Unbeknownst to me at the time, everything was about to change with a single advertisement on the television. 1990 apparently marked the 15th Anniversary The Rocky Horror Picture Show. My chubby little heart was set to burst from that thirty-second spot for a movie I'd never even seen. Mom was always a handful, but she was remarkably permissive when it came to what I wanted to watch. She took me with her to see Fatal Attraction because she didn't want to go alone. She let me watch Twin Peaks alone in my room every Thursday. Mary had no qualms with me fixating on a movie musical, even if Streisand wasn't in it.
A lot has happened in twenty years. We have cell phones and internet. Movies stream magically from the ether directly into our sixty-five inch plasma televisions and The Rocky Horror Picture Show is now considered mainstream. I still can't help but think that I owe a chunk of my self-reliance and serenity to that VHS tape from 1990.
Mom and I moved a couple months later and I flourished in a public arts school for the remaining years until college. I lost my baby fat and lived happily ever after.