My youngest son has a lot of ambitions, and he’s pretty good
at achieving them. Very determined in quite a praiseworthy way when he’s aiming
at living and studying for a year in London and gets waylaid at the last minute
by ulcerative colitis that put him in the hospital with IVs pumping blood back
into his nearly bloodless body, yet makes it to London the next year. It’s more
like stubborn when his goal is to drag me kicking and screaming into 21st-century
I stopped watching television back in the late 1980s because
I was a working (and going-to-school) single mom and needed to find time to
write somehow without taking time away from my kids. I stopped keeping up with
pop music earlier sometime in the *shudder* disco age. After I grew up enough
to stop wearing bell-bottoms and mini-skirts, I stopped paying any attention to
fashion. I’ve always been a person who danced to my own drum, one who lived in
books and on paper, very introverted and introspective. And then I was a
workaholic. So American popular culture passed me by.
My older two kids seem just fine with that. Of course Mom is
just out of it and doesn’t know what’s cool. *eloquent shrug* But the youngest,
who’s over twelve years younger than his brother and sister, decided somewhere
along the road that it was his duty to bring me current with the world of
movies, music, TV, celebrities, all the trivia that a normal American would
This started when I had a demanding job running a combined
campus and community women’s center at our local university. I was always
understaffed and had to raise all the money for our programs myself. My son,
Joseph, became my right-hand computer geek. When something went wrong with our
computers, Joseph fixed it. When I needed our computers to do something that
they couldn’t do, Joseph managed to get them to do it. When our website needed
updating and I had no money to pay for IT, Joseph updated it and even
redesigned it. He was a lifesaver, but he had a price.
For each of these jobs and others, I had to watch so much
or video game with him. First, it was Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We went through
all of his boxed DVDs, and I became a fan—Spike!!!—who watched the last couple
of seasons as they were broadcast with him to my husband’s confusion and
dismay. (Did I mention that my husband is like me? And that Joseph eventually
talked him into going to a Communiversity class on feminist agency in Buffy the
Once Buffy was covered, he insisted on Marmalade Boy, a popular
Japanese animé adapted for TV from an even more popular manga. (Animé are
Japanese animated films and TV series while manga are Japanese graphic novels/comic
books, usually with outlandish premises like a boy turned into a girl or a girl
who’s also a fox demon or something much more bizarre.) I would never have
believed I could become fond of an animated TV romance about Japanese teenagers
whose parents were divorcing and marrying each other—with English subtitles.
Altogether, albeit it was during the time when Joseph was so very ill, we
watched all 76 episodes of Marmalade Boy. I call that true motherly love
Then, there was his insistence that I watch as he played Final
Fantasy 10 all the way through for probably the seventh time so that I could
see the “wonderful character arcs” and the “great storyline.” I did not ever
take him up on his offer to use the controls. After that, there were lots of
others, including Firefly, Dr. Who, Dr. Horrible’s Singalong Blog, and Glee.
Now, Joseph has moved back in with us for a while, and he’s
already started—Orange Is the New Black and the Dr. Who audiodramas. I draw the
line at American Horror Story, however. Stay tuned to see how this battle of
wills plays out. (He whispers, “Hint: Joseph wins.” *evil laugh*)
Note: Blogger will still not allow me to post
comments on The Stiletto Gang or my own blog (though I can post on other
Blogger blogs). So I will respond to your comments on our Facebook page, so
visit us there at https://www.facebook.com/stilettogang.
REPLIES TO COMMENTS:
I'm going to try responding to comments here since I know everyone isn't on Facebook--there are some people even more out of it than me it seems. :-)
Ramona, you--and Joseph--are right. buffy has great story and character arcs. And Spike! he inspired a whole sequence of my poems, "Coyote in Love." Some of my most popular poems with women.
Kristopher, yeah, Joseph's a pretty amazing young man. He just took a job teaching at Haskell Indian Nations University and made me the proudest mom in the world. I do like Orange is the New Black, but I'm drawing the line at American Horror Story, though I love Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates.
Katreader, yes. Buffy seriously rocks.
Sally, didn't you love the musical episode, "Once More With Feeling"?
Mary, Joseph and I have always shared tons of interests. He loves to write, to read mysteries and fantasy/sf, loved opera, has read and loved the classics I adore (and has taught them), loves to knit and bake. Consequently, it's natural that he'd want to share his interests with me. It's a fair trade--except forAmerican Horror Story.