I’m old. I’m turning 45 this week, and while I know that’s not really old, I am definitely becoming more aware of how many years I have behind me.
A few days ago, I took my sons to the local Goodwill store to find costumes for Halloween. My oldest son was looking for a suit to dress as Slenderman. Who? (first step to feeling old)
As we were scanning the racks of costumes, I saw a big pink polyester onesie printed to look like the harem garb (with no belly button) of Barbara Eden from I Dream of Jeannie. I immediately giggled with glee and pointed like a six-year-old. “Ooh! I want the I Dream of Jeannie costume!”
My boys weren’t mortified or embarrassed at all. They had no clue that they should be embarrassed. They had never even heard of Jeannie.
What!? A world without I Dream of Jeannie—preposterous!
I tried to explain who Jeannie was. They ignored me. I had obviously fallen down on the parenting job. I thought I had done a good job because I introduced them to Gilligan’s Island while they were still young. They know who the Brady Bunch is, mostly because of the movie attempt a few years ago. They know about the Addams Family, Bewitched, and The Dukes of Hazard, all because of movies. They didn’t bother to watch The Munsters’ reboot of Mockingbird Lane. Again, it didn’t mean anything to them.
I showed my youngest an episode of The Banana Splits on YouTube. He decided it was propaganda to promote drug use among elementary-aged children.
Now, we have “forced” them to watch episodes of Mission: Impossible, Magnum, PI, Quantum Leap, and Kolchak: The Night Stalker. They watch. They raise their eyebrows. They murmur to each other and smile at my husband and me. They smile patronizing smiles that say, “Wow! That’s what TV was like in the olden days.”
I’m just grateful that Netflix streams classic television shows. Yes, some are cheesy. Maybe even silly. They’re still better than half of what’s on TV now.
So yes, I’ll face 45 with a new perspective. I’ll appreciate the fun I enjoyed as a child, and I’ll impart the wisdom I’ve attained from my experiences. And maybe I’ll enjoy the new fall television season more—wearing a pink “Jeannie” costume!
That’s a wrap for this Toast to Cinema. Thanks for reading.