I was 18 years old in 1995 when Alanis Morissette burst onto the pop scene with Jagged Little Pill and its anthem for women scorned everywhere, “You Oughta Know.” I was old enough and experienced enough to appreciate the sentiment, having four whole love affairs already under my belt, three ending badly (i.e. not by my own choice).
But this entry isn’t about that song. When Dave bought me the ipod nano a few months ago (I know, a little late to the 21st century over here), it gave me an excuse to pull out all my old cds and excitedly dump them all into itunes so I could jam out to Live’s “Pillar of Davidson” followed immediately by Britney Spears “Hit Me, Baby… One More Time.” If that isn’t music nirvana, what is?
And no, I’m not a fan of Nirvana. Though I do own a Hole album. (I know, the kids probably aren’t calling them albums these days and that’s probably why I didn’t get an ipod until February.)
Anyway, one of the Alanis Morissette songs I decided I wanted to jam to every 22 hours when it comes up in the shuffle mode was “Perfect.” If you remember, that song is all about kids whose parents push them too hard to live out their own unfulfilled dreams and be awesome and great at everything and hot damn, that spoke to me at 18.
But when it came on yesterday, 13 years later, I had a completely different perspective. It was more cautionary tale than solidarity song. Because please oh please don’t let me be an overbearing mom who expects too much of her kid and doesn’t really love her the way she is unless she’s perfect.
I don’t think my parents were really like those in the song, though they did have high expectations, especially academically. And I plan to have similar expectations of R – because if you don’t have high expectations, what’s the alternative? Low expectations? That’s not really an option.
But the moment was really revelatory to me, both on a parenting level and a “passage-of-time” level. Because what’s next? I won’t be dancing in a cage at a nightclub to “Intergalatic” by the Beastie Boys anymore?
Wait. I won’t, will I?