Me Tarzan, You Jane, A Perfect Saturday AfternoonSaturday, August 20, 2011
Saturday was not a day that Rosemary looked forward to. Rebecca is no longer the smiling child of a rosy past who would run into the house and out the kitchen door to see what roses would be in bloom. At 14 she is interested in other things. She is confrontational and sometimes quite rude.
This time we knew that there would be one element not in play. She would not pursue the use of any of our home computers nor would she use her iTouch or her cellular phone. Her parents had grounded her from use of any of these items until further notice.
A pleasant Rebecca with smiling younger sister Lauren in tow knocked at the door a bit after noon. Lauren went out in search of Rosemary’s cat Casi-Casi (the cat and Lauren are good friends) and Rebecca, after raiding the ice box sat in the living room too look (and I noticed read) two of her favourite photography books, Hurrell – Hollywood and Sleeping Beauty – Memorial Photography in America by Stanley B. Burns , M.D.
After a while Rosemary and Rebecca went to Staples to shop for school supplies while Lauren, by her own volition decided to mop the kitchen floor while I saw to that evening’s menu, chilled cucumber soup and cheese fondue (I cut up the three cheeses, Gruyere, Appenzeller, and Emmental). I made sure my iced tea was ready to go while checking the oven as I had to turn it off and let Rosemary’s Pavlova sit.
Rebecca returned happy and polite and I even persuaded her to pose for me in the garden with her new Ximena Sariñana T-shirt. She balked a bit when I took her out again to photograph her by the extremely blue Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Blaumeise’. She protested about the bugs that converged upon her. She was wearing her now perennial shorts and refuses to use Off because of the noxious chemicals that would cause any number of lethal malaises.
Dinner was just about perfect except that Lauren, Rebecca and even Rosemary were not too keen on my chilled cucumber soup (recipe from my mother’s Joy of Cooking). The fondue was perfect as was Rosemary’s Pavlova in which we had the option of either piling dulce de leche or raspberries on the whipped cream. Gallons of iced tea were consumed (to the peril of a sleepless night I would have predicted). We then retired to the den to watch Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O’Sullivan in the 1932 Tarzan, The Ape Man.
At first Lauren was bored but as soon as rampaging lions and hippos came into the scene she was hooked. I noticed how in spite of her screaming in the presence of apes, Maureen O’Sullivan’s Jane was a 21st century feminist who knew what she wanted from the very beginning. Perhaps because of my age and having seen the film for the first time sometime around 1948 I was not bothered by the ape-skinned pseudo apes that made Rebecca laugh. Is reality in film now to be so seamless that imagination no longer plays a role?
Perhaps in anticipation of the tension that never happened, Rosemary told me, once the girls were gone, “I am exhausted.”
I was not. I even felt happy that I had been able to converse with Rebecca and give her the advice that if she played ball and smiled she would be able to iTouch, phone (text) and work with the computer without being grounded. I think she may have seen the light and perhaps Saturdays will be pleasant again, as in the past and, yes, today.