Bella came home from school the other day bursting to show me a sketch. She pulled out her book and opened it up to a page with a pencil drawing. It was a drawing that depicted pieces of a costume. A helmet, boots, and suit with some explanation of the component parts. I’d say it was inspired, if not somewhat eerily similar, to what a stormtrooper from the Star Wars films would wear.
She explained to me the RLSH phenomenon. That’s Real Live Superheros. In her words, it’s basically a bunch of people get dressed up in a costume they design and then set out to help homeless people and stop drug deals. Yes, you read that right. You need to wear a costume to help homeless people and stop drug deals.
There was so much wrong with this statement that I stayed silent, mostly because I was stunned into wordlessness, while she excitedly went on and on about how she was going to be a RLSH.
When I finally interjected I asked her why exactly she needed a costume to help homeless people and if she thought intervening in a drug deal was a wise idea. She paused and looked at me like I was missing the entire point. Apparently I’m too old to understand why wearing a costume to be your very own superhero is fun, and it’s not like she was going to stop a drug deal today. Later. When she’s a bit older.
Because in two years from now taking down a drug deal in a superhero costume will be so much safer?
I’m not sure how much research she’s completed on the new super-civilian persona she wants to develop, but it seems these RLSH are all over the internet. And the news. And even the subject of an HBO documentary.
I suppose there’s much worse things she could be doing as a teenager. It’s much better than her obsessive crush on the Transformers that dominated her pop culture consumption for a six-month period. I just wish she’d think a little bit more critically about the subcultures she becomes infatuated with before she gives them her whole heart.