If you're of the Huxtable generation -- which I'd say is anyone who tuned in when The Cosby Show reigned over the earth -- then you know the power of Claire. A few years ago, she was voted best tv mom (not a great picture there, but we know that second chin is made of love.)
There are middle-aged white mothers having nightmares about her gold standard.
And every night millions of TANs go to bed dreaming they will someday run into their own.
Here's how I came upon the Claire Huxtable epiphany:
After dating a string of caucasian ladies through this very site, I started seeing a black girl. And quite frankly, it opened up a whole can of whoop-ass on my dome. After years of reprogramming in prep school and college, I didn't realize how out of touch I was with the delicious taboo of black-on-black
Soon everywhere I looked I was seeing little Rudys and Theos walking around being bratty and dealing with very solvable life issues. I purchased a three-cushion sofa and conducted all my affairs on it, or in the kitchen. And I even made her some of TAN's Special Homemade Chili. But alas, the theme song never played.
I've since acquired some perspective, and reverted back to my ritual of weekly sacrifice to the gods of white women for date prospecting (every Sunday I prick my finger and feed the blood to a Coach bag that lives in my closet). And while I still cling to Claire, being of a different race isn't a dealbreaker for me (little Lisa Bonets running around can work also). I might equate intra-racial dating with a Tivo level of importance. It can play a big role in my life, but it's not what I would call an "apocalyptic-necessity." It's a nice luxury item. It can make things easier. It brings a certain sense of smoothness and efficiency. There's less to think about. But you certainly don't NEED it.
(although many folks swear by their tivo, soooo, I guess that works also...)
This is all to say that the links above, and my own story make a case that Claire Huxtable, the perfect professional black woman, transcends race. And maybe white (or other non-black) guys quest for her as well? I know we don't want to give her up, but I honestly can't think of a more iconic wife/mother-figure for any race.
It may be that Mrs. Huxtable also transcends generations. There aren't any contemporary Claire Huxtables out there. What mother is hot right now? Carmela Soprano? In the "best tv-mom" contest that Claire won, Marge Simpson came in third. And as far as the strong-black-woman type, they either have too much focus on their career, or too much forehead ... or both!
So if she transcends everything, I wonder: Is Claire Huxtable a ghost? Should I give up the dream? Is she dead? Like God? And hip hop? Must all our heroes perish never to be born again?
(maybe she died and was reborn as Rudy?? That would be hot!)
Where are you Claire? I need you to shush me. And to snatch those fattening hoagies out of my mouth. And to raise our children with sound morals and integrity. And to raise your eyebrow in that PG13-sexy kind of way.
Where are you? Are you out on the town right now, dancing to Umbrella? I can't imagine it, but maybe ... be ... be?
Well if you're out there, Claire, please come quick. This chili is getting cold, and they don't take Monopoly money at the corner bodega.
Claire Huxtable T-Shirts? [I Want A Claire Huxtable]
Or Here? [Shad myspace]