Parents: A User’s Guide. Part 7, The Embarrassing Parents.

Will never be heard to say: “Stop doing that. People are looking!”

Morris dancing is a particularly attractive hobby to embarrassing parents.

So you’re probably thinking, “How can this be a special category? ALL parents are embarrassing.” And it’s true, they are; from the dads who demonstrate how to do a sliding tackle or a break dance move, to the mums who think they’re still young enough to wear the latest skimpy fashions. But to be fair, most parents are only embarrassing occasionally…except for the ones who’ve made it their life’s work to be cringey ALL the time.

Full on embarrassing parents are without fail

  • Loud
  • Very sociable
  • Ready to try anything
  • Involved in acting/bands/morris dancing/political activism/performance art/poetry/

Your credibility with friends can be seriously undermined by these types. But apart from avoiding being seen with them, what can you do?

Well, on the plus side, they tend to be so involved in their own enthusiasms they probably don’t have too much time to spend with you. But if you run into them unexpectedly there are two possible strategies:

  • Pretend you haven’t seen/heard them and walk away quickly in the opposite direction.
  • If you can’t get away in time, look slightly mystified and when they’ve moved on tell your friends you’ve no idea who those strange people were.

Finally there does come a point where embarrassing parents become clinically interesting, which can be useful if you study psychology at university and need case studies. See, it’s not all bad.