By Denise Warner
May 13, 2012 at 01:00 PM EDT

In the late winter of ’95, my mom — a journalist — received a copy of the BBC’s Pride & Prejudice before it aired in America on A&E. As an annoying 6th grader, I did not want Colin Firth’s stoic Mr. Darcy or Jennfer Ehle’s feisty Elizabeth Bennett anywhere near the TV. So while she played the first tape, I hid the remaining five — yes, five — and ran around the house shouting “Mama” in an affected British accent. As punishment, she forced me to watch with her. Twenty minutes later, I was hooked. And thus began a love affair with Jane Austen and British period pieces that followed me through high school, into college, and now to every Sunday night when my friends and I watch Masterpiece‘s brilliant offerings. So thank you, Mom, for not sending me to my room, and happy Mother’s Day. (Luckily, I was able to return the favor when for her last birthday, I presented her with the Downton Abbey DVDs. She’s just as obsessed as I am.)

My colleagues owe a debt of gratitude to their mothers, too. Here are the gifts their moms gave them.

Annie Barrett: The WORST was when she bought me “Bohemian Rhapsody” sheet music because, hello, Wayne’s World, and then for the “talent” final project for some “study skills” class (?!?) we had to take in 7th grade, I tried to play it in front of my whole class and CRASHED AND BURNED. That song is six minutes long but my version was at least 22 — or as the kids remember it, an eternity. But it did make me learn all the weirdo lyrics in that awesome song, so thanks, Mom!

Abby West: We watched every musical that ever came on WPIX in New York. Hello, Dolly!, Sound of Music, Chitty, Chitty Bang Bang. I am a sucker for musicals…and can still belt out ‘Well, hellooooo, Dolly! It’s so nice to have you back where you belong.”

Erin Strecker: My mom has always supported my obsessive Harry Potter love. From necklaces and notebooks to the coolest present I’ve ever gotten — a Harry Potter book hollowed out into a purse — my mom has allowed my Potterdom to thrive. On the flip side, I’ve gotten my mom hooked on all things vampires. I think I got the better end of the deal. Love you, Mom!

It’s your turn — what pop culture gratitude do you owe your mother?


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