I never know when I'm blithely going long until after my happy little bubble of obliviousness pops. Which I guess is what being blithe is all about, but still.
A few years ago another mother was talking to me with a very charming pride about her daughter's interest in historical fiction. It turned out, the historical fiction she was reading was Philippa Gregory. Which is more sort of soft porn. In historical costumes. And famous historical figures getting it on.
What to tell this happy oblivious mom? If I was a better person than I am, probably nothing. Being the sort of meddling, unable-to-think-something-and-not-say-it of person that I actually am, I offered, "Well, it's sort of soft porn you know."
"Um, soft porn. You know, there's a lot about 'my golden cunny' and whatnot." Here, I believe, I gave her a weak smile.
And then I watched her take in what I said, and then more or less dismiss it from her mind. Because hell, her daughter was 13, she had many other bigger things to worry about, and what were we reading at 13?
And I wondered at that. Not that it seemed wrong to me or anything, I just didn't quite see how she wasn't more curious about exactly what was going into the strange machine that was her 13-year-old.
I mean, it's not like I didn't read my share of lurid material in my own feckless youth. I distinctly remember a seriously pornographic magazine handed around at sleepaway camp when I was 12 that gave explicit step-by-step instructions on … well, never mind. Let's just say, it was its own form of education.
So now, we jump to the present time (notice that there's been a lot of time travel on this blog lately?). Last night, after a truly heavenly day at the beach, we were eating with friends at Spumoni Gardens (yes, go, and get the shrimp parm hero). The mom across the table from me said, "So, I see Diana's reading The House of Night series."
"Um, yeah, I guess," because I've more or less accepted that there is no way I can keep up with her reading while having time to read my own choices (currently, Rebel Powers by Richard Bausch). "Is it any good?"
"Well," and she hesitated in a way all too familiar to me. "It's pretty racy."
"Huh." I took a bite of my meatball hero, thought back to that other mom, and totally understood in that weird, Oh-NOW-I-get-it way that happens with retroactive empathy. I nodded like I was thinking about it, then I let it go like the thing out of my control that it was/is. "I hope she does OK with it."
And here's hoping this is a sign of a health independence in both of us, as opposed to the on-ramp of the road to perdition.