Fine. To her delight, Target had a bin of discounted movie DVDs. Perfect for a ninth grader's budget. She handed me a DVD and asked what I thought of this particular movie for her little sister. She hadn't heard of it, but the description on the back looked good.
I read the back of the movie DVD case, thought the title sounded vaguely familiar, but shrugged and said "sure, that's a good gift," and hurried us to the check out. I hadn't paid much attention to movie releases the previous year--rare for me, because I LOVE movies--but we'd moved the previous year, and I'd been distracted from paying much attention to movie culture while getting our new home in order. And that day, I was again in a hurry, juggling work, family, and birthday preparations.
A few mornings later, after my husband had left for work and my older daughter for high school, my younger daughter came down earlier than usual for breakfast before heading off to jr. high.
"Mom," she said, with great seriousness. "We need to talk..."
"You know the movie Sis gave me?"
"What?" I was a little taken aback. I thought we were going to have a talk. About something serious. Well, OK. Everything is serious to a seventh grader. So I decided to take her seriously. "Oh, yes. Now, I'm sure your sister is fine with you watching it with your friends before you watch it with her."
My daughter gave me a long, stern look. "About that. I watched it last night, on my own. And mom, I thought you should know that this is just not appropriate for kids my age. There's a scene, that's well, that's about porn. I've already checked with Sis, and she didn't know that was in the movie. But really, you should double-check these things before approving them. And, probably, you should lock this away so none of my friends see it and what to watch it tonight. I think we'll be ready for it in a few years."
With that, she stood up, and walked out the door to make her trek to her jr. high up the road. I sat at the kitchen table, mouth gaping over my unsipped coffee. Picked up the DVD--Love Actually. Re-read the innocent description on the back of the case: "Get ready for fun! The most delightful film of the year. Ultimate romantic comedy! Funny, irresistible and heartwarming..."
Nothing. About. Porn.
I thought, maybe the DVD was somehow tampered with? More than a little nervously, I popped the DVD into the player. Watched the delightful movie, thinking, what in the world is my daughter talking about?
And then the porn scene came on. It's actually not... porn. It's about two porn actors, and is really very funny... at least if you're a few years older than seventh grade... and the whole point of including the porn actor characters is that love is about so much more than sex.
After alternately being incredibly amused and incredibly horrified about my younger daughter watching a movie that was a few years beyond her, I chatted with her about the movie, and the point it was making about love, and indeed locked it away.
A few years later, we all watched the movie together. We had a good laugh about the harried mom not realizing what she was approving with that off hand, "sure, that's a good gift." Eventually, Love Actually... actually became one of our favorite holiday movies.
But we still chuckle, every time we watch it, at our shared memory.