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October 24, 2012 / diannegray

Strippers and Coffee

This week’s challenge is an interesting one – Kids in adult-oriented places.

I voted against children in adult places on the poll because this challenge immediately triggered the memory of a situation my parents and little sister found themselves in many years ago.

My sister had turned 13 and my mother had the disastrous brilliant idea to take her on a “Sydney by Night” bus tour for her birthday.

The plan was to get the bus from Circular Quay at six o’clock, then they would take in the sights of Sydney before stopping for dinner at a lovely restaurant. After that they would cruise through Kings Cross – then catch a show.

Sounds wonderful!

But there was a fatal flaw in this plan. The show my mother booked was called “Gypsy Rose He“. She thought this must have been a typo on the itinerary and was supposed to read “Gypsy Rose Lee“. She had seen the musical comedy Gypsy starring Rosalind Russell and Natalie Wood a few years before and was impressed by Gypsy’s ability to dance beautifully, while delicately dropping a strap from her shoulder and removing her long gloves. She thought her youngest child would really enjoy this cultural dance experience.

Natalie Wood – in “Gypsy”

My father (David), on the other hand, was not so sure that this was a good idea. After all -this was Kings Cross, not the Opera House.

But there was no rating of Adults Only on the ticket and the tour was advertised as a Family Night Out.

They had a lovely evening and the bus ride was fabulous. After dinner they sat down in the ‘theatre’ to watch the ‘show’.

Then things went something like this:

Mother – “David, is that an actor or an actress?”

Dad – “Um, hard to tell from here and it’s very dark.”

Mother – “David, that actress is removing her brassiere!”

Dad – “Um, yes – I believe so.”

Mother tells my sister to close her eyes.

My sister doesn’t want to close her eyes.

Mother – “David, is that actress removing her panties?!”

Dad – “Um, yes I think she is, dear.”

Mother – “David, that actress is an ACTOR!”

Mother puts one hand over my sister’s eyes and the other over my father’s.

They both struggle in vain to get her hands off their faces.

Mother – “Why has that man just walked onto the stage carrying a big black thermos??!!”

Dad (now frantic) – “It means the show’s over and they’re going to have coffee!”

My sister yells out – “Can I have a coffee, too? This is BORING!”

Someone in the audience yells for them to shut-up and just watch the show.

My mother grabs my sister in a head-lock (hands still covering her eyes) and marches her out the door.

Then she starts on the bus driver. Why hadn’t he warned them that this was no place for a child? He said it had nothing to do with him – if parents want to take their kids to see strip shows, it’s up to them.

I completely disagree with the bus driver.

So my sister goes to school and shares her story with her friends.

The teacher finds out and is horrified – but the kids at school love it and think our parents are really ‘cool’.

Now – whenever my mother scoffs at the way some people raise their children we gently remind her of her biggest gaff of all time – taking her 13-year-old daughter to a transvestite strip show in Kings Cross.

That keeps her pretty quiet!

Have you ever taken a child somewhere and then realised it was a huge mistake?

Do you blame my mother? (you may as well – everyone else does).

Do you think the bus driver should have interviened and warned them? (I do)

To participate, or see other entries in the Weekly Writing Challenge (kids in adult-oriented places) click here

101 Comments

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  1. Austin 'BishopReview' / Oct 24 2012 6:52 am

    I’m not a parent, and I’m the youngest child, so I’ve never really had to babysit children. I did go see Step Brothers (with my biological brother) and a ton of parents had brought their kids along. That must of been awkward for them. While I don’t blame your mother, I do think she probably should have done a little more fact checking beforehand.

    As for the bus driver, I don’t blame him. I’ve been in situations where I’ve voiced my own opinion about someone taking their child somewhere, or similar situations, and been told that it’s ‘none of my business’. I’m not saying that’s how your mother would have reacted, but that bus driver probably has seen a lot of people in his years working.

    Like

    • diannegray / Oct 24 2012 7:17 am

      This is an interesting response, Austin. I’m sure I will get people saying ‘the bus driver should have said something’ and others saying ‘none of his business’.

      You’re right about stepping in and telling a parent they’re doing the wrong thing – you’re very likely to get shouted down (or worse). And this opens up a lot of scenarios where children may be in danger and people think twice about ‘stepping in’ or saying something for fear of the consequences (on them, not the child).

      I know my mother should have been more careful about the whole thing – but it was a very important lesson for her to ‘read things carefully and research before diving in the deep end’ ;)

      I haven’t seen ‘Step Brothers’ but I’m guessing by your comment that it’s not rated for children?

      Like

      • Austin 'BishopReview' / Oct 24 2012 7:33 am

        Yeah, I’m guessing your mother really learned her lesson then. I would have been incredibly embarrassed.

        Step Brothers was a movie I felt uncomfortable watching with my older brother. It’s quite inappropriate.

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  2. Zen A. / Oct 24 2012 7:13 am

    Oh dear. That sounds like one unforgettable birthday! I think I would probably be traumatized if I had walked into what I thought would be a sophisticated dance show and instead discovered it to be a strip show.
    I don’t have kids, so this doesn’t apply to me, but I definitely think the bus driver should’ve at least said something, if even casually!

    Like

    • diannegray / Oct 24 2012 7:19 am

      Yep, I agree, Zen ;)

      My sister says it’s a birthday she’ll never forget! :D

      Like

  3. javaj240 / Oct 24 2012 7:23 am

    The difference between my parents and your parents is that mine would have stayed. LOL.

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  4. John / Oct 24 2012 7:29 am

    That’s a darn big gaff! But an honest ooops too. Daughter didn’t seem too tossed by the experience. hope not. Worse things could happen too.

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    • diannegray / Oct 24 2012 7:33 am

      So true, John – a bit of a disaster really!

      Nothing really phases my little sister (luckily) :D

      Like

  5. lindahoyland (@lindahoyland) / Oct 24 2012 7:37 am

    Thank you for making me smile with this story.Oh dear, your poor parents! The driver should have warned them.

    Like

    • diannegray / Oct 24 2012 7:40 am

      Thanks Linda – it is kind of funny (now). :D

      Like

  6. Janna G. Noelle / Oct 24 2012 7:42 am

    I didn’t know what to expect when I saw the title of this post. Pretty funny stuff, and I love how your parents became “cool” in the eyes of your sister’s classmates because of it.

    If I were the bus driver, I probably would have made a passing comment – most likely disguised as a joke to prevent being told to buzz off. I’ll take your mother’s side; it’s not like she could have Googled it or anything. Plus, “Family Night Out” is supposed to be the green light for bring the kids along.

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    • diannegray / Oct 24 2012 8:04 am

      So true, Janna. A passing comment like ‘I hope she’s over 18′ would have rung warning bells for my mother. And – yep, we didn’t have Google in those days!

      We were the kids with the ‘coolest’ parents in school after that (LOL)!

      Thanks for dropping by. This is an interesting WP challenge and I’m pretty sure there will be many intriguing tales from other bloggers :D

      Like

  7. bulldogsturf / Oct 24 2012 7:46 am

    I blame the bus driver… he should have spoken up… just as fair warning, it would still have been your parents decision as to proceed or not… but he should have spoken up… your sister could have had an education she might not have been ready for…Shame stop blaming Mum … she thought she was doing good…

    Like

    • diannegray / Oct 24 2012 8:08 am

      Mother’s always think they’re doing good. Mine often says “the best we can do is try our hardest to be good parents – but sometimes things don’t work out like they should.” (and I agree with this sentiment)

      I blame the bus driver as well – he should have said something (anything).

      My mother laughs about it now, but I don’t think she has shared the story with her church or croquet group! :)

      Like

  8. letizia / Oct 24 2012 7:49 am

    This story really had me laughing (you’re such a wonderful storyteller!). Yes, I think the bus driver probably should have said something in passing but at least it made for some great family memories!

    Like

    • diannegray / Oct 24 2012 8:09 am

      Thanks Letizia – it’s a great story to tell at my sister’s birthday parties! :D

      Like

  9. agjorgenson / Oct 24 2012 7:51 am

    Why is it that great stories so often are horrifying in their genesis? And at what point to they switch from being horrible, to being funny, or inspirational, or edifying? They haunt me, these questions of mine. Thanks for a great tale!

    Like

    • diannegray / Oct 24 2012 8:10 am

      Thank you so much – what a lovely comment! :D

      Like

  10. on thehomefrontandbeyond / Oct 24 2012 7:59 am

    Your poor mom and that stupid bus driver–sounds like she has never lived down that gaff–though it does make a wonderful story

    Like

    • diannegray / Oct 24 2012 8:12 am

      I don’t think anyone in the family will ever let her live it down. But there are many other stories that I’ll never live down either! (you just don’t see them on here!) LOL :D

      Like

  11. ivfmale / Oct 24 2012 8:02 am

    That story had me in stitches!!! Reminds me of my childhood when my parents took me to a show in Vegas. Neither of them knew Showgirls took their tops off. Being an obedient child I closed my eyes as my parents instructed.
    Well they thought my eyes were closed. :D

    Like

    • diannegray / Oct 24 2012 8:16 am

      This is hilarious! My mother will be so happy when I tell her she’s not the only one – I think you’ve just redeemed her :D

      Like

      • ivfmale / Oct 24 2012 10:40 am

        A few years later I woke up one morning deciding to watch Die Hard for the hundredth time. Pressing play I was in for a shock. Someone forgot the remove the Adult Video. My mom/mum freaked. :lol:

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  12. seakist / Oct 24 2012 10:15 am

    That story was HILARIOUS! (I loved the photos your choose too). Thanks for sharing with us :) :) :)

    I don’t have children but when I was in my late 20s, I lived alone and all the neighborhood kids, ages 3 to 13, thought I was cool and were always knocking on my door. I loved the kids, so I always let them come in. At the time I was doing a lot of poetry readings and spoken word art, and I had a promotional drawing hanging on my kitchen wall of a couple playing nude Twister, kinda in a 69 position. One of the younger kids saw the drawing and said,”He’s sniffing her butt!” After that, I stopped letting the neighborhood kids in my apartment for fear of what else they’d find!

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    • diannegray / Oct 24 2012 5:33 pm

      Now that’s hilarious! I love it. Kids say the funniest things! :D

      Like

  13. Bodhimoments / Oct 24 2012 10:23 am

    How awkward for your mum, and how cool for your sister! :)

    Like the bus driver I would not have said anything. I find that most parents around me raise their children very differently to the “system” I follow. I also find that most parents seem to make it up as they go along. Which is understandable, as raising children is THE most difficult thing in the world to do. I resent anyone’s attempts to tell me how to bring up my child, as I feel I spend a lot of thought on how to raise my children, myself. I have allowed my son access to books other parents have not, on the other hand I have held him back from watching movies and reading books his peers have.

    But… There was a movie I took him to, because I read the reviews and watched trailers and could not find that there would be any explicit scenes or languages, but there were. So I was extremely embarrassed. But my son asked me something during the movie which made it clear that he was not taking in much anyway. That did not excuse my decision, but I have been more careful since.

    I would definitely not have taken my 13 year old to a show in King’s Cross however familiar the title of the show sounded, and even if it was advertised as a family entertainment. But I can see why your mother was misled. I don’t blame her :) poor thing!

    Like

    • diannegray / Oct 24 2012 5:40 pm

      It is difficult raising kids and we always hope we are doing the right thing, but there will always be those ‘hiccups’ and we think ‘why did I do that?’ And you are so right – raising children is the most difficult thing in the world to do! We all have our ideas of what is right and wrong. I know my mother thought she was doing the ‘right’ thing, but she was very naïve and at the time thought that Kings Cross was just another Sydney suburb (she certainly knows better now!)

      Like

  14. justinwriter / Oct 24 2012 10:47 am

    Fun story. :) Okay, for Q 1. Yes, I took my son with me to the medical centre and he contradicted me in front of the doctor … Q 2. I blame your mother. It’s more fun that way. :) Q 3. No, the bus driver had probably summed her up already. :)

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  15. EllaDee / Oct 24 2012 11:09 am

    Hilarious. A fabulous tale for the family chronicles. I don’t suppose when your mum was later asked to babysit, the dialogue went… “now no trips to cultural events in the ‘Cross…” I thought the bus driver might have managed a subtle “we don’t see a lot of kids going to this show” or something like that. My kids in adult-oriented places story is about my sister – the one who shares your birthday- also. When she was 14 (and a country kid) she decided to become a shock horror vegan (a pyschic warmed me she would be rebellious!) and Dad asked me to sort it out, so I took her for a vegan lunch at Darlinghurst and then because it was close by I thought she might as well see ‘Cross mid afternoon in its true colours in the plain light of day to cover off any ideas she might or might not have had about that too. Not sure if what it was Dad had in mind but she came through her teenage years unscarred…unlike me who always had to cook for, and eat with her, hoards of vege rice!

    Like

    • diannegray / Oct 24 2012 5:48 pm

      I’m pretty sure the “now no trips to cultural events in the ‘Cross” has come up a few times over the years! :D

      I hope you sorted things out for your sister (a rebel like me – though I’m not a vegan!)

      Like

  16. pbh / Oct 24 2012 11:39 am

    Hilarious really. We with British heritage are so up tight about other naked humans. But, I agree with you…it obviously left an impression you can’t forget.

    But Natalie (she) Wood (whoops) was gorgeous!

    Like

    • diannegray / Oct 24 2012 5:49 pm

      Natalie was one of my all time favourites! What a beautiful woman…

      Like

  17. adinparadise / Oct 24 2012 11:40 am

    Goodness me. The worst thing that my kids ever saw, was the quite usual sight for South Africa, of a man urinating against a wall in the main street. :)

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    • diannegray / Oct 24 2012 5:51 pm

      I’m pretty sure my kids have seen something like that a few times as well! EW ;)

      Like

  18. Deborah Hawkins / Oct 24 2012 2:26 pm

    This is quite funny. I haven’t had an experience quite like it . The closest was I took my ten year ol son to hear a friend of ours play in a concert at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center. There was nothing sexual or adult about the concert, but to my surprise they auctioned off sex toys at the intermission. I think we would have skipped the concert or I would taken my son outside for intermission. But he didn’t seemed phased by it all.

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    • diannegray / Oct 24 2012 5:54 pm

      You would think they would have warned you, Deborah. But kids are funny – things like that don’t really faze them but those situations embarrass us when they’re around. As with my sister – she thought the whole thing was really boring and didn’t want to stay for that fact (and not that the show was X-rated).

      Like

  19. jmgoyder / Oct 24 2012 4:32 pm

    I am laughing hysterically!

    Like

    • diannegray / Oct 24 2012 5:55 pm

      I’m so glad this made you laugh, Julie! I was certainly laughing a lot when I wrote it :D

      Like

  20. Teepee12 / Oct 24 2012 5:40 pm

    Reblogged this on Serendipity.

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  21. foroneplease / Oct 24 2012 6:35 pm

    hahahahaha! I blame the bus driver :P what was he thinking!

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  22. foroneplease / Oct 24 2012 6:44 pm

    Now that I think about it…my childhood was filled with experiences that were the exact opposite of this! Not for entertainment, but for education..see my Mum’s a doc, and she felt that her two little girls needed to learn about the birds and bees and their respective body parts waaaaaay early. If we happened to see any uncensored stuff accidentally, it was supposed to be an example of what NOT to do till we got married LOL it was hilarious, my sister and I would squirm and make faces and sing Wham in our heads, those were the days! ;)

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    • diannegray / Oct 25 2012 6:30 am

      What a ‘new age’ mum you had! :D And you’re right about the ‘too early’ thing – it’s either boring or just plain weird. I love this comment ;)

      Like

  23. ramblingsfromamum / Oct 24 2012 7:31 pm

    OMG how hilarious but how embarrassment also! Reminds me of when I went overseas when I just turned 18 for the 1st time by myself and how mum came in to give me the …shall we say talk… I did all I could to stifle my laugh…. here I was almost 18…and back then well..I won’t go into any more ;-) How precious though…hopefully now even though said bus driver should have passed comment..everyone has a good giggle about it? :-) xx

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    • diannegray / Oct 25 2012 6:34 am

      That’s ‘old’ to be given the ‘the talk’ and I think I would have laughed as well! I don’t think I ever got ‘the talk’ – my older and younger sisters did, but mum must have forgotten about me.

      Everyone has a very good giggle about it now. Particularly when my sister’s birthday comes around. It’s like “what are we going to do to top the 13th?” LOL ;)

      Like

  24. Áine Warren / Oct 24 2012 10:31 pm

    Wow, I can’t believe it was advertised as a family night out! That’s shocking. Your poor mother!

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    • diannegray / Oct 25 2012 6:36 am

      Hi Aine! Yes – my mother is still horrified – my sister still thinks it was boring (she would have prefered to go to Maccas) :D

      Like

  25. Britt Skrabanek / Oct 24 2012 10:45 pm

    LOL! What a story!

    I have my own transvestite childhood story, although not as good since it wasn’t live. My dad took me to the theater to see “The Crying Game”. We used to go to the movies all the time, so we saw just about everything. I was eleven and it was R-rated, but my dad had no idea there was going to be a transvestite unveiling. My mouth dropped open, he yelped and tried to cover my eyes, but I wiggled out of his shielding attempts. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the first time I saw a man’s privates.

    Like

    • diannegray / Oct 25 2012 6:38 am

      Oh my, Britt! As soon as you said “The Crying Game” I choked on my coffee! That’s hilarious! What a fanstasic comment for this post. Love it! :D

      Like

      • Britt Skrabanek / Oct 25 2012 10:42 pm

        Thank you for writing another fantastic post. I like to see a fellow writer with a rockin’ sense of humor. I always look forward to your posts, Dianne!

        Like

      • diannegray / Oct 26 2012 8:03 am

        Thank you, Britt! That’s a lovely thing to say, I’m very flattered :D

        Like

  26. ocdreader/Elisa / Oct 25 2012 1:25 am

    That is a hilarious story – your poor parents. I think more people would warn your folks these days, at least here in the states. They might have been accosted and at least gotten majorly dirty looks for bringing a young one to the show. And yes, the bus driver should have at least made sure they knew where they were going!
    Funny though. Hopefully your sister isn’t scarred or anything, I would imagine by 13 it would have been more adventure and less trauma – hopefully!

    Like

    • diannegray / Oct 25 2012 6:44 am

      Looking back now, I think my sister probably didn’t ‘look’ 13. She’s one of the most attractive people I’ve ever seen (I hope she’s not reading this or she’ll get a big head). But nowadays, I guess if someone looks really young, they check IDs.

      My sister certainly isn’t scared or traumatised – she thought it was boring then and still thinks it was boring (but funny).

      I’m so glad this post gave you a giggle! ;)

      Like

  27. Garry Armstrong / Oct 25 2012 2:42 am

    I am smiling at the “Strippers and Coffee” story. I’d be laughing if I didn’t have a sore throat and some other annoying things slowing me down today. Reminds me of a story which I’ll shorten as much as possible. A few decades ago, I was on assignment doing a TV News feature on strippers in Boston’s Adult Entertainment Zone. One of the cameramen had brought his 10 year old daughter along for some inexplicable reason. Somewhere, during one of my many interviews, I heard the child ask quite loudly — “Daddy — why is that man drooling?”. No, it wasn’t me.

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    • diannegray / Oct 25 2012 6:49 am

      I feel your pain with the sore throat, Garry. I’ve got one as well (and a toothache) :( Yuck!

      I love your story. Kids are amazing like that – sometimes they take things (like adult entertainers) in their stride and wonder why the adults are behaving like children :D

      Thanks so much for dropping by and I hope you’re feeling better soon ;)

      Like

  28. 4amWriter / Oct 25 2012 4:24 am

    What a riot! I remember when my parents took me and my younger sister to New Orleans and we ended up in front of a strip bar where the door was wide open. The bouncer had no qualms letting up step up and peek inside at the show. Ooh la la! (To this day I’m not sure my parents knew what we were in for until it was too late.)

    Like

    • diannegray / Oct 25 2012 6:53 am

      Hahahaha – love it! A holiday to remember :D

      Sometimes parents find themselves in these situations regardless of their good intentions. That’s a great story ;)

      Like

  29. Lisaman / Oct 25 2012 8:26 am

    If I was the bus driver I would not have been able to keep quite…I would not take my children to a place like that and so would have my two cents worth if I saw someone else taking their child…hahaha; thats because i’m a busy body!!!

    Like

  30. jannatwrites / Oct 25 2012 11:21 am

    First of all – great attention-getting title! I feel awful for your parents (but it was good for a laugh now.) I guess they learned a lesson that maybe you should investigate typos :)

    As for the bus driver, I can see both sides. I wouldn’t be offended if someone warned me because I wouldn’t take my child to such a show. On the other hand, some people wouldn’t give it a second thought, so I’d probably keep my opinion to myself.

    Like

    • diannegray / Oct 27 2012 2:35 pm

      So right, Janna. It’s a great lesson in investigating typos! :D

      Like

  31. gigglinggranny / Oct 25 2012 2:44 pm

    A terrible experience, but a fantastic story! LOL!

    Like

    • diannegray / Oct 26 2012 7:54 am

      It was pretty terrible at the time. So glad you liked the story :)

      Like

  32. cocoaupnorth / Oct 25 2012 5:18 pm

    Hilarious! Really funny story. My dad would have probably said, “Well we are here now, let’s enjoy the show” :-)

    Like

    • diannegray / Oct 26 2012 7:58 am

      Hahahaha! I’m pretty sure my dad was wishing my mother and sister weren’t there because he probably would have stayed ;)

      Like

  33. ElizOF / Oct 25 2012 6:10 pm

    This was hysterical… I would have wanted a cuppa tea or coffee too. :lol:

    Like

    • diannegray / Oct 26 2012 8:01 am

      Me too, Elizabeth! Thanks for coming by for a read and to say hello :D

      Like

  34. arielpakizer / Oct 26 2012 3:49 am

    What an interesting birthday! I laughed, which I guess it ok now that you’re looking at it with hindsight.

    Like

    • diannegray / Oct 26 2012 8:06 am

      It was a very interesting birthday indeed! We laugh a lot about it (now) :D

      Like

  35. Bonnie at {PaperKeeper} / Oct 27 2012 5:35 am

    Oh my..what a GREAT story! And the stuff families are made of! Have you ever heard of the movie called Blazing Saddles??? My parents took me and my brother to that when I was little…I don’t know that I have ever recovered from that! On the bus driver…it’s a toss up, I can see both sides of the story. :)

    Like

    • diannegray / Oct 27 2012 6:32 am

      Thanks, Bonnie! I saw Blazing Saddles with my friends when I was at school and it was the funniest movie (I loved it), but some of the scenes would have been very cringe-worthy in front of parents :D

      Like

  36. Anna Scott Graham / Oct 27 2012 6:14 am

    I don’t know what I think of the particulars, other than I laughed at the unintended calamity. When I was five, my sister three, our parents went to see The Godfather at a drive-in. They assumed we were asleep in the back seat, but I recall the horse head scene, and now Sis and I are very big Godfather fans. We are not, however, mafia killers. :)

    Like

    • diannegray / Oct 27 2012 6:40 am

      I’m glad the story gave you a laugh, Anna (I was laughing a fair bit when I wrote it – particularly at the part where my sister said it was boring because at that age she thought EVERYTHING was boring!)

      I used to love the drive-in. We haven’t had one in our town for years, but when we were kids we always used to go. I’m really glad you’re not mafia killers – that would be a very dangerous and temporary occupation! ;)

      Like

  37. susannairn / Oct 27 2012 8:31 am

    Loved this story!! I remember begging my mom for the new “Mork” album when Mork & Mindy was popular on television. Little did any of us know, it was really a Robin Williams comedy album and not at all appropriate for someone at the tender age I was at that point. Years later, when I actually understood the humor, I was mortified to know that I talked my parents into it!!

    Like

    • diannegray / Oct 27 2012 9:35 am

      Hahaha – he was pretty rude! I love this :D

      Like

  38. Kozo / Oct 28 2012 4:12 am

    Great story, Dianne. I love the dialogue. I was at a show called M. Butterfly by David Henry Hwang. In the audience were an elderly couple that brought what looked like their granddaughter. I think they were expecting to see Puccini’s opera. In the play, Butterfly, a man dressed as a woman, drops his kimono to show full frontal nudity. The elderly woman screamed out, “This isn’t Madame Butterfly.” The ensuing scene was similar to your mother’s head-lock exit. At least this couple didn’t have to ride a bus back home, full of people who knew what they did.

    Like

    • diannegray / Oct 28 2012 6:55 am

      Hahahaha! Wonderful story. Now I know my mother is not the only one! Thank you so much for coming by to let me know (my mother will be very happy indeed when I tell her this) :D

      Like

  39. Photos With Finesse / Oct 28 2012 2:13 pm

    We took the kids (13 & 15) to Vegas in April and down to ‘Glitter Gulch’ – the old town. It’s definitely the raunchier part of Vegas and some of the street acts were rather risque. My kids took it all in stride. I think their father was the most embarrassed. We’ve been pretty open about the sex stuff – and between HBO (which seems to run full blown adult porn for at least one scene every time my daughter happens to walk in the room), and Two & A Half Men where my son laughs at things I don’t think he should know about (but am not that naive), I think it would take a lot to shock them. As for your mum, HAHAHA – family story for the rest of your life (and great blog fodder). And the bus driver – neutral third party. Maybe a warning was in order, and probably he was ‘just the driver’ and figured everyone new what they’d signed up for!

    Like

    • diannegray / Oct 28 2012 5:21 pm

      That’s really funny, Suzan! I think 13 and 15 year olds are far more ‘aware’ than people give them credit for sometimes (including me!). There is a lot on the television and in movies now where more than just a hint of sexual activity goes on. My sister wasn’t fazed at all – she thought it was ‘boring’ and it was only my parents who were shocked and horrified!

      The bus driver probably thought she was over 18 (she’s a very tall, attractive girl), but this was a while ago (in the 70s) so I don’t think they were as stringent back then on the “Adults Only – show us your birth certificate” policing.

      If it happened now my parents would probably be arrested! ;)

      Like

  40. Piper George / Nov 1 2012 6:51 pm

    Very funny story. I recently took my 63 year old mother to The Vagina Monologues with a group of my friends and they all commented that they couldn’t believe I’d brought her! There is clearly an age limit were viewing adult themes is allowed, somewhere between 22 and 50!

    Like

    • diannegray / Nov 1 2012 7:11 pm

      Hahaha! Love this, Piper – I really hope she liked it! :D

      Like

  41. Daphne Shadows / Nov 6 2012 4:43 am

    I’m so glad we have Google to double check just what we’re going to go see. O_o

    Like

    • diannegray / Nov 6 2012 7:48 am

      Me too – I think that’s what my mum needed ;)

      Like

  42. jcalberta / Dec 27 2012 6:49 pm

    we are all responsible for what we expose ourselves.to – the choices we make.
    and likewise what we expose our kids to – the choices we make for them.
    i guess the call is “will it add something to them?” – or the opposite.
    it’s ok ot make a mistake if your intentions are honorable.

    Like

    • diannegray / Dec 28 2012 6:50 am

      We have a lot to talk about at family gatherings and this story is one of them. My sister wasn’t disturbed by the experience, so I guess that’s a big plus :)

      Thank you so much for coming by to read and comment :D

      Like

  43. cestgigi / Jan 3 2013 10:46 am

    Well, as a substitute teacher, I often hear how ‘cool’ I am. That’s because, like the babysitter, I don’t have to care how they all turn out. Now, I know it’s not mature of me, but I secretly love hearing it from middle-schoolers. And when I was 13, I got into all kinds of things of which my parents had no clue, like reading ‘Lady Chatterly’s Lover’, and, omigosh, ‘Fannie Hill’! We get edu-ma-cated despite all the pains to keep us from it. My girlfriend and I also knew whose mattress was hiding the Playboys. I don’t think it traumatizes us, too much. One thing I objected to recently, was a commercial with what looked like 12 and 13 year olds, wearing sunglasses, and dancing and singing to a tune for a bail bond company. WTH was that about? Vegas taking it a little too far-

    Like

    • diannegray / Jan 3 2013 3:22 pm

      I haven’t seen that add but it sounds pretty hideous! It’s amazing what they get away with…

      Kids get to see heaps of things that their parents don’t know they’re seeing and they are definitely more “edu-ma-cated” than their parents think they are ;) I’m pretty sure my sister didn’t care what was going on on stage, but my parents were horrified because they caused it (after being so straight-laced about everything thier kids did)! :D

      Like

      • cestgigi / Jan 4 2013 4:39 am

        That ad is only in Vegas, I think. Vegas gets away with a lot of things- If parents weren’t so ‘hush-hush’ about so much, kids wouldn’t be so curious! Other than your sister, of course- she just didn’t care.

        Like

  44. lena de almeida / Jan 11 2013 8:53 am

    This is a really funny story. I don’t blame your mother (genuine mistake) or the driver.

    This reminded me that when I was also thirteen, my mother took me to see my first play – “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich”. Now, that was quite heavy and I ended up sleeping for a good part of the show!

    Like

    • diannegray / Jan 11 2013 10:02 am

      Thanks for coming by, Lena! I’m glad you liked the post.

      The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich would have been very ‘heavy’ indeed! Maybe it’s good that you slept through most of it! ;)

      Like

  45. teeceecounsel / Feb 1 2013 6:16 pm

    Oh my! That must have been quite an outing! :)

    Like

    • diannegray / Feb 2 2013 6:49 am

      An outing indeed! One we still talk about at family gatherings :D

      Like

  46. Peter / Feb 4 2013 1:06 am

    I’ve been meaning to come back to this article for some time now. Time to share this story has been at a minimum.

    In the early 80’s I had been working as a contract trucker and had ordered a transport to be built with intent on picking it up at the factory — and making a family vacation out of the journey. I trundled the wife and young daughter — 12 or 13-ish year old daughter into our VW Rabbit and off we went for what was supposed to be a 2 week road trip.

    Unfortunately someone forgot to tell the manufacturer and 2 weeks extended into more like 6. Fortunately, at the time my wife was not employed and we could be away from home without negative consequences but we made quite the fun time out of it.

    We had discovered an american restaurant chain named The Old Spaghetti Factory that offered very reasonable prices, very good quality food, and stores loaded with antiques. In those days (before personal cellular devices) we used to discover where to eat of an evening by simply opening the phone book and browsing for restaurants.

    One evening while en route in the San Francisco area we were looking for something “Italian” for dinner and I discovered in the phone book a single line phone listing for … you guessed it, The Old Spaghetti Factory. I looked further in the directory for their display ad. I don’t know if your phone books have them — full page, 1/2 page, quarter page, eighth page ads promoting the restaurant — something more than the single line phone book listings everyone else got by virtue of paying for a telephone. So, off we went, in search of our dinner.

    We arrived at the address with confusion. It looked nothing like the OSF that we knew. But, I thought, perhaps it’s the first store before they found their formula for success… so we went in.
    It was much smaller, much more intimate, smelled of alcohol instead of tomato sauce …. and filled, I mean filled with men. All sorts of men. Butch and femme, Bears and whatever they call not bears. It was a gay hangout that just happened to serve food.

    When I walked in the door with two females every eye followed us — this was before being Gay was anything to talk about — at least not in the Midwest where we were from. It all felt quite uneasy. And we quite conspicuous.

    We did order and consume a meal — hastily. And we made it back to our hotel without being accosted or singled out or … well, who knows what I was thinking could/might happen some nearly 30 years ago.

    Our daughter never did quite understand what the post-meal hush-hush conversation was about between her mom and dad — I’m glad. She’s always been open to people — regardless of their inclinations — as long as they treated her decently. Which is what we hoped for her.

    Anyway…. it was an interesting evening… One that comes to mind every once in a while when I think about how attitudes have changed in the U.S. about sexual orientation.

    cheers,

    Peter

    Like

    • diannegray / Feb 4 2013 6:39 am

      This is a fantastic story, Peter! I could just imagine you and your wife gulping down the food and trying to get your daughter out of there as quickly s possible. I’m glad it’s not just my family who have innocently walked into a place like this! ;)

      Like

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  1. Invisible visablity and I thought I was the only one who grew up that way! :( Now I know of many, many others!!! | Buddhafolk's Blog

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