I watched the 20th anniversary of the Simpsons on Sunday. I didn't plan to, but I did. It was fun. Too much fun, probably. And way too many memories. Twenty years worth. I remember the first season. We were sitting in our living room in Worthington, gathered around the television and expecting.....we didn't know what. We had been warned against watching it. We were told it was "anti-family"; that it would be a bad influence on our children; it was the end of the world as we knew it, etc.
But, there we were; me, the kids' Dad, and the kids, ages 13, 12, 10, and 9. We were all sitting there, despite the warnings, (what the heck were their dad and I thinking?), intrigued as all get out, waiting for this subversive cartoon to come on. And when it did? We laughed our butts off. It became the theme for our family. We would pull up to church and I remember saying to the kids, "Now remember, as far as people think, we're a normal family".
I was talking to Emmy yesterday about the Simpsons. She said her earliest memory of them was hearing Bart talk about their dog, "Santa's Little Helper" (that's the dog's name). Bart said, "Ah man! The dog whizzed on the carpet!". Emmy laughed so hard when she heard that sentence uttered by a little boy on the television that her dad laughed at HER laughing. His laughter grew into his legendary wheezy laugh, which was contagious as all get out. What a fun memory! All because a perpetual 4th grader complained about a dog whizzing on the carpet.
I realize how silly it is to get sentimental over a prime time cartoon, but it's the memories of our growing family sitting around together eating brownies and laughing and sharing that time together that I treasure. The kids got taller, the legs got longer, the shoes went from 6's to 14's (on the boys!), their dad and I got grayer, but Homer and Marge and Springfield stayed the same. In fact, Eric is so good at Simpson's trivia, you can quote one line, and he'll tell you the episode and what it's about. Eric's the bomb. A few personal favorite quotes:
Marge: *as she pulled a meatloaf from the microwave* Dinner's ready kids. Come and get it while it's unbelievably hot
Lisa: *after eating Ahpo's extra-spicy dinner* Her mother asked if it was too spicy and while her eyes were spinning, Lisa said, "I can see through time".
Lisa: *after being drugged at Duff World* I AM the Lizard Queen!"
the Munson kid: Smell ya later
Here's to you Simpsons! Thanks for 20 years of skewed family home evenings and at least 30 minutes a week when my kids beat it home (sometimes bringing their friends) to watch a family more screwed up than ours that we could laugh at. And we did...laugh, that is.