I am at my parent's house watching the fifth hour of a DATELINE NBC marathon. After shaking the image of Stone Phillips ranting in depth about murders of young girls on tropical islands, identity theft (father's worst fear), global war, and climate change, I was ready to make some phone calls, and get my Saturday night started. I checked my text messages, and either God was watching the same Dateline NBC marathon and decided to respond by proving he could still pull off the occasional miracle, or he was simply too drunk to make a rationale decision, like when he got George W. Bush elected for that second term, but amazingly, my date for the night had official agreed to meet me for dinner tonight, and now I have written proof. So, I showered. And I shaved. I put on my best clothes, purposely trying look sloppy, as if I didn't try, while at the same time impressing her with my sharp fashion sense. And then, I was ready.
Mom, having awoken from an Ambien-induced sleep, politely informed me that I looked like a sixteen year-old geek outfitted by the Salvation Army of Sherman Oaks. So, with my confidence shattered, I showered. And I shaved. And I put on what my mom refers to as my best clothes, and I feel like a tight-khaki, polo-short wearing geek. I point and laugh at myself in the mirror. Either way, the point is I got to confirmation text and was ready to roll. I got in my car, and as I pull away, my father warned me about the prevalence of drunk drivers out "these days". The entirely unnecessary jinx by my father did not shake my anxiety, but it quickly restored it. Then, clad in that decade-old nightgown I see my mother. This nightgown, it clings to her like a secondary epidermis. if you look closely with say, the Hubble Telescope, you may be able to make out the faded images of flowers once printed on the gown. My mother waddled down the hallway with a real sense of urgency, and, empowered by a Lipitor high, in one sentence, my dear mother sent my night into a downward spiral; one from which I would never recover.
"You really should see your grandmother more." And there it was. That was it. All she had to say. Furious, I started my car, and blasted gangster rap in the hopes of shaking off the guilt trip and regain my self-proclaimed street-cred, you know, that cool edge that hides the fact that my mother runs my life, before picking up my beautiful, long-legged, blonde date. "You really should see your grandmother more." You know what? Maybe this is true. However, the last time I visited my sweet, old grandmother, she told me I looked fantastic, which was sweet. She also told me how strong a person I am, having beat polio. Polio? Assuming that was just a brain-slip, I thanked her again, assuring her it wasn't easy. It wasn't until after she told me I've got to figure out a way to end this war with those Nazi bastards and tell that sonofoabitch Churchill that I'm the boss, that I realized she had mistaken me, once again, for one of our greatest Presidents, Franklin Roosevelt. I do need to see my grandmother more. I'm just more of a Truman kind of guy.
Suffice it to say, the date went well, and it didn't take more than four glasses of Pinot Noir to shake off the tidal-wave of guilt my mother sent me off with. However, after our Caesar salads, my lovely, intelligent date slipped away to the ladies room, and it was then that I felt a strange, vibrating sensation running down my leg. Sure, the woman had great legs that didn't end, and I'll admit, it's been awhile, but I knew this feeling far too well. I took my blackberry out of my pocket, and sure enough, there it was. …Mom calling. Either the world was coming to an end and she wanted to break the news to me first, which I guess I'd appreciate, or she misplaced the remote, which most likely has made a cozy little home for itself between two pillows. My date returned, looking refreshed and, oddly, a couple of pounds lighter. Instantly, she could see the horror in my face, as if someone died. Something did. It's called my sex life. "What's the matter?" "I really should see my grandmother more often", I responded. "Oh, okay."
The vibration continued, and I politely slipped outside to take the call. This was not considered rude by my date, considering, the entire reason she accepted my invitation if the first place was because of my above average scores on the MCATS, and my acceptance as chief orthopedic surgeon at the world-renowned Cedar Sinai Medical Center. You'd think my parents would be proud. They would be, if I didn't really work at blockbuster. Anyway, I was somehow able to make out the screams of my parents through the cell. I read somewhere that T-Mobile has been running several tests with the help of the world's most renowned scientists, yet still, nada -- no proof that yelling as loud as humanly possible into a cell-phone improves the quality of the connection.
Apparently, mom and dad are spending the night in, and would like to know my opinion on which film to watch on demand. If only How To Murder Yourself was on demand, I'd tell them to point, click, and purchase. "The Die Hard movies are always entertaining." No, too violent. "Oliver Stone's JFK. It's a masterpiece, and it's free on cable." No, they were there when it happened. Well, in spirit at least, considering the assassination of JFK didn't happen on Ventura Blvd. nor did it happen near the shopping center in Topanga. "Fine, how about There's Something About Mary?" Dad saw it. Or he thinks he saw it. I politely point out that if he can't remember whether he saw it or not, isn't it like watching it for the first time, anyway? They tell me they don't appreciate my tone. I look inside the restaurant and see the blonde, this dream of a woman halfway finished with Pinot Grigio number two, and I tell mom and dad Good-bye. They tell me the same, and my ear-drum cracks, providing me with an irritating buzzing sound inside my head for the remainder of the night.
Back at the table, we enjoyed desert, witty conversation, and an educated, if not somewhat malicious debate over Obama versus McCain. It was on her fourth trip to the bathroom that I put Halliburton and the War on Terror together. One plus one equals two, and tax cuts for the rich plus water-boarding as a summer sport equals a (echo) Republican. The fact that my lovely, if not misguided date was blonde was one thing (not even a real blonde, but apparently, according to my mother, "blonde is blonde, no matter if it's from a bottle or a goy mother who's never heard of safe sex "). But a Republican? No way could I bring this woman home to meet the parents. My mother would shoot her dead before she even made it up the driveway, ironically supporting the 2nd amendment right to self-defense, yet I imagine she'd have a harder time explaining why she impaled the body with a "Change We Can Believe In" campaign sign.
As I drove my date home to her high-rise apartment while blasting Rush Limbaugh at her request, you know, to set the mood, my leg continued to vibrate. My phone continued to ring. And I realized, I have a dream. Actually, I have two dreams. One involves this Republican blonde naked in my bed, shouting "trickle down economics doesn't work", over and over until we both fall asleep watching Chris Matthews. The other dream is a simple one. What if there was a site, an easy-to-use web page, where mom and dad can click away, searching for movie recommendations from others in their age group. Reading opinions from their peers, as to the levels of violence, sexuality, and overall ratings as to what to watch, and why. Furthermore, maybe this site could go as far as to give mom and dad a step-by-step guide as to how to play said movie once the choice, as difficult and dramatic as it is (Abraham had an easier time preparing to slaughter his son), is made. A site where mom and dad can go to get all of their answers answered, and allow me to get on with my life. My exciting, young life. My just, yeah, fantastic, exciting, unpredictable young --
Okay, in the interest of full-disclosure, the whole part about me having a date with a beautiful, slender-legged blonde? Well, that wasn't entirely true. The date was dream number three, which I neglected to mention. The truth? It was just another Saturday night, like so many before them. Mom, Dad, and I thoroughly enjoyed Die Hard 3, though my mom fell asleep after the opening credits, and my dad thought it was the best foreign language film he'd ever seen, considering he couldn't hear a word. And just at the climax of the film, you know, where John McClane, through a series of miraculous stunts and ingenious, tough-guy ploys, saves the world, even though thousands perish in the process, my mother woke up, and uttered three simple words. "It's too violent."
THE VIOLENCE THESE DAYS