4 Childhood Embarrassments That Never Stop Being Shameful

#2. Awkward Friends

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Everyone has that one friend. Maybe you are that friend. I might be, I write about eating lube. In general, though, it's the friend you fall back on when all else fails and solitude might drive you to madness. When I was a kid, this friend lived down the street and had parents who looked identical. They wore the same glasses and got their hair cut the same all the time. They both looked like birds and would stare at me with pursed lips as though someone had just rimmed their little puckers with a lemon. The whole family was six kinds of fucked, but he was the only kid my age within six blocks, and for a time that basically meant he was my cellmate in prison, minus the gross things you just thought. I was a kid, stop being sick.

Nine times out of 10, this kind of friendship would be unremarkable, because 9 times out of 10, any given person is going to be functionally normal. This kid wasn't. He once invited me over to watch him play Super Nintendo (I foolishly thought I might get a turn) and proceeded to shit himself after about an hour, completely without shame, on the grounds that he was home anyway so he had clothes to change into when he was done playing and needed to clean up. What kind of logic is that? What series of checks and balances is your brain going through when you think, "Well, I could stop playing Mario to evacuate my bowels, but doesn't that mean Bowser wins? No, best to play through the rumble, and since I'm already at home base, I can scour the shit pancake I'm currently embedding into my drawers free with, I dunno, my toothbrush and a photo of my dead grandpa."

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"Someone help me take a dick pic!"

When you're a kid, you realize at some point that this isn't cool, and you start avoiding that friend. Problem is, you'll make a new friend one day when you're older, never realizing they were that kid someone else unfriended years ago for being batshit insane. And now, as adults, you have the added bonus of maturity to taint your fear, revulsion, and embarrassment when this friend decides to make a toast at a mutual friend's wedding by dinging the champagne flutes with his penis, or maybe charm some hot new person you're talking to by attempting to fart the alphabet in front of them.

Whenever this friend humiliates you, part of you recognizes that it shouldn't, because after all, it's not you doing it. But part of you also knows that everyone is looking at the two of you like you're conjoined twins and you're clearly responsible for your chimp-like friend's behavior.

#1. Your Hot Mom

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The worst thing in the world is a beautiful woman with a child, if you're that child. It's probably awesome to literally everyone else. A beautiful woman sounds great, motherhood is wonderful, what's not to love? Ask the kid. Ask him. Ask him when he's 16 years old.

Aside from being from a war-torn country or suffering from a flesh-eating disease, the worst thing that can happen to a male from the mid-teens on through his 30s or so is having a hot mom, because your hot mom will be noticed by every guy friend you have, and some of their fathers, and your teachers, and your co-workers, and the mailman, and the neighbors, and every guy ever. The hotter your mom, the more embarrassing this becomes for the child.

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"Do your homework. Mommy's gotta work off some rent."

When you're a child, a hot mom can be embarrassing if she really embraces her hotness and is a bit flirty. You don't want to see that. You expect your mom to be making casserole and forcing you to vacuum on weekends. When you're fully old enough to understand sex, your hot mom is 1,000 times worse through no fault of her own, thanks to every friend you have that you now realize is an asshole when they talk about her boobs and ass as though those things didn't make your own boner shrivel like a slug in a salt shaker. The day you realize that it's entirely possible one of your friends has jerked off thinking about your mom is the day you fold your childhood up like a flag and place it on the coffin of your innocence.

The idea that your mother is possessed of sexuality at all is something most kids never want to acknowledge. As an adult, you'll come to terms with this, even if it grosses you out, but it will likely never stop giving you the heebie-jeebies, because of all the things moms need to do in life, stimulating boners is not one of them. But you'll know she does. And worse, there's all the retroactive boners you never knew about in your childish state of wonder that will one day occur to you when you're old enough to suddenly get the jokes and innuendoes you heard for all those years that never made sense at the time. And they're still happening. Someone, right now, has a boner for your mom. Someone always has a boner for your mom.

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Felix Clay

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