|My favourite picture of myself and baby Ayden|
My oldest nephew just turned seven last November and I thought it was about time I introduced him to an old friend of mine: Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula. Now, if you've been a long-time reader of my blog, you'll know that I was around that same age when my Aunt introduced me to DRACULA (1931) for the first time - and I was bloody terrified. Terrified in a good way, though, not in a wet-my-pants kind of way (which would have been bad and slightly mortifying).
Ayden (that's my nephew) came over one Friday night for a couple of hours and, like always, he immediately made a beeline to my bedroom. He plopped himself down in front of my iMac and said: "Auntie Nessa, let's watch a movie!" We flipped through both my digital movie library and my massive disc binder full of films and settled on UNDERWORLD (2003) and DRACULA. The fact that both of these films featured hot vampires boded well in my mind for a couple of reasons: 1) the kid obviously has great taste in movies, and 2) I had visions of my younger self being equally as obsessed with the supernatural (vamps in particular, before shit storms like TWILIGHT (2008) made them "cool"). I think it's pretty safe to say that Ayden has morphed into a tiny male version of me (bless him).
Kids say the darndest things, right? Well, here's what little Ayden said whilst watching DRACULA unfold on the screen (in my suitably darkened bedroom):
- "Nessa, why is he [the Count] staring at me?"
- "Nessa, why are there bees in that coffin?"
- "This movie must be really old 'cause there's no colour in it."
- "Nessa, he's still staring at me"
- "He's staring at that guy [Renfield] too!"
- "When are his teeth gonna come out?"
- "Is there any blood in this movie?"
- "There's no blood. Underworld is cooler. Can we watch that girl [Selene] beat up the werewolf again?"
I kept looking at him while DRACULA was running because I wanted to gauge his reactions to certain scenes. I also wanted to make sure I wasn't scaring the bejeezus out of my own flesh and blood because if I gave the poor kid nightmares, my sister would kick my ass (she goes to the gym every day so she totally could and I can't run very fast). Granted, the two of us didn't watch the entire movie that night but that wasn't because Ayden had grown bored of it. Actually no, quite the opposite! His eyes remained riveted to the screen the whole time and (sadly) I was the one who lost my nerve. I shut it off after about thirty minutes because, again, I didn't want to scare him too much.
Ayden knows Auntie Nessa loves movies (old and new) and he enjoys flipping through my collection, looking through all the discs and studying the pictures on the front of each one. This gives me hope for the future; will he turn into a classic film fan like his Auntie Nessa? Will he beg me to bring him along to the TCMFF once he gets older? Will he chastise his high school friends for not watching enough old movies? Will he develop crushes on Rita Hayworth and Ginger Rogers, hoping to marry someone exactly like Myrna Loy?
Ayden, if you're older and reading this ... you can thank me now.