Thursday, September 24, 2009

Day Twenty-eight

So growing up in the '80s, I defined myself in terms of John Hughes films.

Sixteen Candles:
"That's why they call them crushes. If they were easy, they'd call them something else."

"When you don't have anything, you don't have anything to lose. Right?"

Pretty in Pink
"I just want them to know that they didn't break me. "

"You said you couldn't be with someone who didn't believe in you. Well I believed in you. I just didn't believe in me. I love you... always. "

And the mother of all John Hughes teen angst films, The Breakfast Club.
You see us as you want to see us: in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But, what we found out is that each one of us is: a brain . . .
And an athlete . . .
And a basket case . . .
A princess . . .
And a criminal."

I wanted to BE Molly Ringwald. In each of the films. They all spoke to me in different ways. Claire in Breakfast Club was perfect. Oh! to be that put-together. Or Andie in Pretty in Pink, who had a great vintage style and remarkable strength, a cool (if beat-up) car and great music. But mostly I wanted to be Samantha because as imperfect as she was, flat-chested and forgotten, she got her heart's desire. She was wittier than Claire and not as jaded as Andie. She was ridiculously optimistic despite all external circumstances.

I was, and truthfully, still am most like Samantha. Awkward, but hopeful. But just like the five disparate souls stranded in the purgatory of Saturday detention, I was a little bit of each of them. But none of all of them. A mismatch of Psychedelic Furs and Lauren perfume, L'oreal lipstick and Converse high tops. Still am. Shape-shifting between definitions. Trying on what works. I'm not sure if I'll ever gel into one quotable, definable me -- wife, mom, actress, student, wanna-be activist -- it sure would be nice if Mr. Hughes were still around to help.

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