Tonight we took Katie to see Santa at the mall. We ate in the food court afterwards. Katie and I got Panda Express. Will got Ruby Thai. As we sat eating our meals at a circular table at the center of the food court, both Will and Katie had trouble keeping their eyes away from the not one, not two, but eight television screens surrounding us. Big, flat screen TVs. We don't have a TV that plays anything other than videos at home. It kinda felt like we were in Pleasantville.
I ignored them and kept occupied by my own thoughts. Until Katie interrupted my internal dialog by pointing at one of the jumbo screens and shouting, "Look! It's Justin Bieber!"
It has begun.
"I didn't know you even knew who Justin Bieber is," I said, poking Katie in the ribs. She flinched but didn't take her eyes off the screen.
"Yes. All the girls love him."
"Ooooh, I see." Peers. It was just like last year when my girl whose favorite color had always been blue came home one day from kindergarten and announced that her new favorite color was pink and that all the girls at her school like pink. "Why do you think all the girls love him?" I prodded.
The Bieber commercial was over, so Katie finally looked at me. "I dunno. Mackenzie in my class has a Justin Bieber poster!" she said, shoving a piece of orange chicken into her mouth.
"Oh yeah? Do you know what a poster is?"
I probably sounded a bit too condescending because she shook her head, mouth still too full to speak, but her eyes looked a little hurt.
"A poster is a big piece of paper that has a picture of a star on it and you stare at it and kiss it before you go to bed at night and stuff like that."
Katie's eyes popped out in disbelief. She has never seen her mother act in such a way. I felt that I had to explain where I had obtained such knowledge of heartthrobdom.
"It's OK, Punky. I had a Shaun Cassidy poster on my bedroom wall when I was in like first or second grade."
"Who's Shaun Cassidy?" My 32-year old husband asked. (Psst. He also didn't know who Farrah Fawcett was.)
"The Justin Bieber of the late Seventies," I explained.
I feel old.