I don't care what anyone says. She looks like me as a cartoon.
Holy crap. That looks like me, I thought gleefully.
(Look, a plain, brunette with round black-framed glasses doesn't come along on TV all that much. I'll take a cartoon character.)
Yes, I had discovered Daria. She was sarcastic, had one friend, couldn't wait to get out of high school where everyone was popular/stupid/exactly the same and her family was . . . well, let's just say they were less than perfect. I had found my role model.
Pathetic? Absolutely. What 20-year-old wants to admit that her role model was a cartoon spin-off from Beavis and Butthead? But Daria was hysterical. It skewered high school and portrayed it like I remembered it. Daria's younger sister Quinn was so my sister Beth (in my eyes) that I had a hard time not snickering when Beth would talk, hearing Quinn's voice instead. Mom and Dad were hardly like Daria's parents, but the overly Type A personality mom on the show made me feel better about Dad and his inspirational little "chats" with me about my future.
As time went on, I grew up a little and my enthusiasm for Daria didn't wan. But I got a regular 9 to 5 job and started missing episodes. I met Erick in '98 and began spending all my extra time at his house. I tried to catch episodes during my weekend visits to South Jersey, but Erick didn't like Daria and we were usually so--uh--busy that we didn't watch a lot of TV anyway. And, once Erick and I got married in '99, I didn't even know if Daria was on anymore.
Skip ahead, skip ahead, skip ahead . . .
It's the middle of the night and I'm wide awake. I'm supposed to be doing my homework, but instead I'm watching TV (it's called a "break," Dad & Erick!). In fact, I was watching reruns of That 70s Show on TeenNick (nothing makes you feel older than contemporary shows as reruns. Realizing The Wonder Years was going to be on Nick at Nite after The Andy Griffin Show made me want to buy Geritol and denture cream, but that's another post. lol) Suddenly I saw this face looking back at me:
Yup, she still looks like me.
DARIA!!! She was back!!! Suddenly the fact I had missed the last three seasons of the original run didn't even matter. I was over-the-moon excited. My late teens-early 20s role model was back, better than ever. I was on Amazon faster than white on rice, only to discover that I'd probably have to ask Santa for Daria for Christmas.
In fact, I started my not-so-subtle campaign for the Daria DVDs the next night. Sitting on the couch with Erick, I turned to him and said, "Daria is coming out on DVD. Can you get it for me for Christmas?" I still can't believe he agreed. But that's what marriage is about, humouring your mate and buying them DVDs of cartoons they watched when they were a slacking, 20ish stoner with no motivation.
PS: I'm hoping that Erick knows I'm totally serious about the DVDs. I don't even care if they're my only gift. Daria rules!!