This afternoon, my ten year old and I were in the car, stopped at a red light. He was in the back seat most likely wishing he was anywhere but trapped in a car with his mother who happened to be rocking out to Adele (who, incidentally, is Elle's FAVORITE singer ever so send her like, 50 CDs or something). That could have possibly had something to do with his sullen mood, but who's to say?
Eventually, the fear of being recognized got to me and I glanced over my shoulder at the car slightly behind and to the left of mine.
Funny. That guy in the front passenger seat was shooting terrible looks toward my car, and the guy in the backseat was laughing. The driver had one hand over his eyes and was shaking his head. All of them sported shaved heads, earrings and tattoo's on their necks.
Omigawd, they are so totally making fun of me. I knew it. This is why we don't get comfortable in public, dummy!
Nervously, I looked in my rear view mirror to see if my son was taking any of this in and caught him throwing his arms out in that brazen "WHAT. WHAT?!" manner that young folk seem to do when they think they are being tough. And it was directed at the car with the three men.
Me: [punching to off button] WHAT are you doing? PUT YOUR ARMS DOWN! [nervous look at adjacent car]
10: [scowling] They're LOOKING at me.
Me: OH GOOD LORD. You are ten years old! It's a free country, kid. Besides, we could DIE in a gang fight and we aren't even in our territory! [glancing at car again and trying to decipher whether or not we are in any imminent danger.Locking doors]
The three fellows in the car began trying to get my attention, but since I've got this sweet kink in my shoulder the last few days, I just know I looked like Quasimodo ferrying around the city newest delinquent 5th grader as I frantically tried to come up with some kind of arm motion that let these guys know we were so not a threat.
Me: KID. Apologize.
Me: Maybe you should have thought of that before challenging those men to a duel!
The 10 ended up crouching down in the back seat while I continued my attempt to wave at the thugs and brush the incident off like "Pshaw, you know kids! HAHAHA!" with sporradic hand movements while sending up a silent plea for us not to get initiated.
I mean, I already belong to the 62nd Street Gang. Wouldn't that be a conflict of interest?
Thankfully, the light turned green and I shot off like an idiot, taking the next right and rushing home the long way as fast as I could.
The memory of those three guys laughing at the look on my face while they drove along will shame me for days to come.
** I totally lectured my son when we got home about proper car etiquette and threatened to show up dressed like a thug for his first day of Junior High if he ever did anything like that again.