How many mothers out there will be secretly rooting for "Stacy's Mom" as they watch the Grammy Awards tonight?
The song, from the CD Welcome Interstate Managers by the group Fountains of Wayne, has been nominated for best pop performance by a duo or group. The New York-based group itself has been nominated in the best new artist category.
But it is "Stacy's Mom," with its catchy hooks and naively suggestive lyrics -- Stacy's mom has got it going on / She's all I want, and I've waited for so long -- that has caught the ear of demographically challenged women. It may well be the ultimate fantasy song, not just for suburban boys, but for suburban moms.
The track even gets the single -- or is she separated? -- working mom thing right:
Did your mom get back
From her business trip
Is she there?
Or is she trying to give me the slip?
The song isn't the only popular indication of a renewed acceptance for the "older" woman and her wiles. Take Hollywood, for example, where plenty of stars, notably Demi Moore and Cameron Diaz, are dating younger men. Famous younger men.
Mrs. Robinson, famed siren of The Graduate, has crept back into the national consciousness as the play tours nationally and her character gets nude. And of course, Kim Cattrall's Samantha Jones, of Sex in the City, has not been denied in the younger man department.
The hoi polloi have gotten into the act, too; according to a recent AARP survey, a healthy percentage of women over 50 are dating younger men.
"It's the 'tadpoling' thing. I think it's great," says Andrea Farnum, the 44-year-old mom of Veronica Walls, 13. She's referring to the 2002 film Tadpole, in which a 15-year-old boy falls in love with his 40-year-old stepmother.
Farnum, of Silver Spring, amends her response.
"If it was legal, right on," she says. "How many other times in the media, when you get to a certain age, it's the kiss of death for a woman as a sexual being. I think it's great, we need to be viewed this way some more," says Farnum, director of marketing and business development for Coastal Cooking, Baltimore chef John Shields' new book and television show.
From her daughter's point of view, having an attractive mother is "good news and bad news," says Josianne Pennington, a 48-year-old marketing consultant who lives in Towson. Marisa, 17, a Towson High school senior, "can't bare the thought of anyone looking at me in that light, especially a boy of her age. ... On the other hand, she's also very proud I've kept myself fit. She can borrow some of my clothes and I can borrow some of hers," Pennington says.
Farnum's daughter, Veronica, an eighth-grader at Francis Scott Key Middle School in Silver Spring, likes "Stacy's Mom," which peaked last fall yet can still be heard often at skating rinks and school dances.
But, "we haven't talked about the scope of it," her mother says. "She would probably think it was gross. Kids don't like to think of their mothers that way. She'd say: 'TMI, Mom.' Too much information."
On the other hand, "It's a good message," Farnum says. "Even for younger girls, [the message is] don't give up hope. You can still keep on keeping on."