02 September 2008

What Kind of Frame?

Today I downloaded the Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog soundtrack and was listening to the second song, which is the one where he meets Penny in the laundromat (and really, if you haven't watched it yet, please, just go do that and then come back, I mean otherwise we won't even be on the same page, let alone in the same frame, which is important, you'll see why in a minute) and Matilda walked into my room and stopped for a second.

She looked at me, and put her head to one side, wrinkled up her freckled nose and said, "Is this Dr. Horrible?"

My heart swelled with pride and then I had a vision of her ten years from now:
Matilda is sixteen. She has a streak of pink in her hair (okay, so there's a lot of me in her, accept it, that's how this vision works) and she's lying on her bed, her polished toes dipping back and forth behind her. Her two best friends are there, strewn about the room in a carelessly choreographed fashion.

Some as-yet-unimagined music/noise is playing on an invisible pod that plugs into her bed frame. The three of them are applying mood sensitive nail polish and talking about boys and the latest internet shows. One of the lyrics in the song goes 'it's better the second time' and suddenly Matilda says, "Hey, you guys remember Dr. Horrible?"

Her friends give her that exaggerated - as only 16-year-olds can truly exaggerate - look that says, what the fuck are you talking about?

She elaborates: "You know, that internet TV thing that came out when we were kids. The one with the evil super villain who falls for the red-headed social worker? Captain Hammer? 'These are not the hammer'? Come on... you know, Dr. Horrible."

Still she is met with blank stares. She stops. Assesses the situation.

"Um, you guys want some popcorn?"
Here's my fear: I am creating a girl whose childhood will be full of references that none of her friends get. (She also watches Free to Be You and Me. And episodes of Sesame Street that haven't aired since 1979.)

So is this bad? Should I be making some kind of effort to ensure that my children are capable of discussing the things that I spent my early adolescence not being able to discuss (in my case 90210, I still have never seen a single episode, but I did manage to smile and nod my way semi-convincingly (I think) though most of ninth grade)? Am I over thinking this? I do have a tendency to do that.

Or, alternatively, will she roll her eyes whenever I ask - incessantly perhaps - if she remembers Dr. Horrible.
"Mom, you asked me that last night, God!" Roll of the eyes, sympathy from her friend waiting in the wings. The two of them disappear into her bedroom with their popcorn and close the door.

I take my glass of wine into my room and find the Dr. Horrible soundtrack in my iTunes (now totally archaic) and listen to it, singing along, maybe even dancing, arms over my head, not caring that I'm so ten years ago.


Annika said...

Hmm, my kid is upstairs watching Warner Brothers cartoons from the 40s so I may not be the best person to answer.

Steve said...

in ten years iTunes will interface directly and remotely with your brain, and you won't have to go into your room, you'll just be thinking about dr.horrible and it will start to play, inaudible to the rest of the world, in your head. Kind of like it does now, but more invasive and with commercials.

Tracey said...

I wouldn't be concerned. Of course, I don't have children, but I did manage to live through puberty and even most of high school and I was way more weird than Tilly will ever be. The factor you have overlooked is that we all somehow manage to find friends who don't think we're weird, or rather who know we are but like it. And Tills will download Dr. Horrible from her head directly into the heads of her friends, and convert them. That's what friends do, is introduce each other to cool things (see previous blog). And when she finds those Dr. Horrible loving, head-banging, barbie -mutilating friends with twisted senses of humor, she will have friends for life. Just like her parents do. Besides - every girl her age is probably obsessed with High School Musical, so they can always bond over that if things get awkward.

On another note, how come I never knew that Steve had a blog? He should write more.

Krista said...

Yeah, so I grew up without a TV. Still don't have one, but I pretty much stay on top of current trends via the internet (notice I said stay on top of, not enjoy ;)
I found my own friends and even some who were totally into the "current culture" but we still had enough stuff in common to be friends.
She'll be an individual and that's way better than going along with the crowd, right?

Here are some thoughts I wrote today that sort of loosely relate to this.

Queen of Shake-Shake said...

Psshaw! Some your worrying. I grew up without cable and missed many things, MTV for example, that my friends had. Didn't hurt me. In fact, I'd say I'm way cooler than my friends, which is why I don't have many.

heh, I keep telling myself...

I never watched 90210 either. And I don't watch Grey's Anatomy or Desperate Housewives either, though they were the big buzz with the moms back during my playgroup days. I could have felt totally left out, but eh, missing MTV trained me good.

Besides, I love it when people give me that WTF look. It makes me feel special because I know I have just totally fucked with their head.

elizabeth said...

i think Matilda will be fine without 90210 (can you believe it's on TV again?) I have to admit that I watched it a little and it definitely did not make me fit in more with the kids in my town, nor did it influence my life in any positive way. But I grew up listening to Free to be you and me, and i can say that it definitely affected me positively. I wish more kids watched it now! It's great!!!! And as tracey said, i think it's more likely that til's friends will sit down with her and watch dr.horrible-and LOVE it. and if they don't, well then she'll probably find some new friends that do. She'll be fine, because she has so much of you in her.