I was a pretty innocent child. I had little interest in making trouble (apparently when I was a toddler I was Hell on Legs but I mean AFTER that.) As I grew up, my fantasies with boys involved a LOT of snuggling and very little else. The occasional fantasy make-out session was not unheard of, but it was likely in a library or after a rousing reenactment of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I watched Friends, but mostly because I thought Chandler had a funny way of talking, not because I wanted to emulate their lifestyle. Besides, they were ADULTS. They were, like....in their TWENTIES.
So I don't understand why people--people MY age--get up in arms about the shows kids these days are watching. I don't think we give kids enough credit for their innocence.
Girl: Have you seen iCarly?! They have such adult conversations It's forcing kids to become older than they are!
Me: Yeah, maybe. Then again, I used to watch Night Court.
It's true. I did. And damn me if I understood a single word those people were saying, but I LOVED that show. Or maybe I just loved John Larroquette. Hmm. Regardless, every generation thinks that the generation younger than them is going to Hell in a handbasket because of the shows and movies and news they're surrounded by. (PS that phrase always makes me think of this image)
Awwww! Handbaskets are so cute!
Wait, where was I? Oh right, how everyone always thinks kids are screwed. But really, I think we forget that kids do not have the knowledge, experience, and life biases that we do. 3/4 of the stuff thrown at them goes over their heads. And the other fourth gets taken in, processed, and decided upon. Because they are human beings, not robots. But most of it? Most of that "adult" stuff we let them watch? It's called "adult" for a reason--kids don't get it.
If you don't believe me, here are three things I simply DID NOT GET as a child.
I don't know why Grease is considered such a family-friendly movie. It boggles my mind. That is a dirty, DIRTY movie. The thing is, though, I had no idea it was dirty as a kid. All I knew was there were a lot of parts in the movie I didn't understand.
Eventually (but while still young) I was informed that the movie was kind of dirty and I started looking for things. But with my innocent, untainted mind, I still had no idea what was going on. Remember the scene when Rizzo climbs down the drainpipe to meet the boys and she says "eat your heart out" to Danny? Well, from what I could tell, Danny responds "Stop your sex just ain't my style." Which...I guess made sense. I didn't really get what it meant. Then one day it hit me--I wasn't even watching the movie, I just thought about it for AN second and realized he had said "sloppy seconds ain't my style."
And like that, all the pieces of Grease started coming together. I started thinking about lyrics I had previously ignored or glossed over and realized what sick, twisted words were going in one ear and out the other. It became so strange to me that we all danced to "Greased Lightning" in the 6th grade. Like, we're all willing to ignore the fact that John Travolta sings "you know that ain't no sh*t, we'll be gettin' lots of t*t" just so we can punch our fists up and out. White people go crazy for dancing to Greased Lightning. "You mean we get to fist pump...IN UNISON?! And then we get to CLAP?! SIGN ME UP!" But seriously that song has nothing on Eminem for dirty, sexist lyrics. And yet children have been dancing around in their living room to that song for literally DECADES. Has Family Guy REALLY caused that much trouble?
2. Tracy Chapman, Fast Car
A lovely song about a woman who likes driving in a car with her loved one. We had this album on tape and listened to it all the time when I was about 5. This one was Katie's favorite song on the album and I thought she was SO BORING for liking it. It's about a woman driving a car! What's so great about that?! I doubt Katie, an 8-year-old suburbanite, understood that the song was about the socioeconomic issues behind a woman's lower-class life and relationship, but it took ME until I was 26 to actually listen to the lyrics and realize how much is actually in this song. Which, admittedly, is probably longer than it should have taken me. (Also, check out this great cover)
3. Gin-flavored Limes
When I was little, I loved lemons and limes. I know, I know--I was a WEIRD child. And whenever we went to my aunt's house, the adults would drink drinks with limes in them. This was as far as my understanding went. They sat around drinking drinks with limes and talking about boring adult stuff. I had too many other, more fun things to be doing. I had too many Playmobil toys that needed wheelchairs to care. But every once in a while I'd come by my parents, make sure they were talking about me, and ask for their limes.
When I finally started drinking gin (ie, like last year because I am embarrassingly un-classy) I realized then, and only then, that gin and tonics remind me of my aunt. Because I had been eating gin-soaked limes as a young child and had no idea. Was I a drunk 6-year-old? Is that why I decided to get spiked hair and a tail? The world may never know.
I'll tell you one thing that still makes no sense to me, though: Mary Poppins.
Now, don't get me wrong, I loves me some Dick Van Dyke dancing with penguins. But you have to admit, that movie makes no sense. WHY ARE THERE MEN ON A ROOF SHOOTING OFF A CANNON?! WHY DOES LAUGHING MAKE YOU FLOAT?! It's one of those things I always figured I'd understand when I got older and then I got older and realized, NOPE. That stuff is just completely insane. I guess they were trying to make a movie about a child's imagination. But it wasn't MY imagination, so I thought it was just weird.
I'd love to hear some from you guys. What did you only understand once you got older? What do you STILL not understand? I wanted to make a huge list of these but I couldn't think of very many, even though I know there are a million. So help me out! Please?