Way back when, we used to go on annual family trips; either we’d go camping or to a theme park. One year,—I think I was ten at the time, I’m not really sure—my parents, my younger siblings, and I went to Hershey Park in Pennsylvania for our annual trip. I wish I remembered more from this trip of ours, but I am only stuck with one memory that still makes me cringe to this day.
In case you couldn’t tell by the title, this is the story about the time my parents straight up lied to their children.
Well, three of us.
So it was getting towards the end of the day, and we were passing this booth that we stopped by almost every time we passed it.
It was a karaoke booth.
You see, there were TVs all over the park playing these karaoke videos. I thought the idea was so cool, and every time we passed the booth for it, Brianna and I would debate whether or not we wanted to do it.
When we passed it that last time, at the end of the day, we were like, “screw it”. Our parents thought it would be funny and cute, and me and Brianna just wanted to do it.
Since I was ten-ish around this time, Bri was around eight years old, Cait four, and Heinrich two. Mom and Dad let Caitlyn join in on the fun, and the three of us picked our song, based on the ones Cait knew. Four-year-olds don’t listen to as many songs as ten and eight-year-olds.
We ended up picking Don’t Cha by the Pussycat Dolls.
While Mom and Heinrich stayed outside, Dad came inside the tiny building with the three of us girls. He talked to the girl behind the counter about bringing home a tape, which we didn’t care about. That was typical.
What wasn’t typical was when he mentioned the TVs around the park. Brianna and I were both dead set against them playing the video, no matter how good or bad it was going to be.
“Okay, don’t worry about it,” Dad tells us.
So Bri, Cait, and I are ushered by the same girl into a closed-off room with microphones, a green screen for behind us, another screen in front of us for the lyrics, and the video camera. We did our thing, and then came out. Everything was good.
That is, until about ten minutes later, when our video is playing on the screens around the park. Brianna and I were so horrified.
“You’ll never see these people again,” our parents tried to reassure us. And, sure, when your parents say something like that, you should believe them, right?
It’s only about a week later, we’re back home, and we take a drive to Uncle Sean and Aunt Erika’s house. Back then, we went there almost every weekend, so the parents could lay out in the sun, while the kids played in the pool.
Friends of my aunt and uncle walk into the backyard with their kids, and some girl that I didn’t know. (I think you can see where this is going.)
So this girl that I did not know at all comes up to me and asks if I was at Hershey Park the week before, because I looked like a girl in a karaoke video.
I really wish I was kidding. I told her something along the lines of: “haha yeah, my parents made me and my sisters do it”.
I straight up lied to this girl, but you know what? I didn’t care because I didn’t know her, and I was beyond annoyed that my parents said to us a week before, “you’ll never see these people again”. And those words still haunt me! Whenever I hear someone say that, I beg to differ.
Probably about a year ago, my Aunt Sue gave me a shoebox full of discs that her and my mom’s mom, Nanny, used to make. She’d put everyone’s pictures together and home videos and transfer them onto discs. I guess my parents gave her a copy of our karaoke video way back when, because a copy of that video was amongst the other videos from Nan.
One night, I played it for Cait, Brianna, and my friend Amanda, and we laughed and cringed so hard watching that four minute video.
I still can’t believe my parents lied to us. And yes, I know my parent’s didn’t intentionally lie about never seeing any of those people again, but what were the chances that we’d see somebody a week later? I’m still so embarrassed.
Prompt: Tell us a story from your childhood that still makes you cringe.