In the 90's, mom was working in a new middle school, and I was fresh out of college with a sparkly new teaching degree. We often talked "shop" about work, students and the like.
Well, mom's principal started a movement in her school about positivity. Not a bad idea in middle school and high school if you ask me. (There is a reason why the movie Mean Girls was a success, afterall. That kind of stuff really happens. No joke!)
Anyways, mom would often talk about the initiative, referring to it as the Only Positive People idea. Only Positive People in the classroom. Only Positive People on the school campus. Only Positive people on the school bus. You get the idea. Only Positive People was an idea that truthfully I only thought about in the educational setting.
So, imagine my surprise when my mom informed me that she was being featured on the local news for implementing the Only Positive People ideas. I was tickled for her!
That is, I was tickled until I saw the news clip.
There was mom with a microphone in her face, talking about Only Positive People, except, she wasn't using the phrase Only Positive People. She was saying things like, "We here at Blankety Blank Middle School are all for OPP! " And also, "OPP is for me!"
She was so excited to promote the positive attitude, but there was one problem.
In the 90's, OPP didn't just stand for Only Positive People. At the time, there was a very popular song by the group Naughty by Nature. It's title? OPP. Now, I probably don't have to tell you that with a group name that includes the word, Naughty, OPP did not reflect any sort of educational positivity. No. Not in the slightest. Naughty by Nature's version of OPP had the abbreviation stand for Other People's P****. (And, if you don't know what the last word is, then here are some hints. The last word starts with a P, rhymes with "wussy", and is another name for a kitty cat . . . among other things.)
My mom went on TV and talked about being down with OPP.
I. was. mortified! How could she not know that she was talking about P**** on TV?!? Where all of our friends and neighbors could hear her?!? P****!!!! My mother!!!! It was too much ! That word (or reference to it) was never supposed to come out of my mom's mouth. I remember wanting to die, or at least leave the country.
No sooner than the news clip ended, the phone started ringing.
Really, looking back, it was my fault. I should have picked up on the abbreviation when we talked about Only Positive People. I am fairly certain her students had picked up on it judging by its immense popularity. Afterall, there is nothing like an inside joke that will embarrass a teacher. They probably still talk about it.To this day, I still have friends that remind me of my mom and the OPP incident.
At least now we can laugh (or lol, mom).