Sunday, March 6, 2011


Hola kids! Since your mom's wearing diapers, isn't it time you got out of yours?

Lately, my ten year old daughter has become obsessed with watching cable news. Her favorite stations are NY1 and News 12 New Jersey. Considering what kids can become obsessed with today, the news seems harmless. And at least with NY1 and News 12 New Jersey she’s not being exposed to the more salacious stories that the network news stations and less censored cable stations are promoting. 
          At least that’s how I was feeling until she became more obsessed with the commercials than the news stories. And here, again, we get into demographics. The demographics of the viewers of these news programs must be seniors since most of the commercials advertise senior products, at least during the times that my daughter is watching.
          Last week, after I stubbed my toe on the end table and I limped my way upstairs, she suggested I look into the Acorn Chair Lift that she saw advertised on T.V. “This way, you can just ride up the stairs instead of limp up them.” After noticing the gray that has begun to populate her father’s hair she announced that he is a senior citizen since all the men who appear on the commercials for NY1 have gray hair and introduce themselves as a senior citizen. The look on Jim’s face was priceless, and laughing, I asked her what that makes me. She replied straight-faced, “A pre-senior citizen, of course.”
          Jim started to laugh, but frankly I could not find the humor in it. A pre-senior citizen? I have 20 years before I can be classified as a senior citizen and they’re an important 20 years! I mean, think about it. 20 years comprises a whole infancy, adolescence and adulthood. It’s an entire generation. In other words, it’s a long, long, long time. And I still need to have my mid-life crisis and act like a teenager all over again, only this time not get grounded. (Although with Jim, I’m not so sure. I think he’d love to tell me I’m grounded. Then again, like my parents when they grounded me as a teenager, he’d be stuck under house arrest with a very petulant me.) However, Katie insists that I am a pre-senior and even produced Jim’s AARP card that had my name listed as “Spouse” to prove to me that if I want to reap the benefits of pre-senior status I have to own up to that status. She even asked if there was a status on Facebook for pre-senior.   
          I’ve always joked that Jim is deaf because he’s always asking, “What?” after I say something. Well, maybe I’m not joking, but now Katie insists he buy the hearing aid she saw on a commercial between news segments. She even left a note on his pillow that showed a picture of a Jim wearing a hearing aid and exclaiming in a bubble over his head, “I can hear you now!”
          But wait! There’s more. She asked if we could buy one of those motorized scooters she saw on T.V. for Jim so that he didn’t always have to take the car when he went to the firehouse. “Look,” she pointed out, “It even comes with an attachable orange flag so that cars can see him.” I had visions of Jim riding up Fort Lee Road with a blue fire light blaring on the handlebar of his sporty red senior scooter with attachable orange flag on his way to the firehouse.
          I guess I shouldn’t complain because last month she was fixated on the fact that I had bald spots. When she first commented that I have bald spots I brushed it off, but then I became paranoid. Holding a mirror in one hand, I’d stand with my back to the bathroom mirror trying to see if there were any bald spots peeking through the back of my head. Even though I couldn’t see any, she had me convinced that I was losing my hair. It took me two weeks to realize it was because she saw a commercial for women with thinning hair and balding.
          Oh how I miss the days of my youth when television was filled with all those cigarette and booze commercials. I’d rather have my daughter announce to the world, “My Mom lights up a Camel and drinks Budweiser all day long!” rather than “She can’t hear, she’s going bald, and she carries adult diapers in her bag. Wanna see?” 

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