In 1977 my older brother and I didn’t agree on much, didn’t have much in common. But our dad refused to sit through a movie that I desperately wanted to go to….with my brother. So my dad shuttled us to the theatre, me for the first time, and left us – and many, many more times after that first trip. The draw? Star Wars: Episode IV. My brother and I had something in common. We were both sci-fi fans; him more than me, especially now. He’s the king of sci-fi and anything techy. I admire that in him. I never understood the draw of Dungeons & Dragons, but I remember him being a little excited about teaching me how to play. I tried but I could not get the hang of it. But that one movie cemented us together. If nothing else, on Star Wars we agree.
In the 80’s as a typical teen, my mom and I didn’t agree on much. I was a second generation child, meaning I came into being long after my parents had thought they were done with having kids. Our relationship was typical: mom knew best and the teenager thought she knew better. But twice a week mom and I could put aside our differences for a few brief moments. The cement? Murder She Wrote and Golden Girls. Oh how Sofia in her infinite wisdom could bring together a mother and daughter as if they had no differences at all in the world. We laughed together. Got excited over upcoming episodes together. Yelled at the screen together when Jessica was in danger and we could see it but she couldn’t. To this day we laugh at those old episodes. Mom still knows best, but the teenager in me has long discovered I will never know better than Mom.
In the 90’s I was busy with my own growing family. Hauling small children to the movie theatre was difficult at best, but the girls loved Disney movies, as did I. I remember seeing the look on their faces when we would pick up the latest Disney home movie release, complete with a signed lithograph that was then framed and hung in their room. We would spend quiet evenings at home watching a movie just enjoying a few moments of rest.
Fast forward to today. I’m not one for watching much tv. In fact when I’m out of town on business I rarely turn on the television in the room, even though I’m by myself in the evenings. But there are a few shows I try to catch every week which brings me to the reason for this blog. My daughters and I are not as far apart as my mom and I were when I was their age, but we still have moments when we disagree along with those times when we are all going our different directions. But I found one thing that brings us together. The rope? Right now it’s The Bachelor, Dallas and maybe Castle. Body of Proof is another one. Yes, they are tv shows. Sometimes reality tv shows like Dancing with the Stars. The past few Mondays I’ve realized how nice it was to sit and watch with my daughter. We get caught up in the drama. We laugh at the silly things they do. We bite our nails at the unexpected outcomes and cliff-hangers. We set aside our busy lives for a few brief moments.
Some families have game night. Some have dinner together. Others have family day where they turn off the tv and iPods and games and focus on each other. We have tv night. We all gather in the living room and for a small amount of time we are all focused on the same thing. We even get commercial breaks to make sure we address anything like homework or trips or projects. I know this is reading like a PR ad for the entertainment industry. But isn’t that what the entertainment industry set out to do? Early shows and moving pictures were family and town events, meant to draw people together. I’m ok with this. No matter how bad things get, we can always laugh at how Reba says ‘ice’ or how Jim Carrey says, ‘it’s good.’ And it’s certain shows that I know we will be talking about for years to come. In today’s high tech world of iPods, phones, internet, and Facebook – all things that keep people connected but not together - it’s fun to have time doing something that brings us together and offers a common ground. It’s something we can all agree on.