How a Mannequin Leg Made My Parents Think I'm a Facebook Slut

Over the past two years I’ve taken a break from being Mormon. Naturally, my parents, both practicing Mormons, have been a little on edge about my behavior.

May 27, 2011 at 3:02pm | Leave a comment

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 Over the past two years I’ve taken a break from being Mormon. Naturally, my parents, both practicing Mormons, have been a little on edge about my behavior.

Luckily for me they live in Siberia. I’m not joking. My father runs a titanium factory in the middle of nowhere Siberia. They’ve been living there for three years and while we see each other every Christmas, we really have no understanding of our respective daily lives. This is where Facebook comes in.

Sometimes I fear that everything my mother thinks about my current life has come from random posts by vague acquaintances or weird photos I should never have been tagged in.

This was reinforced the other day when I woke up to the faint sound of my phone ringing, I emphasize faint because had the volume been turned up I might have heard the other 14 missed calls. It was my brother.

“Have you talked to mom and dad today?”

“No, are they okay?”

“Mom is really upset about your Facebook photo.”

“What?”

“Wild night…You can practically see your vagina.”

Not really a sentence you wanna hear from your little brother.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about…” I began, but then suddenly I did. It was all just a big misunderstanding. The night before my boyfriend and I were walking through Soho on our way to a party when I spotted a mannequin leg sticking out of a dumpster. It looked straight out of a horror film, a pile of garbage and a pristine woman’s leg. For no real reason, we decided it’d be funny to carry the leg with us everywhere we went that night.

They say people in Manhattan don’t talk to each other, that’s not true, all it takes is a good prop and even the shyest person has a cheesy line or pun that they’re dying to shout out. We heard everything from “Nice leg” to “Where’d you put the rest of her” to “I’d f*ck that.”

My favorite comment came from a perky blonde. “I like your leg!” As her boyfriend shuffled her along she turned back and mouthed, “I found a head once!” With one finger she mimed being decapitated. To this day I’m not sure if she meant a mannequin head or a human head.

When we got to the party the bouncer told us that under no circumstances would we be allowed to bring our leg inside. He said, and I quote, “You could beat someone to death with that.” Not the subtlest of murder weapons, but he had a point.

Before leaving the leg out on the street, I took off my sandal, fastened it on the mannequin’s foot and posed for a photo.

This was the result:

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It turned out so well that I immediately uploaded it to my Facebook page with the caption: “Wild night.” Hence 14 missed calls from my parents and 1 received call from my brother

 I used to talk to my parents about my love life or what I’d been up to over the weekend. But back then I was dating 30-year-old Mormon virgins and going to church pinewood derby competitions, so there really wasn’t much to hide. By no longer giving full disclosure, I’ve been initiated into the world that everyone I know already operates in. It’s a little sad. I feel like I’m lying when I omit certain details to protect my parents or… when I flat out lie to them.

Not about important things- just stupid stuff, like if I’m on a road trip with my boyfriend, I’ll tell them we’re sleeping in separate hotel rooms. My boyfriend, Steve, thinks I’m a coward.

“You’re 28,” he says, “You shouldn’t care what your parents think.”

But of course, I do. Which is why, when I got off the phone with my brother, I reluctantly dialed Siberia. Before my mother could yell at me I began, “Mom, while I don’t go to church, I’m still the woman you raised me to be and despite your worst fears I don’t wander the streets in a top and no bottoms. You need to trust me more.”

While she was relieved by the mannequin leg revelation, she still insisted I take the photo down. According to her, the over-sexualized image was a bad example to young women everywhere (which is why I’ve re-posted in on xoJane.com).

“I’ll take it down when I get home,” I told her.

“Where are you?” she asked.

“At a coffee shop….” I stopped myself, “At Steve’s, I spent the night.”

When I pulled up the facebook photo later that day I noticed a comment from my mother: “I KNOW IT’S A MANNEQUIN LEG Elna, but can you imagine what your Grandma would say if she saw this!?!” She’d obviously only written this so that anyone looking at the photo would understand it wasn’t my real leg. I could feel my blood boiling.

But then, underneath her comment there was the most delightful post ever, Grandma Hill: “What grandma is she talking about? I don’t care! As long as the leg doesn’t belong to a murder victim…”

Conclusion: I’m so glad I’m Facebook friends with my grandma.

Posted in Family Drama, facebook