| We've given up much in our quest to be, if not a perfect, at least an adequate mother. Clubbing, cocktail brunches, our waist...all sacrificed more or less willingly for our cherished offspring. But now, this! Our one remaining vice, seemingly so benign, may have proven the most destructive of all.
We speak, of course, of Friends. Six wacky, stunningly attired, impeccably shorn pals, taking on the Big Apple. Oh, those crazy kids. Each week we wait breathlessly to see what zany hi-jinks Thursday night will bring.
We are not oblivious to the effects of media on young girls. And to a large extent, we've felt our discussions on body image have had a positive effect on our daughter. The mere sight of Laura Flynn Boyle causes her to shake her head sadly, while voicing her concern for that "poor, hungry girl." And then we cuddle closer on the couch, sending poor, hungry Laura positive vibes between bites of caramel corn.
Our husband has been less than convinced about our ability to protect. Gradually, his concerns have whittled away at our prime-time sitcom schedule. Due to an unusually happy childhood, his sense of humor is considerably less jaded than our own, and many's the time he has sat, with a scandalized look upon his face, whilst we've rolled around the floor, hysterical with laughter, over some dysfunctional television family. In some cases, we've agreed the contested show is inappropriate; other times, we weren't that fond of it in the first place. But, always, always, we've resisted his attempts to restrict Thursday nights on NBC.
That is, until the morning after a recent episode of Friends concerning Chandler's belated stag party.
"Look!" commanded our adorable, precious daughter, as she dressed herself for kindergarten. She removed her pajama top and twirled it over her head, with obvious glee, "I'm a stripper!"
Now, that is just the sort of thing that does not go over well at show and tell. In fact, we debated not sending her to school at all, lest she progress from attempting to kiss the little boys in her class, to flashing her Powerpuff Girl underpants in exchange for their milk money. "Ha, ha!" laugh those of you without children, but we are not overreacting. There is a very real possibility that an arm of the PTA exists purely to disseminate this kind of information. Before long, the other parents are giving you sideways glances, canceling play-dates, and avoiding your table at the school bake sale.
Our only hope lies in a blitz of family-oriented, pro-female programming: hours and hours of Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman, Sarah, Plain and Tall and Touched by an Angel....drastic measures that will no doubt drive this mommy to drink, probably before the first commercial break.
Curse you, NBC!