Did you read last week’s post?
If yes, keep reading here.
If not, skip to the next paragraph.
Last week’s post was emotional for us.
We’re still thinking about tribes and getting messages from you about your tribes.
No topic felt worthy for this week, and we struggled.
Truth is, everything felt trite.
So we decided to embrace trite.
Once upon a time, there was a girl named Laura. Laura was a lawyer in NYC. Laura worked for a guy who we’ll call Mike. Mike was intense and driven, worked long hours, was extremely demanding of himself and his team and, enough said, you get the picture.
One Monday they were working on a big deal. Per usual, everything was taking longer than expected, and Mike was checking his watch repeatedly. It was only 5 pm, so they had plenty of time (oh, Laura always thinks she has plenty of time - it’s a maddening quality, especially if you’re her uptight, on-time writing partner, but we digress.). At 6:30 pm, Mike stood up and announced he was leaving for the day. Laura found this out of character and quietly approached him to make sure things were ok. Here’s the gist of their hushed exchange. I have to get home, the final rose ceremony for The Bachelor is on at 8 tonight. Wait, what? Did you just say you’re rushing home to watch The Bachelor? I did. Here’s the thing, my daughters don’t really hang out with me that much anymore. I mean, they’re 12 and 15 so I get it, but they love watching The Bachelor and we always watch it together. Most of the time I just sit there and watch them watch it, but it’s something, and I just can’t miss it. I’m kinda speechless, to be honest, Mike. Well, I can slip in all my dad-nuggets of relationship advice that are usually met with glazed-over eyes. I know the show is silly, but I’m sure as hell not leaving it up to Chris Harrison to teach my kids how to choose their life partners. You may not get it right now, but you’ll get it one day.
Welcome to one day.
We get it.
We totally get it.
Connecting with our teens is sometimes hard.
Maybe there’s some virtue in watching shows like The Bachelor with them.
Maybe there are some lessons in there, some topics to discuss, some things to teach.
Truth is, we got sick of The Bachelor after Trista chose Ryan. We’re not above it, we’ve just moved on. Not up, just on.
Truth is, there are plenty of shows that could provoke a conversation or present an opportunity to give advice or to laugh together.
So, we made a list of some favorites called What to watch with your teens so you can weave in the unspoken mom-nuggets of advice that are building up inside you with no place to go. And maybe these shows simply allow you to sit and watch them watch what they love.
1. Sports. If you already like watching sports with your fam, good for you. If you don’t, but want to get in on the fun, use Angie’s trick - ask your family to find you the special interest story. There’s always one in there (something about the quarterback’s background, or the pitcher’s family) and believe me, it’ll make the constant ball-throwing a little more exciting.
2. Old-school, inspirational sports movies. If the special interest story trick doesn’t work for you, we’re pretty sure this will. Miracle, Rudy, Hoosiers, Remember the Titans, We are Marshall, Moneyball, The Karate Kid, Tin Cup, The Natural, Field of Dreams. Not all movies hold up over time, these do.
3. A good old-fashioned comedy movie. Like Superbad. But - extremely uncomfortable alert ahead - prepare for the horribly awkward scene that you forgot about since you watched it the first time without your kids. The one where Evan reveals his recent purchase to Seth, a tube of spermicidal lube. And if you are watching with your teens, you’d better start perfecting the ‘look straight ahead and pretend not to be uncomfortable while feeling completely uncomfortable’ stare. Because when you remember, too late, that Seth says something very close to, ‘Why do you need that? Do you think you’re having sex with your shriveled up old mother?’ things get awkward fast. And trust Angie, there may be no recovering from that. Ok, there is no recovering from that.
4. Reality TV. Much of it feels over the top but many times you’ll surprisingly get something to think and talk about. Some of our suggestions? American Idol, Survivor, Top Chef, Shark Tank, The Voice, The Amazing Race, Dancing with the Stars, American Ninja Warrior.
5. Other stuff we like to watch with our teens. Modern family, Black-ish, The Goldbergs, The Office, New Girl, Family Guy, Jack Ryan, All American, Friday Night Lights, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Veep, Stranger Things, The Hate U Give, Jumanji, Blinded by the Light, Yesterday, Eighth Grade, Pitch Perfect, 17 Again, Agent Cody Banks, Book Smart. Anxiously awaiting your suggestions.
6. Older than teens? This one works for Laura’s mother-in-law and son Will. They both watch the show Suits, he from college and she from South Orange. And then they can text about it. Maybe even talk about it.
7. Younger than teens? We have no idea. Rumor has it, YouTube videos are all the rage. OK Boomer (look it up).
Some Wednesday night
L: what r u up to?
A: watching Survivor
L: that shit is still on?
A: oh, that shit is not only still on
A: that shit is amazing
L: we used to watch that show with our kids
L: do will and ben still love it?
A: oh, they don’t watch it with us
L: you’re watching Survivor just you and chad?
A: we can’t stop watching
A: and don’t tell anyone this part
A: i think i could win
A: i mean, i could definitely stand on one leg in the middle of the ocean for hours
A: and find a killer alliance
A: and while i may need a duraflame to get my fire started
A: i could exist on rice
A: so that’s enough to win, right?
L: truth is
L: i can’t believe u haven’t won already