PG-13 means you have to be 13 to watch

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

when i was a kid, at the time i didn't think of my mom as being overly strict. she was stern and had her rules but i was a hellion always getting in trouble - she had to be on her toes.

but one thing that she was surprisingly strict about that i always sticks in my head is how i wasn't allowed to watch movies, tv shows or listen music that she thought was inappropriate.

--when i was in the 4th grade i was invited by a friend to a birthday sleepover for my friend stacey. we did the normal stuff, ate pizza, played games, watched a movie. the movie we watched was dirty dancing, i remember being so excited to see it. the next morning when my mom picked me up i told her what we did (like a good girl), and that i watched dirty dancing...

"WHAT?", she screamed getting out of the car and marching back into the house. she gave that mother a piece of her mind for showing a bunch of 9 year olds a movie that showed stealing, sex and abortion. i didn't know what that crap was at the time, i just liked the end dancing scene - duh.

--a year later i had just finished the 5th grade and my family and i were going to disney world for vacation. there was some sort of flight delay on our layover and it was going to be awhile before we would be able to take off again. the airline decided that they were going play pretty woman to help pass the time.

the movie started and my mom asked the stewardess if there was another movie they could play because her two girls were too young for the movie (this was before movies were edited). they said no. but she didn't take no for an answer - she went straight to the captain - which would never be able to happen in this day and age to plead her case. he saw her point and decided not to show the movie...

much to the dismay of the 200+ other passengers who now had no entertainment becausemy mom didn't want us to see julia roberts play a hooker with multi colored condoms who liked to floss. it's still a cinderella story at the end!

--i was in the 7th grade when sir mixalot came out with baby got back (i like big butts). 7th grade was also the year that my school, took a bus trip to washington dc to meet our congressman. on the bus trip me and my friends had our handy dandy boombox in the back of the bus (where the cool kids hang out), and we were singing along to the cassette tape version of baby got back.

we had listened to the song about three times when my mom walked towards the back of the bus and STOLE THE TAPE! she said the song was degrading towards woman and we were too young to listen to it. but what were we to shake our booty to now?????

--so you know how a parent can block out certain tv stations and protect it with a secret code? well my mom did just that with MTV. the channel was block all the way through high school for me. thank god for friends non-strict parents and the fact that i knew the secret code to the cable box so i could watch all the MTV and HBO i wanted. sorry mom.

fast forward to this past christmas. i thought it was a great idea to give my twin 12 year old girl cousins a few of my favorite childhood movies but in the dvd version for them to enjoy. one of the dvds i gave them was grease. i should have known this dvd was taboo when i saw natalie's eyes light up and ask if they could go in the living room and watch the movie now.

the twins mom immediately said no and said that they needed to keep the dvd aside for a couple of years before they could watch it. whaaaaaaaat? HUH?? i then concluded that there is a pregnancy scare, smoking, drinking and sex.

i guess i didn't get inappropriate theme radar detector gene from my mom. i can only imagine the kind of lock down she would have given me if i had access to the internet and a cellphone when i was under the age of 17.

but don't worry stepho, you were/are a good mom - and your kids didn't turn out too bad either if i do say so myself.

so did you have a strict upbringing or could you do whatever the heck you wanted?


  1. The Minister Of CultureAugust 13, 2008 at 12:44 AM

    Wow! Your Mom sounds like a real BUZZ KILL !!

  2. AND remember the time you wanted to go see Speed in the theater. (because you loved Keanu so much!) she was going and we had to stay home. you were 14 it was rated R and every other word was the F word. Because you couldn't go you ran away from home! ha ha.. probably to the bushy place between the garages but you still ran away. Didn't that make her miss the movie too?!

    I think that should of been on the list too!!

    Ohh Stepho..

  3. My parents were pretty lenient, but there are a few things that stand out--

    whenever crazysexycool by TLC came out I had the tape single of Red Light Special. It was playing while I was in the car with my dad and he flipped out and hid it. But he put it right on top of my book shelf so I just got it down

    they also banned tv for a year or something after seening the michael jackson video where he's wearing a fig leaf...

    Most of the other censorship stuff I ran into was from other friends parents... like their kids weren't allowed to come over and watch certain things... it was annoying for the rest of us though because there was one girl that wasn't allowed to do ANYTHING- ugh.

  4. My parents were pretty strict as well. We didn't even have cable until I was a junior in high school (living in the country helped their case), and dating was off the table until I was 18.

    But of course, like any teenage girl, I managed to sneak around and get into all sorts of crap that my mother would have flipped about - and when she found out, she pretty much did.

    Though, movies never really seemed to be an issue with her for some reason...

  5. omg sissy - i totally forgot about that one. who "runs away"? haha

    god how i was in love keanu, hell i had a life sized cardboard cut out of him!

    i wonder where that is...

  6. Well, face it--the house that showed "Dirty Dancing" didn't have a whole lot of rules period!!!

    Remember we used to have to sit on opposite sides of the street and talk to eachother because we weren't allowed to cross little old 23rd street? :)

    I love your mom, the "whistle" is something I hope to be able to learn by the time our little one is able to go outside and play! You could do an entire blog on the "whistle" alone!!! You could hear it from everwhere in the neighborhood!

  7. Oh--and I was never allowed to watch "Roseanne" because my Mom and Dad didn't want me to think that living like that was "ok." Gotta love Bob and Brenda! :)

    Also banned was "Married with Children." Because "I don't want you watching those white-trash people."

  8. My mom was always pretty open and cool...

    but my grandmother forbid us from ALL those same things. MTV was scrambled specifically by her rules to the cable company. No "Married With Children."

    But for some reason, she always picked us up from the Cosmopolitan on teen night. Huh. If she only knew we were huffing butane in the bathroom, right?

  9. WOW! Your mom had some rules! My parents were kind of crazy when it came to "bad movies." We, my brother and I, were allowed to watch them, as long as my parents were in the room. They had us cover our eyes during "naughty" scenes, however we were totally able to watch Terminated 2 or the like when we were young. But My Cousin Vinny? Oh no. Bad language.

    I really didn't get it.

  10. My parents did the exact same thing with MTV! That was the channel my mom hated the most. Its not blocked anymore, but even now, if she walks through a room and its on, she gets annoyed.

    She was also big on being the age required, i.e. 13 for PG-13, like you said. This caused a problem when I was still 12 and all my friends had turned 13.

  11. That's hilariously embarrassing that your mom denied you so publicly while growing up! My parents were fairly hippie dippy when it came to rules. Though, I never did have cable growing up, so the trouble I could get into while watching TV was limited. And I don't think they were too pleased when the even more hippie dippy parents down the street let me watch the movie Ten when I was 5.

  12. For my 7th grade bday party, my mom was the cool mom who took about 6 or 8 of my friends to see an Eye for an Eye - bad freaking idea. We were all freaked out by the rape/murder scene in the beginning. (That movie still freaks me out.)

    To make up for the fact that we were all scarred now, on the ride home we started doing chinese fire drills and my mom almost left one of my friends bc she thought we were all in the car.

    My friends still talk about that.

  13. My parents were strict too. For my birthday one year i really wanted Vanilla Ice's new cassette tape but my mom absolutely forbade it. A girlfriend gave it to me as a present, and I got grounded!

  14. I wasn't allowed to watch Three Men & a Baby when I was in 6th grade. Because I wasn't 13. WTF? Also I was never allowed to watch The Simpsons, I always had to sneak it when I went to my cousins house.
    This is why I have one TV in my house that only plays The Simpsons 24-7.

  15. My parents let me watch whatever I wanted (I was an only child raised by older parents). I had a TV with cable in my bedroom and saw my first rated R movie at 4. I watched the first two American Pie movies in the theatre sitting in between both of my parents. Maybe they were just strange or uber-liberal, but I like to think I turned out okay.

  16. Wow! Your mom didn't play around. My dad fed me my first beer at the age of 15 and during highschool my mom knew I was staying up late to watch softcore porno on Skinne-Max! So yeah... I think I still turned out fine too!... right?!

  17. My parents are very pro-1st amendment, so we were allowed to watch anything we wanted. However, my sister an I often censored ourselves, because listening to George Michael sing "I want your sex" while mom was in the room was downright embarrassing.

    Also, there was one time that I was 12 and my dad recommended my friends and I rent "Deliverance" because it was a classic. I'm still pissed at him about that one, and it kept me firmly in PG territory for many years.

    I also saw "Dirty Dancing" when I was way too young, and I had NO IDEA what it was about, other than some dancing. Quite a revelation when I saw it again for the first time in college...

  18. My parents only censored the sex scenes.

    My dad actually bought me Dr. Dre's the chronic for my birthday, when the album first came out.

  19. oh man, our moms would have gotten along FAMOUSLY. she also vetoed movies at OTHER KIDS' sleepovers; i was not allowed to watch any R movies until i was actually 17 (my mom got SO PISSED when my dad took me to see true lies when i was about 16 1/2!) and i seriously was not allowed to watch anything except pbs and nickelodeon until about highschool... and by then i was busy doing homework. definitely no "mtv trash" :-)

  20. Oh God! This reminded me of when I was in my early to mid teens and my mom would ground me from watching MTV. Every other channel was fine, I wasn't grounded from watching tv, but MTV was off limits. This was seriously the worst punishment ever because I used to watch MTV 24/7.

    My parents were/are strict and lean towards the conservative side.

  21. My parents were ridiculously strict with me but my younger sister got away with everything. I had to wait 'til I was 17 to watch an R-rated movie, but she was allowed to watch them when I was. She was 15 at the time.

    But I guess it was OK because we both turned out OK. Right?

  22. my parents were the same way

    I completely missed the whole Melrose Place / 90210 / Party of Five craze of my high school years

    I'm still bitter

  23. My parents were nothing like that. My mom let me watch Grease and Dirty Dancing over and over. Hell she even let me watch IT. She didn't like that my dad let me watch wrestling though. I could watch Freddy Kruger movies and killer clowns, but not a bunch of men "hitting" each other.

  24. wow! And i thought it was bad that when my boyfriend stayed over in high school he had to sleep in another room.

    This is when I watched all the best horror movies, when I was too young, and they scared the poo outta me!

  25. dude. your mom sounds like my mom!

    except.. I had a dad who didn't care and let me watch anything I wanted anyway.

  26. Wow. My mom was like that until I was about 14, and then I think figured I'd find a way around her rules, so what was the use. But yeah, no Dirty Dancing for me until high school. The other thing she did was let me watch movies, but skip the "bad" parts. There are so many movies I watch now as an adule and have a totally different opinion of! Haha.

  27. Oh my gosh, I love this post!!

    I went through the EXACT same traumatic experiences!

    Dirty was the neighbor girls favorite movie, I was forbidden to see it. The first time I actually saw it was freshman year in college in my dorm room!


    Here's a real good one for you:

    "There's Something About Mary" came out when I was 16. We were forbidden to see this because my Aunt told my mom about the opening scene (I think it's someone jacking off under their desk at work)so she thought this was very inappropriate. Well, since I had just got my liscense I snuck up to the movie store with my younger brother who was 14 and rented "There's Something About Mary" while my Mom was not home. Just our luck, my Mom came home at the closing credits and we tried to lie about what movie we watched, but were not successful. Our punishment....watching a One Man interpretation of the Passion of Christ!

  28. i could pretty much watch whatever i wanted with the exception of the simpsons and ren and stimpy. but i don't think i was missing a whole lot there that i don't watch now, haha.

    and rated r movies were waited on until at least end of middle school. so i guess yeah so restrictions, but not a whole lot.

  29. My mom's favorite movies are Dirty Dancing and Pretty Woman. So I've been watching them since...well, since they came out. :)

  30. well, thank God for strict parents and 'buzz kills'!!!! there should be more in this day and age!!!

  31. haha wow. In my house:

    no simpsons
    no mtv
    no PG13/R

    Honestly, I'm still considered the most sheltered kid out there by many of my friends - and I'm 22!

    In some ways, I appreciate my folks' efforts to keep me from growing up too fast. Unfort, it looks impossible in today's info-age.

  32. @bird - i can't stop laughing at your comment, seriously.

  33. are you SURE we're not sisters? you could have been talking about my mom!

    looking back, and even then, i never thought my parents were particularly strict. there were just things that were appropriate and things that were not.

    MTV was among those. i was, however, allowed to watch Vh1 as much as i wanted. and the simpsons! i can remember when the simpsons came out and i ran home all excited to watch it because that's what all the cool kids were going to watch! um, not so much. my mom? she wasn't having any of it. and when i was in 8th grade and wanted to see dangerous minds? yeah, right.

    and you know what? i turned out just fine i think. :o)

  34. I wasn't allowed to watch MTV until High School either - and now that I know what is on that station I couldn't agree with my parent's decision more.

  35. My mom's strict TV/movie rules were totally inconsistent. She wouldn't let me watch Married With Children or the Simpsons, but MTV was never an issue. I watched Dirty Dancing, Grease and some R-rated movies in elementary school but couldn't see Jerry Maguire in high school. And it's not like she had anything to worry about -- I didn't get the whole DD abortion thing until well into my high school career. Maybe if I had watched Married With Children I would have figured it out sooner?

  36. No MTV, No Simpsons etc. Found a way around that one at friends' houses but one of the more hilarious parts of dating someone 8 years older is that he uses pop culture references that get nothing but a blank stare from me.
    It doesn't feel like much now but when he was a freshman in college doing God knows what...I was going into 4th grade.

    All that said...I can figure all of the above except two. Grease is not bad. It just isn't. And if I were on that airplane...I might have mutinied if someone took away my movie. Find another way to keep the kids busy, madam.

    But hey...we turned out alright:)

  37. I wasn't allowed to watch Beavis and Butthead, or Married with Children. But my parents were pretty lenient with other things (until the time I taped my friend's Eminem CD--before there were burners--and my parents found out. I was 12 years old and they were PISSED!!).

    My cousins, though, weren't allowed to watch Rugrats. Yes, the Nickelodeon cartoon about a bunch of babies. They weren't allowed to watch it.

  38. My mom had one rule.

    don't die.

  39. I remember when Aspen Extreme had that sex scene. Holy mother.

    But more importantly, I wasn't allowed to watch Little Mermaid because Ariel showed too much cleavage.

  40. Oh Dirty Dancing!

    I had both worlds.. an easygoing mom on the weekdays and then a strict as can be dad on the weekends.

  41. my parents were CRAZY strict. The worst part of it all is that they were consistent, so I could never get away with getting a no from one and a yes from another. I was a daddy's girl though, so I did get my way a FEW (few few) times with my dad.

  42. Ooh, great story.

    I was a painfully obedient child, so there wasn't a lot that I wasn't allowed to do. I could see PG-13 movies as long as my mom saw them first or watched them with me, and I could even watch MTV and Ren and Stimpy. Two things I was not allowed to watch, however, were Beavis and Butthead and Beverly Hills 90210. Of course, this meant I just watched them when my parents weren't home.

    So, okay, maybe I wasn't that obedient...

  43. Oh, on Grease: We totally watched that in sixth grade in music class. :] Our music teacher was an older gentlemen, and we'd get to watch movies on days when there was no upcoming concert or play, so we convinced him to let us watch Grease. We also may have watched Spice World.

  44. Back then movies were rated differently. PG13 was much worse than today, there wasn't NC17, just R.

    On that particular flight the screen was huge and RIGHT in front of our seats...hard to avoid. I didn't have to go to the Captain and the Flight Attendant did find another movie, not a current one though.

    Well I am glad to see there were other Moms like me too.


  45. My favorite Disney movie was Sleeping Beauty and my friend wasn't allowed to watch it because the queen says, "and all the powers of hell."

    Really, I know there have to be limits but most of that stuff flies over the heads of kids.

    I also used to love '9 to 5' and didn't realize until I watched it as an adult that they were smoking pot in one scene.
    :) Becky

  46. No PG-13 movies till we were 13, fo' sho'!

    No Simpsons, Friends, or MTV until everyone in the house is at least 13. Finally got there this year!

    Some "bad" words like "crap" are just now tolerated. "Butt" is totally nixed from our house.

    My mom & dad were super strict about the moral stuff - no drinking or sex, no morally objectionable movies or music, but super lax about safety stuff or doing things with our friends. I totally took taxis in Malaysia by myself in high school, and could come home super late.

    I guess you pick you battles, eh?

  47. My Dad freaked out when I was 14 and someone brought the movie Seven over... so he put a no rated R for the kids on our video account. Horribly embarrassing when I went to rent a movie using their account in college!!

  48. When the very first batman came out my entire class watched it, expect me because my mom prerented it and wrote every instance of improper material. I totally feel you.

  49. haha! i remember i wasnt allowed to watch you can't do that on television- remember that, on nick?

  50. My mom was a hawk! When all the kids were watching Pretty Woman my mom only allowed Annie. I still haven't seen that damn hooker movie all the way through.

  51. I laughed multiple times while reading this. Multiple times. I cannot believe she went to the captain of the plane to not have him show Pretty Woman. I would have been pissed at her as another passenger who is of age.

  52. Well aren't we on two sides of the tug of war rope here.....
    I know ,for me,some things my parents "did" when I was younger weren't quite "actually" that way.
    If ANYTHING I would be upset that people I associate with, even in a blogging way, were so willing to slam my Mother so cruely. I am sure your Mother was doing what was best for you. And after reading your blog other days sounds like she was a really good mom, not a hawking meanie. It is obvious that you love your mom in a love you but willing to throw you under the bus for a laugh kind of way..... I cant imagine how being a single mom forever then reading some of these posts makes her feel! Kids these days could use a hawking, caring mom. And sometimes people that say "Oh I turned out fine" are looking through a fogged lens. They may be okay to THEMSELVES, but the rest of us are thinking really??

  53. hey anonymous - go away. im annoyed that im even acknowledging you. it's against my rules.

    but you don't go knocking someones mom. everything i put about my mom in this post is true and she knows it. she did it for my own good and she was smart. we laughed about it together while she was reading it with me over the phone. i was hardly throwing her under the bus.

    just because i put a bit of humorous spin on it doesn't mean i don't love and respect my mother and everything she has done for me.

    you should know better than that, oh wait - you don't know me at all. go cause trouble somewhere else.

  54. alexa, you know these stories are based on truth, but embellished....obviously for a 'humourous spin'.......but, i'm quite sure that your mother isn't laughing about what you're saying about her.

  55. First of all, my daughter does embellish for the sake of the story and she was young so she doesn't remember things exactly as they were. We were right in front of the HUGH movie screen. I DID NOT go to the Captain of the plane, just to the flight attendant and it was NOT a scheduled movie for the flight, just an extra one because of the delay. They did put another more appropiate one in. Also I telephoned the mother having the birthday party after picking Alexa up.

    Thanks "anonymous" for understanding, not like some of the other rude bloggers. I still love ya, Lex XOXO

  56. olderthanyourmotherAugust 16, 2008 at 10:42 AM

    When i was in junior high school, back in the day when sex education was still taught in schools, my two younger sisters and I were watching the Mary Tyler Moore show with my stern Grandmother.

    Mary was concerned about Rhoda's mother leaving to take some pills, so she asked Rhoda what the pills were for. Rhoda replied, "For all I know they could be an aphrodiesiac."

    Both of the little sisters piped up simultaneously to ask, "What's that?

    Before I could use my 7th grade sex education to explain to the kiddies, Grandma shouted, "sugar pill." End of discussion.

    Flash forward. We are all adults and I tell this story at a family gathering and everyone gets a big laugh. Later Grandma, a woman who did the Sunday Times crossword in ink, pulls me aside and asks me, "What is an aphrodesiac?"

  57. my mom wasn't strict about music/movies but she didn't like it when i was unsupervised. She would be the parent who called up the mom of the girl who was having a sleepover to ask if a parent would be home and if there would be any drinking (if there WAS do you really think the parents KNEW about it and permitted it!?)

    She finally stopped calling moms when I was about fifteen but my curfew was a good two hours before the rest of my friends.

    PS: When I was in fourth grade my friends and I wanted to use Baby Got Back as the song for a dance number in the school talent show. We asked our teacher and she didn't know the song. She asked us what the worst word in the song was and we told her it was "butt," which we truly thought it was. She was going to let us use it until we changed our minds anyway because, "you all hear the word butt every day anyway."

    If only we had used the song I think her face would have been PRICELESS...

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