We made a deal with Sarah that when she had $1000 in her savings account, we would allow her to withdraw money and purchase something significant, subject to parental approval. She reached her goal last spring, and immediately asked for an iPhone.
After being shot down so quickly, she deliberated for a long time. Eventually, she circled back to square one, figuring that if she could not have an iPhone, why not ask for the next best thing; the ne plus ultra of iPodery, THE TOUCH.
To her great surprise, we said yes.
Since that day in late August, she has been on a mission to fill her 8GB.
The first insult came when we invited her to peruse our iTunes library, and of the thousands of songs that she has happily listened to for most of her life, she chose two.
"What about Stars, I asked, or the Magnetic Fields?"
"How about Bjork or Mates of State?"
"I downloaded Hallelujah." she replied. "Sorry, you just don't have any cool teen music."
Let's put aside for a moment that my daughter is ten, not thirteen. In one fell swoop, a decade of my daughter's musical education was dismissed, and I aged about a decade in both of our eyes.
And now, the floodgates are now open to the best and the worst of pop music, which leaves me looking forward to the heart to heart we will have any day now, when Sarah asks me, what a disco stick is.
Until now, we have tried to limit our kids' exposure to the full breadth of popular culture. I do not want my children to be naive, but to maintain their innocence for as long as possible. Lord knows I love a good curse word, and call me a prude, but I could not help but squirm this summer as I watched the 10 and under set dancing and chanting Shush, girl, shut your lips, do the Helen Keller and talk with your hips.
You can rationalize by saying it goes over their head, but that does not give children due credit. Nothing gets past a smart child. I was listening to Push Push in the Bush when I was in fifth grade, and I knew exactly what it was about. That doesn't mean I should have been listening to it.
And so, with me now comfortably ensconced on my high horse, I came to find myself this week in the car with Sacha, listening to Humbug, the Arctic Monkeys new record. I have been listening to this more or less constantly since it was released a few weeks ago. I love this band with a passion bordering on teenage, but I try to keep myself under control as befits a woman of my age.
You know how you can sometimes listen to a song many times before you hear the lyrics? Well, I was listening to the first track, My Propeller:
when it dawned on me that the PROPELLER IS A PENIS. To wit: My propeller won't spin and I can't get it started on my own, when are you arriving? And that's just the chorus.
In retrospect, it seems so obvious.
Now, I can rationalize that the Arctic Monkeys are artistically superior to Lady Gaga, or 3OH!3. They are embarrassingly good for such a young band. Their lyrics are clever, not crass; part of the reason why I love them so is that never have I heard a bunch of lads be so articulate about how the male species is led around by their dicks. And if I am to be completely honest, although he is roughly half my age and I think he's let his hair grow a bit too long as of late, I wouldn't mind at all having a spin of Alex Turner's propeller.
So, I've come to realize my hypocrisy. Call it a disco stick or a propeller, but when you come right down to it, dick is a dick is a dick.