When my eldest was only six years old, we went to the mall to get her birthday portrait taken. Between meandering teens seemingly coasting through the day on neutral between smokes and tattoo comparisons, we weaved passed the banners hanging from store fronts promising us youthful flamboyancy in exchange for credit card swipes. It was a little exasperating trying to shield my daughter’s little eyes from the boobs falling out all over the place, both in pictures and in person. Then, we passed by “the store” that began with the letter “V” that was full of women who didn’t even come close to looking like the come-hither woman on the floor length flags.
“Yes, baby?” (rush rush rush)
“What’s ‘s*xy’ mean?”
The worst part of having an early reader is that they can read early. And read EVERYTHING.
I can’t remember how I blustered my way through that conversation but I do remember that that was about the last time I ever took any of my babies through the mall.
So my husband, bless his heart, brings home the community paper that I’d been asking him for so I can read my favorite columnist (him). I flipped through and what should greet my eyes on the back but a jewelry advertisement that states, “Because s*x doesn’t last forever.”
My eight year old girl saw it. She probably wanted to see why my mouth was agape.
“…..I don’t get it,” she says.
Thank heavens, thinks I. And I quickly change the conversation and close the paper and forgo lamenting when my husband forgets to bring it home.
Yesterday, I finally got around to calling the advertising department of the newspaper.
“Hello. I’m calling regarding an ad you ran last week on the back page. The one from the jeweler….?”
The woman I spoke with was very nice. She admitted she hesitated when her boss ran the ad, but they decided to go with it (money speaks) just see how it fell out.
Apparently, it “fell out” well, because I am “the only one” who has voiced a complaint.
Then I called the jeweler and spoke to her, also. She appreciated the feedback (or so she said). But, there too, I was “the only one”.
The only one? I have to think not! Just because mommies are too tired at the end of a shopping trip at the noisy grocery store to call up a condescending twentysomething year old manager who will take ten minutes to show up while the toddlers are fussing past their naptimes in the middle of a group of impatient people who just want them out of the way to voice a complaint about the semi-p*rnagraphic nature of “news” magazines at the checkout stands DOES NOT MEAN mommies do not care and are not frustrated by the fact we cannot and will not put horse blinders upon our children’s eyes and stuff cotton into their ears to avoid the sleazy TV soap advertisements and music lyrics that this same manager thinks appropriate for his shoppers.
I don’t know what the answer is. I can’t take the time to call on everything I find offensive, and truthfully it seems that these days even a lot of very nice folks are calling everything the Lord calls evil “good” and vice versa. Purity and wholesomeness sounds too quaint, I guess. I just find it sad.