110. “Do Your Parents Try Too Hard to Be Cool?”

In response to The New York Times article “650 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing”


110. “Do Your Parents Try Too Hard to Be Cool?”


No. They are cool.


I remember once attending an important, late-night exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston in the early 2000s with my younger brother and two parents. After seeing the art, we come up from the Wilson Tunnel and out to the museum’s main gallery. You couldn’t walk through it. There was a party, packed like a honeycomb full of bees. It must have been 2005 because the DJ spun a clean version of Kanye’s new single, “Gold Digger,” on blast. My brother and I weren’t feeling it, but our parents insisted we check it out. Next thing we know we were in the middle of a dense dance mob, stepping to the beat of the music. We shuffled side to side, sure, but really, it was our parents that did most of the dancing. My brother and I felt awkward and childish there among the grown ups and their art party. He and I would look at one another and shudder at the thought of been seen with our folks. Till there came a tap on my shoulder. I turned around and looked up at two slender model types, attractive ladies, could have been Giacometti statutes. “Are those your parents?” the one without a drink asked. I looked over at them–they were holding each other’s wrists as they stepped in circles–finally, unsure how to impress her, considering a lie, the truth slipped out. “Yeah,” I reply. Her friend, the other model, took a sip of her cocktail, and leaned down close to my ear. Her voice smelled sweet. She said, “Your parents are cool.” And I never forgot.

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