I was scrolling through radio stations in my car the other day when "Bette Davis Eyes" came on.
Annoying tune, valuable lesson.
I realized my tween-age kids had no idea what the song was about.
I started thinking about all the memes, sly comments and passing references they'll have to decipher in their lifetimes.
How will they ever make it through an episode of The Simpsons, playful banter in a bar and all those T-shirt slogans?
I realized it's my job as a mom to prevent them from making socially fatal malapopisms. I refuse to let my children muddle through life missing all the inside jokes.
Case in point: A few seasons ago, I helped coach a girls' softball team with a friend and we constantly shouted at the players, "Hey, there's no crying in baseball!" We cracked ourselves up. But the girls just stared blankly back at us from the bench.
It wasn't until later, when we finally sat down together to watch A League of Their Own, that it dawned on my daughters what was going on. Since then, the line has become part of our cultural shorthand, our shared family lexicon that we pop into conversation to make each other smile or laugh, along with "Nobody puts Baby in a corner" and "I see dead people."
The importance of this came up again when my daughters were watching one of their favorite TV shows, Pretty Little Liars. The episode featured a visit to a creepy motel run by an odd bachelor. There was a scary shower scene with a shadow appearing on the curtain.
"They're doing Psycho, they're doing Psycho!" I screamed, jumping up from the couch and pointing at the screen.
So much ground to cover in so little time. And that's not including all the music, literature and historical references I need to pass on.
Undaunted by the task ahead, I've started a Notes app list in my phone of must-show-em movies with important lines and references. Here's what I've added to our Netflix watch queue and why. What would you include?
1. "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." (Gone With the Wind)
2. "Here's looking at you, kid." (Casablanca)
3. "Love means never having to say you're sorry." (Love Story)
4. "I coulda been a contender." (On the Waterfront)
5. "Houston, we have a problem." (Apollo 13)
6. "You had me at 'hello.' " (Jerry Maguire)
7. "May the force be with you." (Star Wars)
8. "If you build it, he will come." (Field of Dreams)
9. "Shaken, not stirred." (James Bond)
10. "You're going to need a bigger boat." (Jaws)