Somehow I managed to forget to tell my parents that Tubbs and I were going to Coachella. Actually, I didn’t forget, I just avoided because I knew somehow it would get all mangled. But it happened to come up the other day while we were at my son’s baseball game.
There’s a lot of chatting at baseball games, mostly because they take hours to complete and my mom, who was a teacher for years, enjoys critiquing the players who stink (i.e. ‘Does that boy have a learning disability? or ‘The boy with the hat seems to lose focus, has he been tested?’). Behind closed doors this doesn’t bother me, since I talk shit about everyone, but when sitting amongst their parents it can make for tension, so I try to engage both my parents in conversation to keep them from veering off-track. ‘Off-track’ can also include public neck rubbing (my mom will ask my stepdad to rub her neck) and/or ear cleaning (my mom will jam her finger in my stepdad’s ears in a chimp like fashion) , so it’s important that I sit between them.
I should probably give you a quick visual as well. A typical ensemble for my mom involves some sort of oversized billowy Eileen Fisher type top with waterproof sweatpants (the type with zippers on the bottom) from Marshall’s. In addition, she enjoys wearing Jesus sandals (as my sister likes to call them) with dark socks. To top it all off, she wears cataract sun-glasses over her regular glasses. She does not have cataracts, nor did she ever have cataract surgery, but she found this pair and then liked the fact that she could keep them on over her regular glasses and now she insists on wearing them, even though we have pointed out that she looks like a compete and total freak.
My stepfather typically wears cargo pants, with one of three rotational t-shirts and a green windbreaker. The first t-shirt features a giant smiling pig and boasts of some pork eating contest. I might add, he’s Jewish so it makes the smiling pig all the more problematic since it suggests he is a ‘bad Jew’ and I really think his issues with the stock market could get a boost if he’d stop bragging about his pork eating. The second t-shirt says, I LOVE MY PORTUGUESE WATER DOG, and features a giant picture of one. My folks of course have a PWD named Coco. My siblings and I are convinced Coco is really a Labradoodle. This assumption is based on the fact that she doesn’t look like a Portugese Water Dog (and the dog-expert guy who boards her swears she’s a Labradoodle). Any mention of this sends both my parents into a complete tizzy. My mother will argue that she’s just overweight, which will send my stepdad into an even bigger tizzy. He’ll argue that her (poodle-like) fur just makes her look fat. Dog breed aside, they are obsessed with that dog, and her yearly photos (taken at Sears, with snazzy blue sky backgrounds) are framed, and hung along side photos of the grandchildren. Sigh.
Anyway, the third T-Shirt is Rocawear that my mother bought on sale (no doubt) at Marshall’s, not realizing that Rocawear is not intended for seventy-two-year-old Jewish men who eat pork. I should also add that Lester enjoys the cataract sunglasses as well.
So, this gives you a sense of them as they were the other day at the baseball game, and here are their thoughts on Coachella.
My mom: Where will you sleep?
Me: We have an area by the car to fit a tent.
My mom: What’s the bathroom situation?
I actually felt this was a good question, as it’s something on my mind pretty much every time I think about Coachella. However, if I express alarm to my mother, she will harness it like a runaway train, thus I went with a simple answer.
Me: They have bathrooms.
My mom: Anyone playing that I would know?
My mom: That sounds familiar.
Me: He’s married to Beyonce.
I want to point out that he started Rocawear, but I figure that will just cause more confusion.
My mom: Can you bring food?
Me: They have food there.
My mom: So there will be bands? Is there an area for them or do you just stay in your car and listen on the radio.
Me: (controlling the urge to sigh) They have stages.
My step dad: (chiming in) What are you talking about?
My mom: She’s going to a special place for music outside.
I should probably also mention that my mother is brilliant. She has a PhD, and runs historical societies in Los Angeles, but when it comes to me, and things that I do, she veers into Aggressively Stupid Land.
Me: It’s a concert, mom.
My mom: Yes, a music thing.
My stepdad: Where?
My stepdad: You better watch out.
Me: For what?
My stepdad: Gonna be a lot of gang types out there. You better watch your back. You’ll end up dead.
Me: It’s Coachella.
My stepdad: You’ve been to Dodger’s Games, haven’t you?
Me: Yes. But this isn’t a Dodger’s Game.
My stepdad: Same crowd.
Me: This is a music festival for white kids. It’s two hundred fifty bucks a ticket.
My stepdad: You’ll see. I know what I’m talking about.
My mom: What the fuck are you talking about?
My mom curses a lot. I cringe when she does this, especially since we are at a Little League Game but at least it’s not directed at any of the children.
My stepdad: Dangerous people.
Me: It’s Coachella. It’s guys with beards and Vegans…
My mom: Shut the fuck up, you don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s not a gang thing. It’s hippies.
Me: It’s not hippies mom. It’s Indie and Alt.
My Mom: (ignoring me) I remember people got run over by tractors at Woodstock. Oh my god, you’re not going to smoke pot are you? You shouldn’t do that. It leads to bad things. And please promise me you won’t get naked.
Me: No one wants to see me naked, mom.
My stepdad: You’d be surprised what’s out there.
My mom: Can you bring a cooler with food? What about bread? Bring bread. That’s good to have, although don’t bring a knife. Someone on drugs might try to kill you.
My stepdad: Exactly. The gangs, with their weapons…
On and on it went… Honestly, when will I ever learn to not tell my parents things that I know won’t go over well.
p.s. Mom, if you read this – I don’t want any snide comments! You know this is true, and that it happened. Love always, Kristen