RHPS

In recent years I’ve come to take a harder look at the forms of entertainment I engage.  Part of this has come out of necessity, since I am always with my kids it is pretty much impossible to watch an R-rated movie for very long without one of them popping into the room.  (And they inevitable show up at the most inappropriate parts.)  Not that I’ve ever been a big fan of gratuitous sex scenes, but I never really thought twice when two unmarried characters obviously slept together even if no nude shots were involved.  Now I notice themes in television, movies, and music that promote promiscuity and profanity in a way I never did before.

Now those of you who have known me for very long know that I used to be a HUGE fan of The Rock Horror Picture Show.  I was sixteen when I saw it in the theater for the first time.  I started attending every performance at my hometown theater.  I met several of the cast members of the stage show, and I even filled in a few times as minor characters.  I organized groups from high school and college for the big Halloween shows.  I knew every audience participation line and owned the four-CD boxed set.  I often dressed up as the character Magenta.  (Just for the record, I never attended RHPS with a drop of alcohol in my system; it gave me a natural high every time I went.)

This may have also seemed kind of odd to those who knew me.  I was never much of a rule breaker.  I never received a detention in school, and I only recall being grounded once in my life.  Everyone was quite aware that I was a virgin and would mostly likely remain one until marriage.  Yet, here I was involved in this raunchy glorification of breaking all societal rules:  promiscuity, homosexuality, slavery, and murder.

I think for me it was a way of “breaking the rules” in a fairly innocuous way.  I could dress up in my pajamas (with my bra peaking out), go to the theater, dance in the aisles, and scream profanities at the top of my lungs.  For a little while I could pretend that I was not the nerdy freak that everyone treated me like in my everyday life.  Once I blossomed in college Rocky Horror fulfilled less of a “need” and just became about fun and catching up with friends I had made at the show.  And as I entered married life and later had children it became a source of nostalgia.

I actually went a few times after we moved to Illinois, even met the president of the RHPS fan club Sal Piro, and had a lot fun.  But more recently I have struggled with the place this movie has in my life.  I have not watched it in the theater or at home for at least two years.  I think I have just outgrown Rocky Horror Picture Show.  It’s like that favorite pair of jeans that shrunk up in the wash and just doesn’t fit anymore.  It was all really just a form of pretend play for me anyway.  Now I am “breaking the rules” of society in new, more meaningful ways.  Instead of yelling out profanities at a movie screen, I am yelling out about the profanities within our society like abortion.

This past week I dropped off two copies of the movie and my RHPS fan book at the local used bookstore.  The bobble-heads (that have been sitting in my garage forever) will probably go to Goodwill.  I wasn’t ready to part with my CDs, but they are going into storage.  I will also keep my RHPS t-shirt, a hand-me-down from my best friend and former college roommate who was wearing it the first time we met.  I am not ashamed of my time with RHPS, but at the same time I hope that my children have no desire or need to engage with it.

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2 Comments on “RHPS”

  1. Laurke Says:

    Good for you for letting go! It always cracked me up that you were so into it. If not for you, I may never have understood or even seen that movie 😀 Not that my life would have been less fulfilling, but it WAS a bonding experience in college.

    • barboo77 Says:

      Like I wrote, I don’t really regret most of my time with RHPS. I certainly met some interesting people from different walks of life that I probably wouldn’t have met otherwise, and I have a lot of fun memories with friends.


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