My sister reminded me this week that Grease was the first movie she’d seen without an adult, My mom dropped my brother, sister, and me off at the theater. In June of 1978 that meant I was not quite eleven and she was a few months from turning seven.
Which led her to exclaim, “Who let’s a six year old watch that?” and reminisce about my mother’s look of shock when her tiny daughter danced and sang along to Greased Lightening.
Then I listed several more entirely inappropriate movies which I remember watching as a very young child. Either my mother did not think about it at all, or she assumed that if the actors were clothed, we were clueless.
Even a naive child could not remain entirely clueless watching Natalie Wood steal her mom’s skeevy boyfriend in This Property is Condemned, and, unlike my sister, I knew full well that Gigi was being trained for prostitution.
Not that this is surprising. I’ve told my husband for years that I never saw family tv as a child. My mom only watched cop shows, variety shows, and MASH when I was little. Quincy, Rockford Files, Starsky and Hutch, Carol Burnett, Sonny and Cher, those I remember. The Waltons? Never.
Not that it seems to have harmed either of us, but my sister and I both exercised more caution with our own children. I wonder if her girls have even seen Gigi?