Daily Archives: 14 June, 2011
|14 June, 2011||Posted by BobbiJaye under Observations, Stuff I Like|
Last week, after spending two years convinced that a brain-eating human-age-regression virus was sweeping the world, it happened.
I got sucked into Glee. And it doesn’t completely suck. Well, it does, because it sucked me in. But not in the bad way.
Here’s why I don’t hate it as much as I thought I would. (Like, not at all. Like, I kind of like it.)
1. They based a whole episode on a Fleetwood Mac album.
The Chain. Go Your Own Way. Dreams. I grew up on this stuff. Stevie Nicks is pretty much my vocal idol. So any show that takes Fleetwood Mac and makes it accessible and cool, thereby making me less of a freak for preferring the classic rock to just about anything produced since I was born? I’m down with that.
2. Shue’s abs.
Damn. Just… damn.
And he sings. And dances.
And is in love with a woman who has OCD.
And mentors troubled high school children.
And did I mention the abs? Not that it would ever really be appropriate for a teacher to strip off his shirt in front of impressionable teenage girls. But still. Damn. My last chorus teacher was a middle-aged woman with thick bangs and a propensity to wear calf-length church dresses. So. Not. Fair.
Just saying. I am an equal opportunity ogler.
They sang Landslide. It was awesome.
And mostly… they’re just really cool together.
4. The characters have depth.
Even Sue, the epitome of evil, has a soft side. No one is 100% good and no one is 100% bad. I get annoyed watching shows where morality is absolute — we all have our less than appealing qualities and everyone makes bad decisions sometimes.
5. The cast is diverse. Like, REALLY diverse.
Okay, so Glee plays on stereotypes. But what the show is really good at is taking the stereotypes and turning them on their head. And EVERYONE is represented. Black, white, brown, purple. Gay, straight, bi. Disabled. Popular. Christian. Jewish. And what’s so cool is that despite this, no one is cast into a box. The diversity is great — and the fact that the story line is more important than the attributes of the characters playing it is even better.
6. There is an obsessive-compulsive character. And she isn’t a freak show.
I admit, whenever I hear tell of a character with OCD, I cringe a little. I’ve seen it done so poorly. Comedies use OCD as fodder for jokes. They make fun of the anal-retentive properties without ever addressing the fact that OCD can be a serious problem. That said, I’m all for laughing at our problems — just not at laughing at the people who have them. There is a difference.
And Glee manages to find it. Emma is cool. Having an obsessive-compulsive character like her on prime time can only do good things for awareness. Glee sees her go to therapy. It sees her trying medication. It acknowledges the fact that individually scrubbing grapes is quirky and a little funny, but also part of a larger problem. It doesn’t make her a freak or hyper-controlling. (Monica Geller comes to mind.)
Basically, the show just handles it really well. That alone makes me respect it.
8. The ratings are good, so it probably won’t be canceled.
Always a plus. Nothing worse than getting sucked into a show only to see it canceled just one season after you really get into it. *cough* Veronica Mars *cough*
So yeah, okay, it’s not too bad. Even if I’m developing an inferiority complex as I realize that every one of those little snots is a better singer than I am. And even if the musical dubbing REALLY annoys me. They could definitely improve on that. And even if I still don’t really buy the premise that people from so many cliques would come together striving to win a singing competition, (We weren’t that united in ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, for God’s sake), or that football players and cheerleaders would give up their popularity just because of a few songs.
It doesn’t completely suck after all.
|14 June, 2011||Posted by BobbiJaye under Non-Fiction, The Red Dress Club|
I’ve been filling the role of ‘honorary auntie’ for my best friend’s children since before they were born. I remember when her oldest was younger, every time I babysat and put him to bed, I would burst into tears. When you love someone that much, I guess it has to go somewhere.
Tonight, I gave him a hug before he ran up the stairs for his bath with daddy.
“Night, Monkey,” I said, and kissed his forehead. “I love you,” I whispered, burying my nose in the sweet spot between his shoulder and his neck.
Then he was gone — a superhero, an astronaut, a boy whose imagination astounds me. A boy who is outgrowing my lap quicker than my mind or heart can comprehend.
This is bedtime now. It’s different, full of bittersweet memories.
I’m sure that, just yesterday, we read Goodnight Moon on the couch downstairs. I knew it by heart, because he demanded it at least six times a day.
“Where’s the moon?” I asked, and he pointed with a chubby, drool-covered finger.
In the bath, the purple octopus and the squid chased each other around the tub. Giggles filled the room as I sculpted his hair into a soapy mohawk and tickled his belly button, and when the last of the water circled the drain, leaving only a few tiny bubbles behind, I gathered him up in a towel. We played peekaboo with his pajamas.
Just yesterday, I wrapped him in my arms and carried him to his bedroom — the damp weight of him warm against me, his legs dangling and his wet hair leaving a spot on my shirt where his head rested on my shoulder. He yawned.
“Such a sleepy boy,” I said. “What a big yawn.”
In his room there was only darkness and the smell of baby shampoo. We curled together on the chair beside his bed. My chin rested on his head as I inhaled him, and we rocked. I closed my eyes and sang soft hymns that took me back to my own childhood, listening to my parents practice for church after I had gone to bed.
“I will always love you,” I whispered. “I will always be here. I will keep you safe. I promise.”
I sang and rocked, not sure which of us clung more tightly to the other and it wasn’t long before my tears came, running down my face and dripping onto his head.
I cried because I loved him. Because already, he grew heavier in my arms each day. Because soon, I knew that snuggles before bedtime and singing hymns would just be a memory.
I cried because he was my best friend’s child, and my only claim to him was that I loved him more than I ever knew was possible. Because no matter how many times I read Goodnight Moon, he would not be mine.
Just yesterday, I laid him in his bed and placed a stuffed penguin in his arms, kissing him and letting my hand linger for just a moment longer on his cheek. I turned on his music and snuck out the door, wiping my cheeks and hurrying downstairs to plug in the baby monitor — part of my promise.
If he woke, I would be there to chase away the monsters.
Tonight, when he went to bed, I didn’t cry. After books and hugs and kisses, I smiled and watched him go. He is mine. My Monkey. My superhero. Not because he has to be, but because he chooses to be. Tonight, when I whispered, “I love you”, he whispered, “I love you” back.
I tell him every time I see him, so he doesn’t forget. And I take in every hug, every smile, and every giggle — sure that just tomorrow he’ll be a man, the scent of baby shampoo long faded away.
Monkey and Me Circa 2008
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