I took Zoe to see an R-rated movie for the first time last Friday night because (1) she was the legal age, having turned seventeen over a month ago; and (2) she actually asked to see it with me instead of with her friends and it was either take her to see the movie or just die happy right then and there. I had plans on Saturday that couldn’t be canceled so dying on the spot would have been inconvenient.
I know for most parents, taking their seventeen year old to an R-rated movie is no big deal and some of you are probably sitting there complaining, Oh my God, next thing you know she’ll be telling us she let Zoe shave her armpits by herself.
I LET ZOE SHAVE HER ARMPITS BY HERSELF.
There! Didn’t want you to be disappointed.
The movie was sort of a big thing for me because I have always been *that* mom, the one who stuck like gorilla glue to rules such as not letting her sit in the front seat until she was twelve, not letting her get a Facebook account until she was fifteen, not letting her date or get a “real” cell phone with unlimited texting until she was sixteen and not letting her see an R-rated movie until she was seventeen. I’m sure there were a few million other things I didn’t let her do that I can’t remember off the top of my head but if you need to know, just ask Zoe and I’m sure she’ll be more than happy to whip out her handy dandy WHY MY LIFE SUCKED spreadsheet and rattle them off for you.
Zoe had already seen a couple of R-rated movies with her dad, even before she turned seventeen. Why? Because, her dad is *that* dad, the one who doesn’t have any hard and fast rules. He also doesn’t make her do laundry or dishes or clean the bathroom. He’s the fun parent, a slightly balding Disney World in Fruit of the Looms, if you will.
He assured me beforehand that the movies were rated R based on violence only, as opposed to sexual content and all I could say was WHEW. Everybody knows it’s totally OK to let kids witness the depravity of people getting their heads blown off but it’s totally *not* OK to let them witness the depravity of people getting their rocks off. Because watching the former might only sway kids into becoming sociopathic, mass murderers. Big whoop. But watching the latter? That might make them want to have sex WHICH IS SO MUCH WORSE, I CAN’T EVEN BEGIN TO FATHOM IT.
That crooked line you see there? Those are my priorities, zigzagging their way straight to Hell.
Anyway, I took Zoe to see Bridesmaids last Friday.
About 2.7 seconds into the opening scene, I found myself wishing I had started with an easier R-rated movie, like Boogie Nights.
Had I been with my girlfriends, the opening scene would have lasted a minute, two tops. With Zoe, it lasted about three years. Because watching a scene in which “friends with benefits” literally pump their way through a montage of missionary to doggy to WAIT, WHAT? IS THAT …? WHERE’S HER LEG? I’M SORRY, BUT THAT CANNOT POSSIBLY BE COMFORTABLE sex positions at bionic speed is one thing with your girlfriends but with your teenage daughter? It’s quite another and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t at least entertain the thought of yanking Zoe out of there on the spot, flinging her into the theater next door and forcing her to watch Kung Fu Panda 2 instead. But I had promised Zoe before even sitting down that there would be no heavy sighs from me, no sideways glances of disapproval, no loud pleas for the floor to open up and swallow us whole and most of all, no yelling of ALL YOU PEOPLE REALIZE THAT THIS IS NOTHING AT ALL LIKE REAL LIFE, RIGHT? SEX IS ABSOLUTELY NO FUN AT ALL. AND IT GIVES YOU ZITS to the theater at large.
So I just cringed and whimpered and secretly pondered the benefits of lubricant through that whole scene, and then I tried to pretend that the whole conversation that occurred in the next scene between Annie and Lillian just didn’t, and then I pretty much spent the next ninety minutes alternating between laughing, gouging my eyes out, giggling hysterically, and puncturing my ear drums with a Twizzler and then it was over.
When the night was over, despite my worries that she saw more sex in an hour and half than I’ve seen this whole year, Zoe was still Zoe. And I was still me! Not sure if that’s a good thing but it is what it is.
Next week I think I might take Helena to see Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer. It’s rated PG and I’m fairly certain it will not contain any scenes in which characters discuss the best way to discreetly slap a guy’s junk away from your face.
Which means I can leave the eye and ear bleach at home and that definitely is a good thing because my purse is only big enough to smuggle in M&Ms.
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