Slandered/humiliated in public!


Hi all, I have been having a very difficult time dealing with an incident that occured recently. To spare the details here are the main points. My mother requested that I meet a friend of her’s to lend them an item at a designated locaiton at the church hall, and if they weren’t there I would just come back and she would try again later. Simple right? Well I followed her instructions, and as the friend wasn’t there brought the stuff back to the car. Soon afterwards, her friend arrived and went inside without anyone noticing…this friend was supposed to meet up with us but didn’t, I don’t know if he forgot or what. Anyway, realizing that he had come to the Church, my mom proceeded to loudly call me from across the parking lot (I was talking to a group of friends, and my mom had been talking to a bunch of the parents) asking why I hadn’t given the items to her friend, when in fact, I had followed her directions exactly as she had told them. She pretty much panicked and told me to run get the things and take them to her friend immediately and proceeded to question why I hadn’t done it before. But the thing was, she never asked me to be on a continous “lookout” for her friend to make the transaction and made me look irresonsible and immature in front of my friends and worse, in front of the other parents!! I am still very, very upset that I was humiliated like that. I’m 20 so this was embarassing as well. She has since apologized, admitting to be in the wrong but the other parents, who I was just getting to know, have a bad impression of me as being immature and irresonsible. Incidents like these leave permanent impressions, how can I prove myself that I didn’t do a signle thing wrong and regain some reputation. Again, this incident has really ticked me off and made me think twice about returning home from college on the weekends. Please help!


Hi Cathman,
Mothers are mothers until the day they die. Sometimes they forget that their children are not 10 and instead are 20. Sometimes something else is bothering people and the overreact for no reason. My mother did similar things when I was in my early 20s and to this day my only explanation is that she overreacted.

I would accept your mother’s apology and move on. In regards to the opinion that your friends and their parents have of you, I also wouldn’t be too concerned. Honestly, they probably viewed your mother in a more negative light. After all, many 20 year olds would not have met their mothers at the church parking lot to assist them with any sort of task.

If you are concerned about your reputation, I suggest being a good friend to your friends, a good son to your parents, and a good citizen in your community (which you should visit, so as not to suggest there is any reason that you are unwelcome.) Good luck to you!


I doubt that this has permanently harmed you in the eyes of your peer or parents. What, to you, seemed like a huge deal was probably little noticed by others.

In other words, don’t sweat it and just carry on like it didn’t happen.

And, inform your mother that she should not publicly take you to task ever again-- unless she wants you to do the same. You deserve respect and the benefit of the doubt-- she should ASK, not accuse.


Well, if she apologized it seems as though she knows she did wrong and asks only of your forgiveness. I would forgive her. I guess she was a little stressed out for whatever reason.
As for the people you are just getting to know, from what I can tell all they saw was someone blow up at you. If I was witness to that, I would not hold that against you. If you put yourself in the position of watching instead of being in it, I think it is easier to not judge situations too harshly. I wouldn’t give it another thought and assume there will be plenty of times in the future for those people to get to know you under better circumstances.
A mom at her worst has still done more for their child than most anyone else will ever do, especially a bunch of strangers.


Honestly, I understand how you feel but I would just let it go. I have met many people like your mom (I know a mom like that). She tends to over react and especially if she is embarrassed, stressed or rushed, tends to be loud and over does it (may even sound accusatory). That she apologized is wonderful!

That is just her. Probably not going to change her. It made you feel bad but don’t allow that incident to keep preying upon you. With her you will have to look past her tone and some of the words to what she really means. It is fine to share with her how it made you feel though.

This is only one of many…many…such situations where people will mischaracterize you and mis judge you (if that in fact occured). Some of these will be with more malice than a high strung mom who really did not mean harm.


Aww… it’s tough being 20… still almost a teenager who thinks everyone is looking at them and thinking about them all the time.

The only one in that parking lot incident who is possibly thinking about you right now is your mother.

NEVER forget that.

And think twice before you punish her by never coming home for the weekends. Someday she won’t be around to cook for you and you will miss her dearly.

If this is the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever endured, take a deep breath. It’s going to get worse. Much worse. Someday you will have children and they will make you want to die with the things they do in churches, parking lots, stores, and in front of everyone. They’ll take their diapers off in public. They’ll throw horrible tantrums in the supermarket. When they’re two they’ll quote the worst thing you ever said right to the parish priest. They’ll poop all over your clothes when you are heading in to meet someone important.

In other words, they’ll do the kind of things to you you spent years doing to embarrass your mother in front of everyone.

So give her a pass on this one. She has more than earned it.



Ok, thanks everybody. I know it’s not that big of a deal it’s just that I’ve been only been mildly acquainted with the other people present and was just getting to know them better. And from the other details my friends noticed, I *looked *to be in the wrong and to be the guilty party and I don’t think the other parents saw her as “blowing up at me” more so than accusing me of a irresponsiblity I was guilty of.


Yes, I realize that but it’s just that this a matter of character rather than embarassment. Heck, I’ve had some pretty embarassing things happen to me-those are no bother, and can be quite funny at times. I’m just trying to re-gain some reputation without appearing desperate or offended.


Live it down. Keep being the person you want to be seen as; it works.
No reasonable person really expects a 20-year-old adult and her mother to get along smoothly all the time. After all, the relationship has changed and they know it takes some getting used to.


The most important lesson you’ll learn over the next 10 years of your life is not caring at-all what other people think.

For now – don’t lose sleep, and mom apologized – let it go.


Excuse my sloppy reading in assuming you were female; I was envisioning myself in your situation too vividly.


In view of your dismay, which I understand, I feel lucky I am a guzzled old male. If you think this is bad, wait until you see what treatment you can get from gossiping females, bosses whose power has gone to their heads, and viscious neighbors. For myelf, I wouldn’t worry about something like this or even really notice it.

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