Saturday, December 10, 2016

Footloose vs. Mrs. Kim

If you know anything about Mrs. Kim, you know that she is a formidable, Christian, Tiger Mom of the first order. Her daughter, Lane, is Rory's best friend and Stars Hollow's resident expert on all things punk, rock, and otherwise pop musical.

Growing up in the shadow of Mrs. Kim forced Lane to become inordinately creative in hiding her secular interests. Lane took sweeping things under the rug to new (and literal) heights heretofore unknown by mortal teenage miscreant. The fact that she had a completely categorized and indexed library of music, clothing, makeup and anything else deemed dangerous by Mrs. Kim, hidden in the floor of her bedroom makes Lane the iconic teenage foil of overprotective mothers everywhere.

For those of us who grew up loving "Footloose," Lane's predicament resonated.

I, for years, have described my own teen years in terms of "Footloose." Secular music, dancing, makeup, etc. were all forbidden. My mother and Mrs. Kim would've been besties!

But I had something Lane didn'ta stepfather with an unwavering commitment to logic and reason.

In very similar fashion to Ren (we're back to "Footloose"), I, too, pulled out the big guns in my fervent quest to be allowed to dance. I also turned to the Good Book and the words of King David to make my impassioned plea in defense of dancing. It didn't hurt that I also threw in my stellar record of behavior, grades, and responsibility for consideration.

On her own, my motherlike Lane'swould not have been swayed.

And I can't blame her. She was acting in good conscience. In defense of my mortal soul. Her restrictions and limitations were out of love and a desire to save me from the inevitable follies, misfortunes and heartbreaks of growing up. And, of course, from the waiting lake of fire with all the wailing and gnashing of teeth.

However, my mother was not on her own. She was married. And, like any good, Christian woman, she believed in obeying her husband. A state of affairs that (I must admit) fills me with a mortal dread, but for which I was supremely grateful as a teenager eager to get her groove on.

This unexpected blessing was two-fold for me. First, I had an awesome man who was willing to listen to my arguments and consider my case in a fair and just manner. Second, I had a mother who (whether she liked it or not) was going to support her husband's take on the situation.

Ultimately, I think we all benefitted from this arrangementeven if we didn't realize it at the time.

In the end, I, along with Lane and the kids of "Footloose" won my right to dance.

And, when Lane finally reached out to Mrs. Kim, she got what she wanted, too. Mostly. In fact, Mrs. Kim became so gung-ho in her efforts to support Lane's Rock-n-Roll dreams, that she single-handedly booked Hep Alien on their first tour. Granted, it was a church tour, but she held nothing back when it came to believing in her daughter and her dreams.

The wonderful thing about each of these repressive situations is that when everyone finally opened up and talked (and listened) to one another, love always won out.

While I never went to the same lengths that Lane went to, in order to subvert her mother's smothering love, I've always felt she was a kindred spirit.

It wasn't until recently, during my reviewing of "Gilmore Girls" that I recognized the correlation between Lane and my own "Footloose" teen narrative. And, I realized that the townspeople of "Footloose" would have been hard-pressed to stand their own against Mrs. Kim. When it comes to strict rules about behavior, influences, and who you can date (Korean boys are always preferred), Mrs. Kim would win every single time.

There's no love like a mother's love, and even though "Gilmore Girls" is rife with motherly devotion, there's no mother more insanely dedicated to what she believes is her daughter's best interest than Mrs. Kim. She doesn't compromise. She doesn't waver. And, even though she has a first-class ticket on the crazy train, she always ends up doing the right thing for her daughter.

So, on this, the 12th day of my vigil waiting to watch the next chapter in the "Gilmore Girls" saga, I give props to Mrs. Kim and her fanatical motherly devotion.

Day #12 Gilmore Girls Words to Live By (or not...)

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