To say that my fall may be preoccupied with lots of planning and waiting (like everyone else) would be an understatement. At the core though, there is a desire to be with things that quail fears and angst and bring comfort in a season that calls for it.
A few weeks back, just as news of schools started to congest are feeds, Netflix announced a rerelease of some of my favorite 90s sitcoms. Now to some, these may just be shows that they’ve heard of, but for 30-somethings like me, they were cornerstones of culture and pivotal change. Brandy, in Moesha, was like the teen older sister I never had, who’s braids and cool I desired to mimic. Tia and Tamera’s unique family dynamic brought early questions of how families can co-exist and became something of a refuge as a kid from a family of divorce. In their likeness, of two twins, I saw myself and my sister who is only 14 months my senior. And in their outfits, I learned that in denim bucket hats, overalls, and with every kind of vest one could manage was more than just cute style aspects, they were ways to access creativity through clothes—even through a screen.
This may seem too light in the gravity of it all, but the comfort of knowing my favorite shows are waiting for me in the late evenings after a day of whatever kind of school and evening, as forms of care through the season and beyond brings me relief in more ways than one.
(Top photograph: ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
My daughter is starting college this fall and moving halfway across the country, and she’s bringing “comfort reading,” as she calls it. 🙂 The comfort watching will be courtesy of a graduation present from her aunt— a year of Netflix, with Avatar: the Last Airbender and stuff like that. But her other comfort show is one she got from me from my 1980s childhood, and unfortunately it’s The Cosby Show. I grew up in a really miserable, dysfunctional family, with CPS called by our teachers and all that, and I wanted so badly for my family to be like the Huxtables. I’m sorry it’s hard to just enjoy it now because of what Bill Cosby has done, but our kids grew up watching it before we knew about any of that so…it’s her childhood throwback as well, with the cool teenagers and the goofy sibling dynamics and smart, beautiful mom. Ah well.