Mom, Meet Rocky Horror. Rocky Horror, Mom. Commentator Laura Lorson tells the story of how her ultra-conservative mother ended up going to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It could have been a disaster, but the whole incident became one of Lorson's favorite memories of her mom.
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Mom, Meet Rocky Horror. Rocky Horror, Mom.

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Mom, Meet Rocky Horror. Rocky Horror, Mom.

Mom, Meet Rocky Horror. Rocky Horror, Mom.

Mom, Meet Rocky Horror. Rocky Horror, Mom.

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/6140875/6141466" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Commentator Laura Lorson tells the story of how her ultra-conservative mother ended up going to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It could have been a disaster, but the whole incident became one of Lorson's favorite memories of her mom.

MICHELE NORRIS, host:

There are certain movies that we tend to think of as family films - Cinderella, The Lion king, Home Alone. Commentator Laura Lorson likes all of those films as much as the next person, but the movie that taught her the most about family is one that might not top the family viewing list.

LAURA LORSON: When I was a senior in high school, I went through a brief phase wherein I went to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show every weekend for a couple of months. I liked being part of a communal event. I liked being applauded for being clever in the darkness of a theater. And most of all I liked that I was watching a movie that would completely horrify my parents.

One weekend along about the sixth week in a row that I was headed out of the house at 11:30 in the evening, my mother put her foot down. You are not going anywhere. If you're going you're going to get up at six a.m. tomorrow and wash the windows. I don't even know why you want to go to some movie in the middle of the night. You probably don't even go to the movie. You're probably hanging out somewhere drinking and smoking and doing God knows what all. You know what, you can go, but I'm going to go with you. See how you like them apples.

I didn't even think twice, I want to go. So I immediately said great let's get in the car. We don't want to be late. Now my mother is a very proper woman who favors white blouses buttoned up to the neck. Her biggest piece of fashion advice to me has always been to keep my nails polished and my shoes shined and then every else pretty much falls into place. So I dragged my mother out to the theater, where everyone is all got up in their Rocky Horror gear, knowing full well this is going to completely knock her for loop and we got our tickets and I asked if it was alright if I sat in the front with my friends and she agreed.

And I left her there surrounded by strangers sitting in the middle of theater in her Ship-N-Shore blouse and her khaki skirt and her suntan colored Leggs pantyhose and her Espadrilles. I remember having a fine time at the movie and at the end of the evening I remember her saying as how she could understand where a teenager would think that's a lot of fun.

But I have to say that my most vivid memory of the whole incident now is the horrified look on her face when she saw a man tricked out in a corset and stockings sashing up to sit next to her and I walked away and left her by herself.

Of course this entered into Lorson family lore, the night Mom went to Rocky Horror. And it gave her a certain amount of cache with my younger sisters down the road. But I only learned a couple of years ago that the whole thing was an elaborate bluff which I had called and trumped without even knowing. I didn't want to go. I thought you would say there's no way you'd go if I went and then I couldn't back down. I had no idea what was going to happen and I was kind of scared.

And that brought back the look, that moment when I looked back at my mom sitting up in the exact center of the auditorium. When I thought she was angry, she was scared. I apologized for the whole incident. It just about breaks my heart now thinking about how shallow and careless I was being with my mom. Teenagers can be just awful to the people they love.

But then my mom said I was nervous because it all seemed so strange, but then the movie started and I heard your voice calling out lines and jokes and interacting with the other people and I felt something I hadn't expected to feel. I realized that you could be fearless. I admired you.

So out of what could have been a terrible night we both came away with something good. Mothers can surprise you that way sometimes.

NORRIS: Commentator Laura Lorson says she doesn't stay up much past ten p.m. these days at her home in Perry, Kansas.

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