NYT Prompt 002: Memories of Nanny

Prompt: What were your favorite childhood shows and characters?

As a child, I would be lying if I said there weren’t several cartoons that I adored. My favorites, however, are not animated. It is true that at one point I wrote on an old blog a memoir about what Sailor Moon meant to me, but the more I think about this question, the more I realize that there are other shows that had a far more profound impact on my formative years.

At the tender, innocent young age of four, I was kicked out of pre-school. If you know me, or have had the pleasure of serving as my teacher at any point in my life, this might come as a surprise. First, it was pre-school. Second, I have always gotten along well with my instructors, so to have been cast out of pre-school must have really been a feat. Supposedly I was a little terror and the process of getting me to lay down for a nap was next to impossible (which is ironic, considering that in the years since the act of napping has become a favorite past time of mine).

As a result of this malfeasance on my part, my parents gave me a choice: they could speak to the administration at my pre-school, or I could spend my days with my grandparents. Childhood isn’t rocket science, and as would be expected of any child, my choice was obvious: I picked the latter. To this day, I have never regretted making that decision. Little did four-year-old me know that in a few short years, I would lose my grandmother to lung cancer.

It was under my grandmother’s care and tutelage that I learned to read – a passion that has stayed with me and, on many occasions, has pulled me from the darkest depths of my depression. My grandmother also encouraged the use of my imagination, feeding into my desire to play dress-up by lending me old gowns and allowing me to make use of her desk when I wished to play office. That desk, now an antique, stands at the foot of my bed: an echo of a much simpler time.

Because I spent this time with my grandmother, she had a heavy influence on what shows I watched. As many kids my age did, I enjoyed shows like Sailor Moon, My Little Pony, Thunder Cats, Speed Racer, Scooby Doo, and Sky Dancers. In addition to those series though, I also spent many hours watching my grandmother’s favorites, such as The Golden Girls, The Nanny, Roseanne, and Unsolved Mysteries. It is these four titles that I truly consider my favorites and, though I’m not the sort of person that can be bothered to watch re-runs, these four shows are an exception.

As for my favorite character? That will always and forever be the scandalous Miss Blanche Devereaux.

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