In my opinion, the best, best, best time to visit Minnesota is the three weeks between mid-June and 4th of July. Before mid-June the weather can still be chilly and the latter half of July, into August is SO humid and SO riddled with mosquitoes that summer can be as oppressive as winter. The reward for surviving winter in Minnesota is golfing or lake activities like sunbathing, boating, grilling, and water-skiing. Unfortunately with the good comes the bad and summer also brings an endless season of orange pylons and construction workers who leave the interstates looking like bomb stricken war zones with cranes, three-story piles of dirt, and concrete girders everywhere.
Oddly enough, despite super fabulous weather Mom and I decide to see a movie. And what I REALLY want to see is Sex and the City. But I am worried. My friends are reporting that there is nudity in the movie, specifically a penis, which does not offend me. However, I wonder if this is the movie Desi Girl takes Desi Mom to see.
Especially since, as a 12-year old, I convinced my parents to take our family to see Flashdance. If you have seen this movie you know it’s about an aspiring ballerina who is a welder by day and exotic dancer by night. Now, my father finds farting in public offensive…so you can only imagine how not-so-well this movie went over with my conservative Indian immigrant parents. It matters not that Indians created the kama sutra and shiva lingam, my parents are teetotalers who never curse and don’t walk around the house in their underwear, much less nude. In my defense, as the parents, shouldn’t they have double-checked what their daughter was suggesting?
With that glorious claim to my name, I make a SATC redirect, “Mom, this movie, Sex and the City, may be dirty,” I say, emphasizing the word “sex”, then dip my toast into my tea, feeling certain that will dissuade her. Instead she says, “Okay,” and adds sugar to her tea. Hhhmm. I have to be more aggressive, less passive, “Mom I think there is some nudity.” No reaction, she says, “Fine,” and keeps stirring. What is this madness! With fervor and fear, I panic and yelp, “Mom! They show the front of a man!” Nice. I am well into my 30s and cannot say the word “penis” in front of my mother. She shrugs and says, “So?” When did Mom become this hip and unshakable?
Then again Mom once asked my brother and I to rent Pulp Fiction for her. We cringed when we remembered the gimp scene or when Maria de Medeiro’s character asks Bruce Willis’s character to give her oral pleasure. The movie was also violent, like when Uma Thurman over-doses on drugs or when John Travolta blows the head off Marvin in a moving car. Back then, I hedged and suggested to my brother that we lie and say the movie was unavailable. But my brother held firm and said, “She wants to see it. So she’s gonna see it. And let’s watch it with her. We can do our taxes.”
One hundred and fifty-four minutes, in slow motion, my brother and I turned to look at Mom, who was completely unmoved. My brother seemed worried and I asked, “Well, what did you think Mom?” “It was fine. Desperado had more killing.” It was a little horrifying that our pocket-sized Mom could compare one violent movie to another.
Then again, I did leave her in the basement of Grand Central Station for two hours with no cell phone while I went on a date. So who am I to stop her from seeing Sex and the City. “The movie is at 12:25 pm,” I finally say. She looks at her watch and nods. Fantastic, one hour until Mom sees some t and a. God help me.