On Thursday nights, I tape Ugly Betty and on Friday nights, I watch it with my family. In this last week’s episode, Matt brought Betty home from their date and they were outside her house saying their goodbyes when suddenly the door opens and Betty’s dad Ignacio pops out. I saw my 14-year old son smiling and I told my 11-year old son, who was sitting next to me, “He did that on purpose.” “Why?” he asked. “Well, Matt was going to kiss Betty goodnight and I guess her dad saw that from the window and he didn’t want that to happen. So he went outside so Matt wouldn’t kiss her.” He looked confused but my 14-year old son was still smiling. “Remember that when the time comes that you have a girlfriend,” I continued. “Maybe you should check first if her dad is around before you decide to kiss her.” Now my husband started teasing him, too. And I was like, oh boy, what am I teaching my kids now?
There was a time when I’d make them look away or cover their eyes when there are kissing scenes on TV. But that was when they were little boys and they are not anymore. They’re growing up and they’re getting curious. And isn’t it better that they learn about the birds and the bees here at home rather than from the streets? And since almost all of the shows that we watch will tackle relationship issues or mention sex at least once in an episode, I find it a good idea to give a comment or two. “She’s crying because he hurt her feelings,” I would say. Or “She’s not talking to him because she’s still mad at him.” Or “It takes time for us girls to forget when boys hurt our feelings.” They don’t like it that much when I do that. “Mommy, will you please just not talk,” they’d say. “We’re watching.”
Let’s go back a couple of weeks ago. We watched an advertisement of the release of the Twilight DVD. They know I’m a Twilight fan and they asked me if I was going to buy it. “Yes, of course,” I said. “I’ll watch it then,” said my 14-year old. “I just want to see what it’s all about.” Two nights ago, I was excited when I announced, “So, I’m buying Twilight tomorrow.” “What time are you going to watch it?” asked my 14-year old. “After supper,” I said. “I want to watch it, too,” said my 11-year old son.
So we made it into a big movie night event. We made popcorn and we brought a big chocolate bar and a stick of Mentos that we all shared down in our basement where the flat screen is. And I watched Twilight again with my boys this time. I promised them that I’d keep my mouth shut and I kept my promise. They laughed at the funny parts and I heard “geez” at some parts. I missed the applause and the giggles from the girls when I watched it in the theatre. As I’ve mentioned in my Twilight movie review, the girls applauded and giggled every time Edward got his close-ups and when he and Bella would stare at each other or kiss. But I love the moments when I exchanged smiles with my 11-year old son last night while we watched those “giggly scenes.”
And their feedback on the movie? “Ah, it’s okay.”
This past week’s episode of Ugly Betty titled, A Mother of A Problem, brought me many years back.
You see, Betty is now dating Matt. She met him in her YETI (Young Editors Training Initiative) class. She just recently found out that Matt is rich. But she liked him even when she suspected that he didn’t have money. Well, last week, she went to his house to meet him there. But Matt wasn’t home yet and Betty met his mother, Mrs. Victoria Hartley. At first, Mrs. Hartley thought that Betty was one of the maids. When Betty told her that she’s dating Matt, she wasn’t too impressed. Matt came and introduced them properly and when they left, he apologized to Betty about her mother, “She’s judgmental and controlling. No one I date is ever good enough for her.” But Betty said, “It matters to me that she likes me.” And she wanted to meet her again.
So Matt invited Betty to this fancy dinner that his mother was holding the following week. Betty wanted his mother to like her and so she prepared for it, even asking her boss’s mother, Mrs. Claire Mead, how to act at this kind of parties and Mrs. Mead even told her how Mrs. Hartley have these topics for these dinners. They tried to find out what the topic was and it was “Torture.” Good thing that Betty just read an article about the topic.
The big night came and there was a mushroom fiasco with an expensive painting owned by the hostess, but Matt took the blame for Betty. Even so, Mrs. Hartley made sure that Betty wasn’t sitting beside Matt at dinner and what do you know, she changed the topic to “The Future of Opera.” Well, Betty is a smart girl and since she works at a fashion magazine she came up with an answer that she knows very well, “Opera is fashion.” (She does know about fashion a lot, although her sense of fashion may be debatable. ) The guests were impressed with her opinion. She thought that she impressed Matt’s mother, as well.
But she was wrong. After dinner, Mrs. Hartley talked to Betty. She asked Betty what she has in common with Matt. She went on ahead and told Betty that Matt went to Yale University, he speaks three languages and he plays the piano. When Betty couldn’t answer, Mrs. Hartley told her that it would be the last time they’d be seeing each other. When Matt saw Betty leaving, he told his mother that he was leaving with her.
This is the part where I was brought back in time. I was in my early 20s many years ago and I had been dating this guy for quite a while. I already had a feeling that his mother wasn’t that fond of me. One night she came to my house and told me that maybe I should give her son some space. She noticed that we had been spending a lot of time together and that he was at my house a lot. She thought that since her son was still young, that he should still meet other girls. She kinda knew that we were getting serious. She probably thought that if it were not for me, her son would meet someone who conformed more to her standards, whatever they might have been. Maybe she didn’t think that I was good looking enough for him or that he was a bit young for me (only two years, btw). I didn’t know. I never thought of asking. Because, honestly, I was surprised when she came to talk to me. I thought that “you’re not good enough for my son” speech only happened in the movies. At that time, I rattled my brains and tried to think what lines those characters delivered in the movies that I had seen. I told his mother that I wasn’t trying to force her son on myself. He liked me and I liked him and if he ever felt that he didn’t want to be in the relationship, he was free to go.
And yeah, of course, I was hurt. Friends told me to ignore her. She wasn’t the one I was dating or going to live with if the relationship was headed in that direction. My friends had a good point. But I think, to some girls, it matters that their boyfriend’s mother like them, like it did matter to Betty. But to what lengths are you going to try to make them like you? If it’s a matter of attitude, you can probably try to change. But if it’s a matter of personality or the way you look or just the way you are, there’s nothing much you can do, is there?
I like Claire Mead’s advice to Betty. She said that she’s never going to win over Mrs. Hartley and that she needs to stand her ground. And I guess that’s what I kinda did.
- About Me
- Birds and bees
- Books, movies, music, TV
- House Hunting
- Kids say the darndest things
- Life is a game
- Memory Lane
- My guilt trip
- My life as a mom
- My Sweet Ryland
- New York
- Quotable Quotes
- Raising the 3Rs
- Reggie and his music
- Ryan in the middle
- Single Mom
- Special Occasions
- That's not even funny
- The Twilight Saga
- Working at home
- Working mom