Prince was seated at the piano playing and singing between award presentations. Just as he began to holler freakishly authentic bird-type noises while simultaneously ripping open his white shirt featuring a fluffy white pirate-like tie, Mom entered the room.
I felt dirty.
The show had of course been harmless up until that exact moment. Mom's timing was impeccable. My brothers and I had no explanation. We were at a loss for words. Not that Mom waited around for us to defend our position of innocence.
'What!' she exclaimed. The word wasn't being used in conjunction with a question. I suppose the question was implied. The instant she snapped out of the 5 second trance she had been in while her face tightened and reconfigured, she marched forward while waving her arms above her head.
'Turn this CRAP off!' she insisted. Again, none of us moved -probably because she had struck the power button with enough force to turn the television off herself and push the whole damn set back a few inches on Mike's dresser. An inch of dust typically hidden under the antique TV revealed itself.
Although Pat was younger than me, he was the epicenter of my parents' universe. That alone ticked me off to no end. Moments like these, however, when our mother glared at him because she expected better of him- I felt overcome with a sense of relief and joy.
As the older sister without a television in my bedroom, I was tempted to point out to her that perhaps my younger brothers shouldn't have a TV in their bedroom in the first place.
It had been ages since Mom had decided the boob-tube belonged in the boys' room. My sisters were a few years older than me. They didn't seem impacted by this kind of inequity. I was less than a year older than Pat, so this kind of thing hit me right between the eyes. I struggled with these gender-biased issues despite how commonplace they were in our Irish Catholic family. Besides - I knew from past experience, the more I objected the more I would be forced to cope with unending gloating from my favored brothers.
Instead of pointing out the obvious, I decided to let the trauma Mom had endured work its magic as I quietly slunk back to my quiet and TV-less bedroom.