Monday, August 12, 2013

80s Sitcom Moms

I was flipping through the channels one day and realized something about all the beloved family sitcoms I used to watch as child.   I am about the same age as most of the moms on those shows.  How depressing is that?!

It feels like just yesterday, I was drooling over Mike Seaver and Alex P. Keaton -- and now I am old enough for them to be my sons.
Am I really an 80s mom?

Because when I look back at those shows, I realize what crap they were drilling into my little head.   Crap that would grow over the years into a distorted version of what being a mom was like. 

I will never be an 80s mom.

The 80s were the years of the TV Super Mom.   They were perfect.  Perfect liars that is.

For example...

Clair Huxtable.   If you take a poll of most memorable moms, I bet Bill Cosby's on-screen wife would win hands down.  You know why?  Because she is a mystical creature, that's why!   You seriously want me to believe that in her mid-40s, she had five kids and was still a successful practicing lawyer?   Not to mention I am supposed to be believe in doctor husbands that hand you a glass of wine, turn on a little jazz and rub your feet at the end of a stressful day?   She is the elusive unicorn mom.  
Elyse Keaton.  The ex-hippy, go with the flow, work from home mom of Michael P. Keaton, Republican extraordinaire.    She handled everything with grace and wisdom.  Three kids, totally different, and she accepted and encouraged all of them while designing buildings and attending PTA meetings.   Somehow, no one spilled soda on her drawings or colored them with Crayola's burnt sienna.   She had the perfect marriage and knew the perfect thing to say when Mallory found out a friend was pregnant.   It really doesn't surprise me that after 7 years of kum-ba-ya TV moments, Meredith Baxter-Birney divorced her husband and announced she was gay.

Maggie Seaver.  Another mother effortlessly juggling mommyhood and a career when she went back to being a TV reporter.    Not only did she go back to work, but she left her husband home to take care of the kids AND used her maiden name.   That might not seem like a big deal now but it was a big deal back then.  During all this, she still had time to solve any serious issue in thirty minutes. She was super clever and witty and always had a cool comeback for her bad boy son, Mike.  Her biggest problem seemed to be keeping Alan Thicke out of her hair spray and not giggling every time she had to say Mike's friend's name, "Boner".

Somehow, after each of these ladies got done saving the world at work; they went home, cooked a nutritious meal, helped the kids with homework and had no trouble getting them to sleep by 8pm.  It all looked effortless. 

They never had to raise their voices. 

Saying their kids "disappointed them" was all they had to say to get them back in line.

There was no blended family drama or bat shit crazy ex-spouses to deal with.

Laundry didn't stay in the basket until the wrinkles were permanently affixed.

Dishes didn't stay in the sink until they started to smell.

They were never neurotic, depressed, anxious, or struggling with their decisions.

They were perfect.

Everything I am not.

With role models like these, it is no wonder I am a hot mess. 

80s TV really screwed me up.

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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Radio Anxiety

Yesterday's car ride home from the daycare went a little something like this.

Radio:  The way you grab me, Must wanna get nasty.
[Then T.I came on and I blushed]
Me:  Ummmmm....I probably should change this.

Radio:  She's up all night 'til the sun, I'm up all night to get some 
Me:  Ugh.  How long before my little boy understands what this is referring too?

Radio:  We don't give a f*ck 'cause that's just who we are, we are, we are we are, we are we are 
Me:  Sigh?  Seriously?

Do you know one of the things I miss about pre-motherhood?   Hearing a good song on the radio, cranking it up and singing at the top of my lungs with abandonment.

Now?  The first thing that goes through my head?  Is this song appropriate for my child to hear? 

Huh?  What?  Am I that person now?

Am I just like those 1950s parents that felt Elvis Presley and all his gyrating wasn't fit for television or kids' ears?  Yeah.  I think so. 

Elvis' lyrics were tame compared to today's songs.   I started thinking back to the 70s when I was born.

Air Supply
Bee Gees
Elton John
Barry  Manilow

I don't recall Barry asking "Mandy" to back that ass up to him.

And in the 80s?   We may have thought something was up with Boy George.  We knew Madonna and Prince weren't saints.   Not to mention listening to Motley Crue and Ozzy was sure to send you straight to hell....or jail.  But I don't remember it being this bad.

I remember my mom jumping on the hair metal bandwagon.  To this day, I think she still has a crush on Jon Bon Jovi.  But I don't recall her being overly concerned about popular radio songs.  I don't recall her changing the channel suddenly when a certain song came on.  I could be wrong.

Maybe, because other than having to explain what a virgin was (thanks Madonna) the songs were a little more covert.   Honestly, looking back, I had no idea what Warrant was singing about when they talked about Cherry Pie.  For all I knew, they were just hungry and had a sweet tooth.

Now?  There is a whole market for CDs that make Top 40 songs "kid friendly".


Here is an example from The Lazy Song by Bruno Mars:

Original lyrics:
Meet a really nice girl
Have some really nice sex
And she's going to scream out
This is great, oh my God, this is great.

Kidz Bop lyrics:
Meet a really nice girl
Send a really nice text.
And she's gonna write back
You're so great OMG you're so great!

I don't know if I am upset that this even has to exist, how ridiculous the kid friendly lyrics are or that I didn't think of it first.

Maybe I am just an old fuddy duddy, but when I hear my 7 year old stepson singing Can you blow my whistle baby?  I squirm.  I want to yell to the world, "we only have him 8 days a month!  I promise he didn't learn the song from us!"

I know he doesn't know what it implies, but it is still cringe worthy to me.

Am I just more up tight than other moms?  Than my mom?

Am I the only one worried that, thanks to Bruno Mars, my son's first complete sentence might be "Baby squirrel, you’s a sexy motherf*cker"?  


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