Discussion for Episode 10: Other People's Mothers

General discussion about the nineteen episodes of "My So-Called Life". Note: Our episode guide can be found here.
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Post by TomSpeed » Mar 18th 2003, 8:17 pm

Angela helping to prepare for Rayanne's party

There's a big difference between being forced to do something and wanting to do the same thing. Angela doesn't want to help out with her grandparents' party because she feels obligated to do so. She really doesn't even want to attend the party. However, her admiration of Rayanne compels her to volunteer to help prepare for her party. She wants to help move furniture for Rayanne. I've been guilty of doing stuff like this, too.
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Post by Nothingman » Mar 18th 2003, 8:20 pm

As far as the "half a year" controversy goes, could it be possible that Angela and Rayanne had been friends for a few months prior the pilot? Perhaps that is just where the story starts because that is when Angela decides to dye her hair and really begins to change her outlook on life. I haven't gone back and checked, but I can't recall anything that would contradict this posibility. Also, 15 yr olds often have a case of selective memory where they choose to remember things as they see fit, so half a year could be anwhere from 4 to 9 months.

Is Danielle refering to that years thanksgiving, in which case it had already past, or is she refering to the thansgiving from the year before. It seems to be pretty warm for post thansgiving PA(of course they aren't really in PA). Because Angela's geometry midterm isn't untill episode 12, and on a semester system, midterms are before thanksgiving or right after. But they are probably on a quarter system, so when are the midterms then, i've forgotten? So are we in the begining or the end of Novemeber? The episode orginally aired on Nov. 3, but I don't know if that makes any difference? I've got myself all confused now.
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Post by Nothingman » Mar 18th 2003, 8:25 pm

I don't think Rayanne's dad is the type of guy who even has a checking account. The money is probably in many different denominations and is what he could scrouge up, or what he won on a bet or something, or what he got for doing work under the table, who knows. Here's a bigger question. Who would send $270 CASH in the mail? It's a miracle it ever reached Rayanne.
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Mar 18th 2003, 8:28 pm

shorty wrote:I was trying to think of an answer to Candygirl's question about why Rayanne's dad gave her $270 instead of a rounded amount like $250 or $300, and I always envisaged him remembering her birthday at the very last minute, and then running around like a headless chicken searching for bits of cash under his matress or for whatever he had scattered around his house, then just cramming it into a card and scrwaling some message on it after he'd just smoked a spliff!
I see what you're saying, but most people aren't stupid enough to send cash in the mail, especially that much cash. Then again, if he just smoked a spliff and wrote that crappy message, it's entirely possible that he stuffed some cash in an envelope and sent it on its way. If that's the case, I guess we should be impressed that he even bothered to buy an actual card!
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Mar 18th 2003, 8:31 pm

nothingman wrote:As far as the "half a year" controversy goes, could it be possible that Angela and Rayanne had been friends for a few months prior the pilot? Perhaps that is just where the story starts because that is when Angela decides to dye her hair and really begins to change her outlook on life. I haven't gone back and checked, but I can't recall anything that would contradict this posibility. Also, 15 yr olds often have a case of selective memory where they choose to remember things as they see fit, so half a year could be anwhere from 4 to 9 months.
Yes, that is a possibility, but I think that the reason why the pilot began where it did is to show Angela starting a new part of her life and hanging out with Rayanne was the impetus for change (in terms of her wardrobe, her hair, her attitude, etc). In addition, Angela and Sharon seemed to spend so much time together that Angela couldn't have been sneaking around with Rayanne for too long or Sharon would have become suspicious. Finally, they are picking a theme for the yearbook in the pilot, which is something that is usually done quite early in the school year.
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Post by TomSpeed » Mar 18th 2003, 8:39 pm

candygirl wrote:
TomSpeed wrote:If you buy cheap beer, $270 is plenty of money for a party.
I was basing my calculation on the fact that we see Rayanne buying hard liquor out of some guy's trunk in the parking lot, plus the pharmaceuticals that she bought. Maybe it was a BYOB :wink:
I don't think she's buying good booze. Mad Dog 2020 or Boone's Farm would be my guesses. Pabst and Old Milwaukee are cheap beers. I'm not sure how much ecstacy costs though. Maybe $270 couldn't buy everything that seems to be consumed at the party, but it would buy a bit if you stretch it. I'm sure some people BYOBD -- Bring Your Own Beer and Drugs.
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Patty: If Rayanne's not seeing you, and we're not seeing you, who is seeing you?
Graham: And how much of you?
Angela: Dad!
Graham: Oh, I'm sorry! I asked a question about your life, didn't I? Woah, what came over me?
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Post by TomSpeed » Mar 18th 2003, 8:47 pm

nothingman wrote:I don't think Rayanne's dad is the type of guy who even has a checking account. The money is probably in many different denominations and is what he could scrouge up, or what he won on a bet or something, or what he got for doing work under the table, who knows. Here's a bigger question. Who would send $270 CASH in the mail? It's a miracle it ever reached Rayanne.
My Mom sends cash in the mail. We get $1 per year for our birthdays. She puts the cash in cards. She's concerned if the cards are delivered. she follows mailing the cards with telephone calls. She sent me a check one year when I was in college. I didn't have a bank account. I had to go to a check cashing place. Paying 10-15% to have a check cashed isn't unusual. I guess $270 is a lot more than $35 though. Man, Mom sends a card, cash, and phones. She loves us. She really loves us!
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Patty: If Rayanne's not seeing you, and we're not seeing you, who is seeing you?
Graham: And how much of you?
Angela: Dad!
Graham: Oh, I'm sorry! I asked a question about your life, didn't I? Woah, what came over me?
http://www.last.fm/user/TomSpeed/

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Post by Nostradamus » Mar 19th 2003, 3:04 am

We know that Angela exagerrated the significance of her early encounters with Jordan, so maybe she did the same with Rayanne? My guess is that they hung out once or twice over the summer, which Angela counted as the start of their friendship, even though they didn't really spend much time together until the new school year.

As for the party supplies, I wouldn't be surprised if Rayanne's Bacchanal worked the same way as many "civilized" events, at which guests are encouraged to contribute food, wine, decorations, etc. Also, the old man may not have been the only one to send BD gifts Rayanne's way; I'm sure Tino and company know her tastes quite well by now.
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Post by TomSpeed » Mar 19th 2003, 12:17 pm

candygirl wrote:Seeing Rayanne drink some of Amber's margarita bothered me. It wasn't just the foreshadowing or the obvious contrast with Patty's reaction to underage drinking in her house. I know that we have different attitudes about drinking here in America (and there is something to be said for some of the countries in Europe and how they deal with drinking so that it is about appreciating wine, not getting drunk), but I do have a problem with that particular moment.
Seeing Rayanne drink from Amber's margarita really bothers me, too. Drinking from another person's glass is an intimate act. It seems inappropriate for a daughter to drink from her mother's glass, esp. the way Rayanne does here. She doesn't say anything; she just takes a sip. Rayanne's getting a double message from Amber -- Amber is telling Rayanne she is her peer, which she is not, and Amber is saying drinking is OK.

I've seen instances of parents offering their children a sip of wine. However, they are more active when they do this. They are not passive as Amber is here. This act is a sign that Amber has given up her role as a parent. She seems much more interested in being Rayanne's friend.
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Patty: If Rayanne's not seeing you, and we're not seeing you, who is seeing you?
Graham: And how much of you?
Angela: Dad!
Graham: Oh, I'm sorry! I asked a question about your life, didn't I? Woah, what came over me?
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Post by TomSpeed » Mar 19th 2003, 12:48 pm

Angela telling Amber and Rayanne that Patty was adopted

It really bothers me that Angela tells Amber and Rayanne that Patty was adopted. I don't think there is anything wrong with being adopted, but this information seems to be something one should tell someone who is very close to the family. It's a need to know kind of thing. Angela is right to try to get Patty out of Amber's apartment before Amber tells Patty that she knows she is adopted. I would feel uncomfortable if someone I hardly know knew intimate details about me.
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Patty: If Rayanne's not seeing you, and we're not seeing you, who is seeing you?
Graham: And how much of you?
Angela: Dad!
Graham: Oh, I'm sorry! I asked a question about your life, didn't I? Woah, what came over me?
http://www.last.fm/user/TomSpeed/

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Post by Nothingman » Mar 19th 2003, 1:01 pm

Ambers obsession with margaritas has is very curious. Most people have a specific drink that they make for themselves at their homes, mine is Beam and Coke. Most people’s choose a drink that is easy to make, with the exception of a small percentage that prefer a drink with many ingredients that is usually expensive to purchase at your local establishment. But Amber goes one step further, she likes her margaritas blended, and in a real margarita glasses. I have to applaud her dedication, even if I don’t agree with her sharing them with Rayanne. I guess margaritas go well with Amber’s oddly glamorous world of tarot cards, appetizers, and deserts.
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Post by SanDeE* » Mar 19th 2003, 1:37 pm

When I was in high school, my parents let me have a drink at family functions: weddings, holidays, reunions. Usually I would just have one or two small glasses of wine, and by no means did I ever get drunk (well, maybe at my uncle's wedding a few years ago I was...happy!). But I think that this open attitude my parents had about drinking, namely doing it in a safe environment with people I can trust, caused me to never drink with my friends until I got to college. I totally agree with the attitude about drinking in Europe. Also, I grew up in Wisconsin, where beer-drinking is a huge part of socializing and our state's culture.

It doesn't bother me that Amber lets Rayanne drink. It bothers me that she really hasn't taught Rayanne about moderation, even though she claims to have talked about it with her. What, did Amber give Rayanne a moderation speech while she was wasted? It bothers me that Amber lets Rayanne drink in her house while she (Amber) is not there. Rayanne is 15. FIFTEEN. Yes, I had an occasional glass of wine when I was 15, but, as I wrote above, it was ALWAYS with my parents and it was only two or three times a year. I think it would have been nice if Amber, in a show of support for her daughter, had also stopped drinking when Rayanne overdosed. But, Amber isn't really Rayanne's mom anymore. There's a difference between a mother and a mom.
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Post by SanDeE* » Mar 19th 2003, 1:45 pm

Speaking of mothers, and I know this is slightly OT, of the four mothers we see on this show (Patty, Amber, Vivian, Camille) I would take Camille over the other three. I know that Camille isn't even in this episode, but still, I just had to say it. Amber isn't really a mom to Rayanne - she is more of a peer, and that's just not a healthy relationship for a daughter to have with her mother. Vivian is really passive-aggressive and controlling. Patty has trouble communicating with Angela. And yes, Angela creates a lot of that too, but Patty almost isn't allowing Angela to grow up. She wants Angela to have certain specific friends, etc. So yeah, in conclusion, I'd take Camille for my mom of the moms on this show. She seems the most open and, I don't know, maybe most like my own mom. It seems like Sharon feels like she can tell Camille a lot of things about her life. It wouldn't surprise me if Sharon and Camille talked about Sharon losing her virginity. Sharon told Camille about the poll in The Zit. Okay, I better stop. I'm starting to talk about other episodes.
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Post by Nothingman » Mar 19th 2003, 4:27 pm

I think it’s questionable judgment for Angela to share information about her mothers adoption with Amber the first day she’s known her, but what really shocks me is how Amber uses the information. Minutes after meeting Patty she launches into discussing her “abandonment issues”. This seems really intrusive to me, and very rude. Amber acknowledges that it must be a sensitive issue, but she has no problem just injecting it into their conversation without warning. And how does having a party help Patty get over the abandonment? That solution seems almost as hollow as Rayanne’s idea to have a party to deal with her own self-worth problem. Have a party to ignore your problems, not that that is why Patty is having the party. But there is a lot of denial surrounding the anniversary party. Seems to me that Ambers comment is almost as out of line as Patty’s phone call about Rayanne’s drinking later on, Patty just puts on her fake smile better than Amber does.

Does anybody else wonder how Rickie gets home from the anniversary party. Seems that Angela’s parents don’t give him a ride, because they seem to know very little about Ricki’s living arrangements, and have no idea how to contact them when he is homeless later on. Maybe it was a guest from the party, or Rickie’s cousin, and there is always Tino? Tino may be the world’s most unreliable friend, but he seems to have the coiffure thing down. Maybe he has a future as a cabbie.
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Post by SanDeE* » Mar 19th 2003, 6:06 pm

RAYANNE

At 18 minutes into the episode, Rayanne starts passing out flyers and inviting people to her party. Does it seem strange that she yells, "Not many sophomores!" Isn't she a sophomore? Aren't most of her friends probably sophomores? A few minutes later, Rayanne and Angela are walking down the hallway at school and Rayanne echos Patty's statement earlier to Angela: "I've mentioned it at least a dozen times." I just thought that was interesting that Rayanne said the same thing that Patty said, because they are so inherantly (sp?) different.
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