A-Holes and Camel Toes
It’s been a banner week for me on social media. I called my kid (and myself) an asshole on Instagram, and no one even yelled at me. Then I took a picture in a form-fitting dress with a camel, and all hell broke loose.
First, the former. Tuesday, my 6-year-old son Henry had a rough morning. His little sister pissed him off. He pretended to punch her. She cried. And I lost my shit. The “hands to yourself thing” is a big player in our house, mostly because both our kids have a hard time doing it. So when I thought he actually punched her, I did the mean mom march right up to him, threw in some pissed off mom yelling with a healthy mix of stern finger pointing and finished it off with a, “Go get in the car right now. You are grounded.”
There were no words on the short drive to school. I told him I loved him as he got out of the car, he froze me out like Hungry Man TV dinner, and off he went. And off I went to do a commercial shoot in Dallas (I schlep cars in my spare time). But all I could think about was how big of an asshole I was to my kid. He’s six. I’m 40. I should’ve taken the high road. I didn’t. And it killed me.
I had a game that night, and I knew I wouldn’t get to see Henry until the next morning, so I wanted to make things right. I drove back to Fort Worth as quick as I could and pulled Henry out of school so I could apologize. Talk about humble pie. Here I was, the grown up, having to say sorry to the 6-year-old for getting it wrong. Little did I know it would be one of the most liberating and rewarding experiences of my brief parenting career.
I took him to our favorite lunch spot. I told him I was sorry for the way I reacted. And then I called him (and me) an asshole on Instagram (see below). Henry doesn’t know I called either one of us an asshole, and I hope to keep that way for at least 10 years, but strangely enough, I’m glad I did. Because you know what happened? Tons of parents who have been through that same scenario in their house didn’t feel alone. They identified with the fact that I lost my shit and felt the need to apologize to my kid. And their comments made be feel better.
And that makes me do a social media fist pump.
Now to the latter.
The Rangers hold their big charity event, Triple Play, every year, and I love being a part of it. Everyone gets dressed up and cuts loose. It’s a nice change of pace from the grind of a Major League Baseball season. Even though it’s work, I always have a great time. This year’s theme called for a live camel, and who doesn’t want a photo op with a live camel? Ok, maybe a lot of people, but I wasn’t going to miss out on a chance to take a pic with a camel on Hump Day, nonetheless!
I posted it on Twitter with the hilarious caption of “Stop. Camel time.” Let me know when you’re done laughing ;). Anyway, the picture elicited a comment that made me think. It had to do with my dress being tight and insert camel toe joke here. Look, there was an actual camel toe in the picture, so maybe this guy was just trying to be funny. I mean, I appreciate a good camel toe joke as much as the next guy–and lord knows I’ve whiffed on plenty of attempted Twitter jokes–but I felt like there might have been a hint of mean in there, and I wanted to address it.
Was it tight? Damn straight it was. It’s not like I thought I was walking around in sweats and a turtleneck. I felt pretty in that dress. I felt confident in that dress. People said nice things to me in that dress, and I appreciated them. I’m not sure if that guy was trying to shame me or not, but I wanted him to know that it’s cool if he thinks my dress was too tight. I also wanted him to know I didn’t give a shit about what he thinks.
After I sent my response, I wondered if I sounded cocky and vain. Maybe I did. But you know what? I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to look pretty and feel confident. And whether it’s a bandage dress (thanks to my former roomie and fashionista Meredith Land for letting me know that’s what it’s called) or a potato sack that does it for you, get after it! It’s such a fine line with women, particularly in my line of work, but it shouldn’t be. I mean I’m not showing up at the ballpark in a bikini anytime soon, but you get the point.
And I totally get that when you put something out there on social media, you’ve got to be prepared for feedback. Isn’t that what it’s all about? But that feedback isn’t always going to be positive, so you have to decide how you’re going to handle it. Ignore it or address it. In this case, I wanted to address it, and I’m glad I did.