Life is already hard enough, but with teen daughters— of which I have two, ages 15 and 16 -- well, let's just say that, what with everything going on these days, my mind is a bit addled. And my latest TV obsession isn't exactly helping.
"I have such a sense of dystopia," I complained to my friend Carol.
She replied: "Maybe you should stop binge-watching The Handmaid's Tale!
It's true. I've watched so many hours of The Handmaid's Tale, I've started to involuntarily greet people with, "Blessed be the day," "Blessed be!" If that's not familiar to you, you're probably not aware that in the oppressive futuristic society depicted here—? Fertile young women are farmed out to "commanders" and forced to have sex with them between their wives' legs, in order to birth mutant babies. . .
I'm old enough to remember "Happy Days." Do you remember the sitcom "Happy Days"? What was it about? Days. . . that were Happy! Teens hanging around the jukebox! With poodle skirts! The Fonz! Having shenanigans!
So I resolve to turn off the news— Except for the headlines that actually leap out of the radio— And maul you, like a wolverine— Ever seen that? Anyway—
I also take a break from The Handmaid's Tale— I turn instead to the comedy Grace and Frankie, with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin! I embrace their comforting presences like the stylish pashmina throw either might wear— If The Cheese Nun was still on? I would binge-watch that! Very reassuring. The Cheese and the Nun.
But then I start getting emails -- the Concerned Parent E-Blasts I don't recall ever signing up for, a la—? "Does your teen get enough sleep?" No. "Is your teen ready for the SAT?" No. "Does your teen eat too much sugar and waste a lot of time?" Yes. Apparently that's abnormal behavior and there's medication for that. Good to know!
Well— The truly alarming news is that— Often unbeknownst to their parents— All of our teens are secretly watching this new TV series called "13 Reasons Why." As in, 13 reasons why this teenage girl commits suicide. She leaves behind the reasons in a box of tapes. One reason is rape. Shown on screen.
It's a long way from Happy Days.
As a responsible parent, I need to talk to my daughters. . . about this show.
Next week: A Visit with Dr. Mom.