Pippa’s grandpapapapapapapa gave the family a collection of DVDs of the PBS series, Jeeves and Wooster for Christmas, and last weekend Pip set about watching. She watched the first, chuckled, laughed, and smiled — then crept over to my seat on the couch, batted her eyelashes, and asked, “What will we do next?” (The correct answer, of course, was “watch another episode.”)
There can hardly be a more precious sound to a parent’s ears in all the world than the sound of their child’s unguarded laughter. If watching Jeeves and Wooster makes Pippa’s laughter peal out, then we will watch another episode. Case closed.
The drawback of this viewing marathon, however, is that it’s engendering something of an identity crisis for me. For a long time, I’ve introduced myself as a postmodern Victorian — but now I’m wondering whether I might not be closer to a postmodern Edwardian. [The best solution, probably, is to say that I’m the kind of person who would devote significant deliberation over the question of whether he is more precisely a postmodern Victorian or a postmodern Edwardian. . . .]