Tonight my girlfriend and I watched a show together, and afterwards there was a preview for a Mister Rogers documentary “Won’t you Be My Neighbor” on HBO. I mentioned how he gave me the creeps. Always did. Even as a kid when his show came on it made me feel weird inside. I couldn’t explain it. It was more than just disliking the show. The only word I could think to use was “icky” It made me feel “icky” inside when I watched this show. I don’t know if it was the puppets and how they just looked a bit off from normal puppets. Whatever the hell that is. His slow methodical shoe change or the way he hung his jackets up with the precision of a serial killer. Maybe it was his creepy lure-you-to-the-basement voice. So gentle sounding, but I felt it was a cover for something much darker. Bottom line was I didn’t trust him. It probably says a lot about my childhood, but I just didn’t believe anyone was that nice. I felt like he was a phony.
Her reaction was not what I was expecting. She got offended. Not your normal offended but as if I was talking-about-her-grandfather offended. It blew her mind that Mr. Rogers made me feel “icky”. He was a protector to her. A gentle soul who comforted her after school on the one channel every kid got on the TV no matter what town you lived in. And maybe she is right, I didn’t trust him because I didn’t have any male figures in my life that were that nice and gentle. If I really think about it I confuse kindness for a lot of emotions. I assume kind people are a push over. That their expression of kindness will bite them in the ass eventually. I don’t look at it that way. I see myself as a realist. Plan for the worst hope for the best.
My response to this, like the logical calm boyfriend I am, was to explain that Mr. Rogers died in a time before they could dig up the dirt on him. Not intentionally shitting on her childhood. Again there is no one that is this nice. He had to have had some dark secrets. It’s just the vibe he puts off. I may have taken the discussion too far when i compared Mr. Rogers to Bill Cosby. If Cosby had died 15 years ago would any of his secrets have come out? Would America just remember him as Mr. Huxtable, creator of Fat Albert, and the Jello guy talking about kids saying the darnedest things? I don’t know. But I do know that my girlfriend is a little upset with me as I write this, and again I may have come across a bit too passionate about some stupid bullshit.