Panorama of San Bernardino

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Why we all wanted to be Molly

I am watching Pretty in Pink for the twenty-something (understatement) time.  Pretty in Pink from 1986 is the seminal outcast movie.  In the movie, Molly plays Andie, a punkish girl from the wrong side of the tracks who spends most of the movie making eyes at a rich button down wearing boy named Blaine while being followed around by a suspender and creeper wearing Duckie (Jon Cryer).  Andie and Duckie epitomize the style of post punk culture.  I remember seeing the movie at the theater.  I still have the unrequited wish of owning a lavender Karmann Ghia.  But, it was more than just her style.  In the movie, Andie takes care of her depressed dad (Harry Dean Stanton) and gets picked on by rich bitches and hangs in the quad with the punks.  She works in a record store with Iona (played by Annie Potts), a Siouxsie Sioux look-a-like.  Plus, Andie was smart, wicked smart.  To me, she was the ultimate smart but still cool chick.

Before Pretty in Pink was Molly's role in Breakfast Club where she played Claire Standish, aka the princess, a girl from the right side of the tracks who falls for a boy named John Bender, aka the criminal (played by Judd Nelson), from the wrong side of the tracks.  In the movie, the character of Claire opens up and evolves from a superficial popular girl to an empathetic teen girl who just wants to be loved.  This role was a risk for Molly who was originally cast to play Allison, aka the basket case (played by Ally Sheedy) but Molly brings a warmth and humanity to the princess role that is undeniable.  

And of course, before both of those movies was Sixteen Candles, the ultimate 80's movie and Molly's breakout role. In the film, Molly plays Samantha Baker (aka Sam or "Sammy Davis Baker Junior") whose entire family forgets her birthday.  I wanted to be Molly from the moment I saw this movie.  The scene on the bus with Anthony Michael Hall as Farmer Ted is classic.  The part where her grandmother feels her up ("I can't believe my grandmother actually felt me up") is hysterical and the climax is Sam getting the love from Jake Ryan.  It all starts with a note from her best friend asking Sam, aka Molly, who she would sleep with.  She names Jake Ryan, the ultimate hot and popular guy (and a Matt Dillon lookalike to boot)  Jake gets her response by using his foot to slide the note toward him when the best friend falls asleep on her desk.  Later, they meet eyes at a school dance but Farmer Ted intercedes and sabotoges them by approaching Sam with crazy dance moves.  After some comic twists and turns, Jake shows up at the wedding where Sam is a bridesmaid (her sister is marrying a guy who is referred to as an oily beau hunk). In the end, it is clear that Jake loved her all along.

We all still love Molly.  Molly is who we all wanted to be.  A girl with an edge.  A girl who bucked the expectations others put upon her.  In Sixteen Candles, no one (not even her best friend) thinks she is good enough for Jake to date.  In Breakfast Club, Claire decides to love the so called stoner loser despite what will surely be the dismay of the cool crowd.  In Pretty in Pink, Andie is the ultimate outcast and chooses love with Blaine even though he is a rich kid (although I pine for the original ending where she chooses Duckie).

And, in the end, that is why we love Molly because, at least for me, she is every girl.

Monday, November 11, 2013


When I was young, I never thought I would have kids.  I have written before that I felt I was too damaged, irresponsible and/or crazy to be a parent.  But, something about the memoir writing process of writing through my memories has made me reconsider and dare hope.  To reproduce is defined as "to make a copy or a close replica of".  That's not what I want.  I want a chance at redemption.

On Thursday, I went to the fertility specialist and we are starting in vitro next month.  I have started trying to visualize myself pregnant and have found myself saying annoying sentences starting with, "when I am pregnant..."  My poor husband has to listen to these queries which range from the cliche to the ridiculous.  "When I am pregnant will you go get me pickles and ice cream at midnight?" (cliche) "When I am pregnant will you rub my feet?"  (cliche) "When I am pregnant will you make sure the dogs don't get jealous?"  (how would he avoid that?) And finally, "when I am pregnant can you make sure I drink only Stevia flavored diet soda from Clark's?" (absurd)

There is something about saying those four words "when I am pregnant".  I never let myself say those words before.  Perhaps it was too disheartening to even try and visualize it. What if it didn't happen?  I did not want to be broken by the process of wanting.  I clearly am making progress because by saying those words I am opening up my heart to the possibility of a child.  It is similar to the way I kept calling myself a writer and writing and now a mere seven years later, I feel like a writer most days.  I still don't think I am a great writer or even a very good writer, but I write.  I try.  I put pen to page almost every day.  I have even been called a disciplined writer which can be way more important than a talented writer.

That is what I hope happens with motherhood.  That my persistence means something,  I want the opportunity to be a mother  and while I may not end up the most talented mother, I will give it one heck of a try.  I will give it my all.  Because in my life what I have found to be most true is that the things you work for and want and ask for, and sometimes even beg for, are the most valuable.