you will find yourself sandwiched between mom and dad watching Avatar, and blue alien sex comes on the jumbo screen. In 3-D.
So, now you’re smack in the middle of pretty much the most awkward thing ever, and start to shake around your popcorn tub to make a loud noise to drown out the alien sex and then check your cell phone and stare at it until the scene is over. While sweating.
(Our mom’s movie-watching policy wouldn’t allow us to watch PG-13 movies until we were actually 13. It certainly didn’t get me or Joy any cool points.)
I suppose that mindset is still intact; when I see “suggestive” images when I’m around my parents — or people my parents’ age — I literally want to die.
It’s the most awkward thing I can possibly think of and I wonder if it's possible to die from having too red a face.
I haven’t had to worry about this problem as of late, since my parents live in New Orleans, and I live in South Carolina. (With the exception of the Christmas showing of Avatar of course).
However, this past weekend, TV awkwardness reached a whole new level. And my parents weren’t even there.
No, this instance involved my boyfriend’s parents and his 95-year-old grandmother.
We had all just eaten a nice meal at Nana’s house in New Orleans and were sitting in the living room with the television on, staring at the screen whenever there was a lull in the conversation.
The show “60 minutes” was on and it was boring — just the way I like it when I’m around parents of any sort.
The tide changed considerably when a “Best of Saturday Night Live” special came on. On a Sunday.
While the clips were very entertaining, it was pretty much the worst, worst, worst possible thing to watch with my boyfriend’s parents and his 95-year-old grandma.
The discussion about the making of “Dick in a box” wasn’t even the worst part, since the word “dick” was bleeped out. (Although, I grew increasingly awkward sitting next to Nana as Justin Timberlake — and his moustache — outlined the “steps” in making the present: “First, you cut a hole in that box.” Cringe.)
"Dick in a Box" was child’s play compared to the next two-minute-long skit where I literally almost melted into the couch. I would pay $100 to go back in time and have strategically gone to the bathroom at that moment.
Of course, everyone happened to be paying 100 percent attention to the screen when it came on. The skit started off with two women dressed in period clothing from the 1800s, sitting on a porch. Seemed PG to me.
A man in a military uniform comes up.
“Hello ladies,” he said, in a Southern accent. “Are you waiting for the Colonel?” (Although with his accent, it sounded like “Cuh-nal.”)
They women looked up and blinked.
“The ‘Cuh-nal!’ ‘Cuh-nal Angus!’”
I froze between laughing and dying. If I had been drinking anything, it would have sprayed out of my mouth. The R-rated word continued to echo throughout the living room: CUH-NAL ANGUS! CUH-NAL ANGUS!
Nana readjusted her position on the couch.
My entire face clenched up and turned red as I dug my fingernails into my thighs and shouted silently in my head OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD!!!!!
“No, we don’t know ‘Cuh nal” Angus!’” the women on the TV said.
“Oh, well you should meet him! Once women meet ‘Cuh-nal’ Angus, they never go back!”
OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD.
Miraculously, no one asked for clarification about the skit’s meaning, or else I would have died. Or thrown up.
After what seemed like a month, the skit ended and everyone moved on. I’ve never been more grateful to see a commercial in my entire life. And it was for a very PG-product! Chips Ahoy cookies! Not KY Jelly! (I mean, what is that stuff, mom? Nevermind. Let's just change the channel.)