Son, I’ve Made My Life Out of Readin’ People’s Faces, and You Don’t Know What the Heck I’m Talking About


To this day, probably the scariest two words you can say to me are, “Talent Show.”

“Hey Mom, guess what? I’m going to be in the 5th Grade Talent Show,” my daughter announced the other day.

Oh crap.

“Really? Um, have I mentioned what happened when I was in my 5th grade talent show?” I asked.

Because it’s all about me.


“Well, I was with two other girls, and we were going to sing The Gambler, and I promised I would learn all of the words but I didn’t. And I stood there like an idiot, making up words to everything but the chorus, and completely embarrassed myself. In front of the biggest crush I ever had.”


“So, what are you doing for the show?”


“What song?”

“A Taylor Swift song.”

“Do you know the words?”

“Just the chorus.”

“That’s exactly how much I knew of The Gambler,” I said with a raised eyebrow.

“Okay, Mom.”

I was pretty sure where this was leading, and I thought maybe nurture (or lack of it) could bypass nature, but a feeling of doom settled in my stomach.

This was going to be The Gambler all over again. The Circle of Humiliation following its inevitable path.

But it turned out that she changed her mind. She is now doing a skit with her friends.  Which could still lead to embarrassment – but it will not be a musical one at least.

That, of course, is not the end of the story.

After school yesterday I ran across one of my students sobbing uncontrollably.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“It’s Lyric Check Day for the talent show, and I forgot to bring my song,” he sobbed.

“Well that shouldn’t be a problem,” I said. “Tell me the song, and we can go print it out real quick.”

The Gambler,” he choked.

Wow.  It really is all about me, I thought in amazement.

“Are. You. Kidding?!!!” I exclaimed. Probably not the best way to calm down a hysterical kid.

I sang that when I was your age!” He looked at me doubtfully.

I decided not to relate the whole mortification in front of my possible future husband portion of the story.

“Let’s go get that printed out,” I said.

I realized what was going on. This was my chance. To redeem myself, to console this poor boy, to make a difference, to be a hero.  TO BREAK THE CYCLE.  We went to to the computer lab, and I pulled up the song.

He peered at the screen through his tears.

“That’s not it,” he said, somewhat hesitantly.

“Are you sure? You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to run,” I belted out. “By Kenny Rogers?”

“Who’s that? What are you talking about?”  The tears had dried up.  My singing has that effect on people.

“What are you talking about? Who do you think sings The Gambler?”

“Uh, Fun?”

So, sure. That’s who sings it. And why he looked at me so doubtfully when I announced I sang it at my talent show. Before “Fun” was even born.

And the Humiliation comes full Circle.


Posted on May 21, 2013, in Children, Dimples, Humor, Parenting and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 27 Comments.

  1. jajajaaaaaa… Oh my, I was cheering you on…breaking the cylce, making a difference, BEING THE HERO… I did know what song you referred to and I’m not a US citizen… Now, what’s that FUN about?! read you soon, alexandra

  2. It is SO all about you, SSFAM!

  3. Who is Fun? I’m so out of the loop. I auditioned for my 5th grade talent show but my mom wasn’t in the PTA so I didn’t get in. No one got into anything in elementary school unless your parents were in the PTA

  4. Hahahaha!!! Ps- I love the Kenny Rogers song AND know who Fun. is. Talent shows haven’t been banned yet? Some overbearing parent should get on that cause. BAN THE TALENT SHOW!

  5. And there you stand, egg smeared all over your upper lip! I may giggle over this one for a few days. Excellent piece. Eager to hear how he ultimately did with the modern Gambler. Incidentally, I love that Kenny Rogers song, too. Thanks s bunch for sharing.

  6. Best laugh I’ve had for ages – thank you!

  7. Fun, who? Yeah, I was right there with you and Kenny….

  8. My daughter was going to do her 5th grade talent show, but her group kind of changed their minds. I was a little relieved even though she would have done fine – but I wasn’t sure about the other people in her group!

    • I’m kind of having the same worries about my daughter’s group, which increased from 2 to 6 with the change in performance. They have tryouts tomorrow. We shall see what happens…

  9. hee hee I do so love reading your blog, cheers me up all the time!! If it helps typist has never heard of fun either!

  10. Oh that is so funny! I would have thought the same as you. Hey, at least you stopped his crying!

  11. I so missed blog reading while I was away. this is pretty hysterical. I was trying to guess the ending to this post, but the truth is WAY better than what I had concocted. damn those young ‘uns. ;o)

  12. Yeah know them well. NOT!

  13. So funny! I hope everything turns out well for Dimples and little Fun boy. Lance came home clutching a piece of paper and declared it the most important paper he has brought home all year long. I thought, oh regrestation for next year? An awesome report card? Nope. Talent show auditions. After looking at it and discussing it for some time about what “talent” to show, we decided to wait until next year when he will maybe have learned the guitar. Phew! Next year he is not going to be talked out of anything though.

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