1987 Debunked by Its Own Panflute Playing Monkey

Team Awkward

Team Awkward


Recently, Bella, along with every other boobie-budding tweenager, has been obsessed with Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight book series. It’s kind of like the Duran Duran of my generation in that this Twilight thing is a big gateway into much cooler stuff.

“Mom, can I download the Moose CD?”

Moose? Really? Where did you hear about them?”

“The Twilight soundtrack. You know.”


“Yeah, is that how you say it?”

I instantly okayed Muse, a vast improvement over Miley Cyrus and the rest of Bella’s musical library riddled with phase vocoder this-and-that.

A week later, The Bell was reading in her room. Brief trappings of classical composer Claude Debussy emanated through the walls.

“Russell? Do you hear that?”

“Yeah, is that from Bella’s room?”

“Yes! She’s listening to Debussy in there, and I think it’s on repeat.”

We pressed our ears to her door. Holy cow, it was really happening.

Knock, knock. “Bella?”


“Hey, are you listening to Debussy?”

“Yes, I am.”

“When did you get into that?”

“Twilight soundtrack. Moooom, I’m reading right now, ok?”


Booty dance. Take THAT, Miley.

After Muse and Debussy, Bella asked for a copy of Wuthering Heights. I know the Twilight phenom isn’t real hip amongst the holier than thou Philip K. Dick set, but, hey, STEPHANIE MEYER BRAINWASHED MY KID INTO BEGGING FOR A COPY OF WUTHERING HEIGHTS. Praise her.

Yesterday, Bella made the most important discovery of her lifetime: “MOM! Uncle Dain’s old band Marjorie Fair is a huge inspiration for Stephanie Meyer. Look, she has listed them as required listening for New Moon readers.”  

Reads Philip K. Dick

Reads Philip K. Dick


There were about eight different layers of Excellent to this news — the best being Uncle Dain’s incredible hatred for those books. We texted him immediately. I pointed out how all of Bella’s friends were dying for an autograph and downloading music videos of his fake-playing keyboards in some faraway field. As members of the massive Stephanie Meyer Army, I’m sure eleven-year-olds everywhere are dreamily batting their eyelashes and cooing, “Oooooh, Dain.”  (Dain is super Tiger Beat at 3:09)

Going back to my earlier analogy, though, of Duran Duran and Twilight being gateway drugs into Cool, this means Dain equals Nick Rhodes. Score, that’s great. 

Nick Rhodes, move over. Dain is here.

Nick Rhodes, move over. Dain is here.

But anyway, all of this vampire stuff and the frequent trips to Hot Topic for Twilight trinket shopping has opened the door to: “Mom, I’ve been thinking a lot about my goth phase.”

“Your goth phase? You’re eleven.”

“Not now, but when I’m a teenager, Mom. I’m kind of liking that.”

“The music or the image thing?”

“The music.”

Russell and I began singing Peter Murphy’s “Strange Kind of Love” to Bella as she looked back at us in disgust. In California, we used to joke about how his voice was haunted.

“You guys are weird.”

“You’re not ready for goth if you think that’s weird.”

We YouTubed Peter Murphy, and Bella was not impressed. “It’s very vampire-y, though.” Realizing I should have eased Peter Murphy into the mix by starting with Love and Rockets and working backward, I pulled up “No New Tale to Tell.” I was sure she’d dig that.

Bella was quick to identify this music as “not goth.” Clearly, I was no competition for the musical prowess of Stephanie Meyer. About two minutes and ten seconds into the video, Bella rolled her eyes, “Mom? How can you say your music is cooler than the stuff I’m listening to?”

“I’m not saying that.”

“Look at that. I’m not trying to hurt your feelings, but that’s a monkey playing a panflute with men dancing behind him dressed like bees.”

She was right. There was nothing cool going on with the L&R video. Why did it take an eleven-year-old twenty-two years later to point this out for me? I’m going to cut her some slack for being ahead of the curve from here on out.

This whole experience has really debunked my myth that 1987 was a badass year. It’s like when I made fun of my mom for her weird, white-woman fro and bell bottoms. What happened? I thought I was gonna break that cycle. Eh, it’s like the old adage: “You cannot go against nature because when you do go against nature, that’s part of nature, too.”

Wait, nevermind.

Stephanie Meyer, you’re ok. Apparently, you’re much cooler than Duran Duran. Sorry for being snotty about that.

And…thanks for real.