Jon Dawson: An Evening with Joy Behar, hosted by Kanye West
Our eldest Tax Deduction is on the verge of turning 14. She's already taller than The Wife and seems intent on catching up to me, to which I've ordered her not to.
During the course of a conversation if someone learns that we have a teenage daughter, the mandatory eye rolls, sighs, head shakes and sympathetic pats on the shoulder come tumbling down. You'd think I'd just told them something horrible like "I've just been diagnosed with terminal halitosis" or "I've just won two tickets to An Evening with Joy Behar, hosted by Kanye West". To be polite, I usually just smile and pretend I have to go feed the chickens.
About a year ago I walked into the living room to find TD#1 ironing clothes while binge-watching episodes of "I Love Lucy". Currently, she's been watching classic movie's such as "Breakfast At Tiffany's", "Roman Holiday" and "Singin' In The Rain". She will occasionally delve into newer fare such as the Ray Kroc/McDonald's film "Founder", but her Netflix queue is mostly filled with movies and shows that were made before her parents were born.
What impresses me about TD#1's taste in cinema is that she likes what she likes. People say the biggest threat to teens is peer pressure, but I believe the more accurate term would be “groupthink”.
Although thousands of multi-million dollar campaigns have been thrown at her during her short time on this planet, they've apparently made no impression whatsoever. There are advertising consultants in New York and Los Angeles who would jump out a window if they knew the most recent movie our teenager had seen was Alfred Hitchcock's "Rear Window".
TD#1's independent spirit isn't a recent development. Long-suffering readers of my column may remember the time I walked into a store with her around Christmas and told her she could pick out an album of holiday music. Yes, we still buy albums in our house. Streaming services are bad for music, musicians, and consumers, but we'll talk about that another time.
This was about five years ago, so I'd braced myself for the possibility that TD#1 might pick a Christmas CD by Justin Bieber or whichever prepackaged, annoying, cookie-cutter teen idol singer the record companies were pushing on people that week. With that in mind, I let go of her hand and watched as she perused the Christmas album display.
As I stood a few feet away observing her examine the Christmas album options, I felt like Marlin Perkins observing some beautiful creature on "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom", the only difference being I didn't have a Jim Fowler waiting in the wings to neutralize any shenanigans that might break out.
After a minute or so, she walked back over to me and showed me her selection: "A Charlie Brown Christmas" by the Vince Guaraldi Trio. I hugged her and told her how proud I was. I triumphantly held the Vince Guaraldi CD up to the Justin Bieber and Mariah Carey albums as if they could actually see it. TD#1 looked at me like I was nuts, but she was sweet about it.
Because life has a way of thumping you in the forehead, as soon as I turn this column in our eldest daughter may announce she wants to major in potato chip design. But then again, no jobs are secure anymore and whose to say there's no room for improvement at the Ruffles' research and development department? Those barbecue-mint chips aren't going to invent themselves.
Contact Jon at firstname.lastname@example.org and www.jondawson.com.