Do you know what I’ve discovered? The difference between embarrassment and awkwardness is only one degree of separation, and both words equal some level of mortification that indicates to the world that you’ve turned your ass out (exposed parts of you that you will someday regret having been brought to light).
Embarrassment: feeling of self-consciousness, shame, or awkwardness.
Awkward: causing or feeling embarrassment or inconvenience.
Cartoonist: Randy Bish, Cagle Cartoons
Everybody is talking about Miley Cyrus’ performance on the VMA’s when the child made a calculated (moneyed) move to renounce her Disney character (Hannah Montana ) once and for all. Strutting around in vinyl underwear that left her butt cheeks flapping in the wind, Miley frenetically simulated several sexual acts on stage while “twerking.” Anybody over thirty-years old is making the Google search stats spike to the moon as they try and figure out what the hell is twerking! (FYI—this old broad knew what twerking was because I tried it once and had a Charlie horse in my ass for a week!)
It has been reported that there were 300,000 tweets per minute right after the shaking of this skinny little white girl’s behind at the camera and up against Robin Thicke’s crotch. I haven’t seen this much moral outrage since Madonna kissed Britney Spears at a VMA performance ten years ago. Which brings me to my next point: outrageousness is how the VMA’s roll. The question is never “if” someone will scandalize the viewers and humiliate the performers, the question is always “who” and “how.”
One of my kids was at the VMA’s and saw Miley’s performance, and the other kid saw it on TV. Both of them woke me up early the next morning to make sure I caught it on YouTube because, as the daughter said who saw it live, “No matter how bad it looks on screen, it was even raunchier in person.” Both the kids agreed—“this might make a good blog.” I had no trouble finding copious clips of the now infamous performance; but I didn’t get bent out of shape by Miley’s cringe-worthy twerking as much as I did her naiveté. So I wrote her a note—because that is how I roll.
Used by permission: Taylor Jones Political cartoons.com
20 We Can’t Stop Lane
Hey Miley, Girl:
How’s it hangin’? (Actually, I know how it’s hangin’—your ass is coming out the bottom of your drawers—but I was just saying a form of “how you doin’?”) Now I know you got all sorts of people up in your grill about your performance at the VMA’s. But I’m not here to judge you—just to warn you about some things up the road and around the bend that you can’t see from your vantage point of youth.
I have discovered in my old age that there are two kinds of humiliating events in life: the kind you bring upon yourself and the kind the Universe throws at you. Here’s the rub: in an attempt to teach us humility, the awkward/embarrassing moments from the Universe that kick our asses on any given day are ten times as plentiful. At least once a week, I’ll have flashbacks of the major fails that were totally out of my control, and I just slap my forehead in consternation as I relive the humiliation in my mind!
Forget the pratfalls, the menopausal malapropisms (look it up, Miley), and the inadvertent burps in the face of a listener when I’m talking to someone I don’t know, my fuck-ups range from miniscule to overwhelming and they are legendary.
There was the time in my oh-so-fancy-job on an executive floor of a major corporation that I pulled up a brand new office chair to take dictation from my boss, and the chair made the loudest fart sound known to man at the exact moment my ass made contact with it. I swear to God that it wasn’t me! My boss looked up, I looked down, and we both pretended that we didn’t hear what we thought we heard. (Should I bring it up and tell The Boss-man that it was the fucking chair and not my ass? Wouldn’t he think that I was trying to cover my ass [no pun intended]? I was in torment as I tried to take dictation.) I could see The Boss-man purposely ignoring the topic but trying not to laugh (BECAUSE HE THOUGHT MY ASS WAS TO BLAME). I still do a double facepalm when I remember how I screeched: “It was the chair, I swear—it was not my ass, Boss-man!” To make matters worse, I don’t think he ever believed me that the chair set me up.
I’ve fallen into filthy water because the teenage boat captain at an amusement park was picking his nose and didn’t notice that one of my legs was on the dock and the other on the boat that was drifting away from the dock.
I’ve done a Christina Aguilera and sung the Star Spangled Banner at a major event but got lost in the middle of the song, and I had to make up the lyrics. Trust me: “And the pockets that glare, the stars bursting so fair” does not cut it with most Americans—even the most clueless!
What I’m trying to tell you, Miley-baby, is that enough hurt will come your way on its own without you adding anymore with your wild and rebellious choices. See, what you don’t know is that 15 – 20 years from now when you could care less about the persona of Miley Cyrus vs. Hannah Montana, your kids will be able to access your performance on the VMA’s (because of the Internet, this shit never goes away), and they will probably be most unforgiving. Because, you see, kids hate to be embarrassed by their parents. It’s the number one thing that a child finds hard to forgive a parent for. I’m just grateful that there were no cell-phone cameras when I was in my 20’s or my kids wouldn’t be speaking to me today. My drunken bare ass—running through the dorm—while I was being chased by guys and girls was not something that needed to go down in posterity—that’s for sure.
Anyway, I’m wishing you all the best, along with a healthy dose of common sense.
The Dalai Mama
P.S. And stop the “Molly” shit, Miley-girl, if what I read about you and it is true. That line in your new song, “We like to party, dancing with Molly” (I know your manager has since reworded the line to read “dancing with Miley”) may sound gangsta to you, but you are probably going to regret this dance with that drug, Baby. Forewarned is forearmed, Miley-girl.
Used by permission: David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star
I am discovering (as Miley was laughing all the way to the bank) that Miley’s management team, producers, family, and friends said her performance on the VMA’s couldn’t have gone better—it even went better than rehearsed. Really?! Maybe they are onto something then, and we ought to suggest that the President send Miley to Syria as a secret weapon. Twerking her ass at Assad may be just what the doctor ordered to save the lives of thousands of innocent people.
Used by Permission: Daryl Cagle, CagleCartoons com
My most embarrassing moment was when I was a student at Tufts University and decided to go ‘streaking’ with a group of girls in the middle of January. Somehow I lost them and ended up being chased by the campus police.—Meredith Vieira
When I first started wearing wigs, I didn’t know you had to anchor them down with bobby pins. I walked out during a windy day and my wig blew off and got stuck to a branch. I was walking while my wig was hanging! If that’s not the most embarrassing thing… but you have to use bobby pins.”—Sherri Shepherd
I knew that people were going to talk about it, I knew it was embarrassing, and I knew it was a big deal. But did I think that it was going to be this thing that followed me for, you know, the next years to come? I guarantee you, 25 years from now, I’ll be known as the girl that lip synced on ‘SNL.’ But, you know, it was a weird thing. Not fun.—Ashlee Simpson
“Have you ever gotten the feeling that you aren’t completely embarrassed yet, but you glimpse tomorrow’s embarrassment?”—Tom Cruise
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