My Life in the Middle Ages

Gayle Saks-Rodriguez

Gayle Saks-Rodriguez
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
November 11
Gayle Saks-Rodriguez has been a writer since filling her fourth grade diary with such perfectly crafted sentences as: "Ricky is getting confirmed tommorrow. Since I'm Jewish, I'm not really sure what it does. I should congradulate [sic] him though." She has written about everything from her mother’s double-suicide, online dating, to her work with female inmates, with deep honesty, candor and humor. Saks-Rodriguez (when she wasn’t yet a hyphenate) grew up on Long Island in a town that most people have never heard of and lives in Greater Boston with her husband, daughter, two orange tabbies and one slightly insane Lab mix. Please follow me directly on my site at:


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JUNE 20, 2012 1:21PM

What the Hell's a "Muggle?"

Rate: 1 Flag

Today I was watching one of those makeover shows with my 11-yr old daughter and the style transformation was on a woman who performs as a witch at the Salem Witch Museum in Massachusetts.  She does those pretty bad reenactments of the Salem Witch Trials hissing and screaming "Off with her head," and stuff like that.

As the hosts were trying to get her to leave behind her pointy hats, black lipstick and  magic wands, they presented her with a rather austere yet stylish outfit that included a neutral cardigan sweater. 

 The hostess said, "Is this too muggle-ish for you?"  

"Yeah, maybe.  I don't want people to think that I'm a muggle and that I don't have magical powers."

Besides the whole host of this woman's rather obvious other issues, my daughter didn't say "What's a muggle?"   She sat there and had no reaction, and instead I found myself asking the question.

 "Oh, it's from Harry Potter," she said.  

Suddenly, I had become one of those middle-aged people who have lost their grip on pop culture.  This is perhaps my worst nightmare. 

It is entirely possible that I am the only living human being with children who has NOT seen or read anything related to Harry Potter (Well, I know that what's-his-name, the kid with the glasses, appeared naked on Broadway.  I also know that Alan Rickman is in it which might be good enough reason to watch one of these days.)

I USED to be that person who knew obscure facts about indie films, the hippest celebs and fun useless facts about all things pop culture.  I saw "Trainspotting" in Scotland before it came to the States and dragged my friends to see it on opening night.  I knew the names of character actors and held Oscar Parties.  Now, I watch the red carpet and dvr the rest because I get in bed by 9:30.

I have heard myself saying, just like my mother did, that all of the popular songs that my daughter listens to sound the same.  I make fun of Justin Bieber.  I had to tell her that no, Adele did NOT have throat cancer but that she had polyps removed from her throat.  I appear to embarass her in front of her friends when I think I'm dancing very well to Lady Gaga.  I've become a total buzzkill. 

 Like me when I was her age, she becomes ecstatic when she leaves a bookstore with a pile of teen mags.  She puts the pull-out posters of boy bands and tween tv stars on her walls and I have no idea who any of them are.  I get the eye-roll and the exasperated, "MOM," when I ask who they are and leave the room in shame.  

I do think I'm pretty cool for a 47-yr old and more importanly my daughter, stepsons and their friends think so too.   I don't make them Kool-Aid and pizza bagels like the "cool moms" on commercials but I'll try to understand why it's okay that the teen characters in "Hunger Games" kill each other, nodding and probing for the answers.  

Do Muggles wear cardigans? 








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You are very lucky to be cool at 47! :)

And a muggle...I say tank tops in this heat wave! :)
...meant to say, as a heat-stricken muggle... o_O