brings my family together
don get it, Lucy says. We are curled up in a suite at Sloan Kettering, plowing through the teen movies of my youth while an IV drips in the drugs I hope will grant me an old age. She had wanted to come with me today, to this place that been my second home for the past three years, to see this part of my world. But I wanted to show her another side of my life too.
To tell the truth, my teen years in Jersey City looked nothing like a John Hughes movie. I was never even much of a fan. My preferred coming of age movies of that era were always Square and Man. But I knew a Hughes marathon would be a good window into a time that my child mother lived through long ago, one in which she spent a lot of time having strangers survey her flame Adidas NMD X Footlocker Unisex Black Red Australia hair and heavy eyeliner and ask, you know who you look like? know our parents only as our parents. It difficult to imagine that they were once awkward and angsty and roaming around school hallways, loathing much of it but terrified of what on earth would happen when they got out. They sermonize to us, was once your age, you know, but we don not really. I could tell that to my daughter my sweet, sometimes sullen firstborn a million times and have her never quite believe it. Instead, lately, I been wanting to show her.
My family and I love watching movies together. A few months ago, it was Perfect, and ever since, my daughters have been wearing out the Tupperware trying to perfect their version of It a charming, funny movie in its own right, but it also heavily references another one Breakfast Club. So that where we would begin on our day of John Hughes.
For 90 minutes, we watch a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal squabble and share their feelings and destroy a lot of school property and occasionally bust out some very Reagan era dance moves. As a 21st century kid, Lucy doesn understand the joke of Claire sushi lunch her classmates bring bento boxes to school all the time. On the other hand, she finds the notion of Claire giving her diamond earring to the switchblade wielding tough guy who then romantically jams it in his lobe hilarious. I, meanwhile, find myself in two states at once easily summoning up exactly what I felt like as a weird, dandruffy teenager, but also aching as only a parent can ache watching kids sit around talking about how miserable their parents are. And when Vernon grouses, think about this: when you get old, these kids when I get old they going to be running the country; this is the thought that wakes me up in the middle of the night, I realize, oh crap, I guess we are.
Next, we watch in Pink together, Lucy and I commenting and asking each other questions while we nibble chocolate. She instantly sees in Duckie something she recognizes now in her openly gay classmates a subtext I didn even consider until a good decade after I first seen the movie. I tell her, lots of guys dressed like that in the It was a very challenging time for a straight girl. I rattle off the names of the bands on the record shop walls Scritti Politti! The Smiths! Dweezil Zappa! He also in the club scene! while she boggles at Stef preppy wardrobe.
When I was her age, I did the same thing. I remember watching the Gidget and Annette Funicello Frankie Avalon beach movies my mother had adored as a teenager. My mom was no California surfer girl, but in those movies I saw a glimpse of the world she once inhabited, Adidas NMD X Footlocker Unisex Black Red Australia and the life she briefly experienced as a party loving girl who lived to go down the Shore, the life she had before she became simply Mom. And now when we watch Kind of Wonderful or Anything or or even and Ted Excellent Adventure together, I hope Lucy gets some sense of who I once was too who I in many ways still am, under the laugh lines and the nagging about homework. (Or at least why I sometimes find it entertaining to solemnly intone that all we are is dust in the wind.) That I was and always will be the person who believes you should dance your ass off.
The little girl who not so long ago I looked at and saw as a Miyazaki character is now rapidly blossoming into the kind of curious, wild haired Merchant Ivory heroine I once saw in a movie and thought, I will name my daughter after her. I wonder now what movies Lucy might one day share with her own kids. My daughters and I have blown through several eras of great, girl oriented teen movies we worship at the altar of and Girls and It On and Things I Hate About You. But more recently the cinematic pickings have been depressingly slim. My daughter loves Hunger Games and can wait for but I really hope she doesn ever relate to them. Her two favorite recent films featuring kids roughly her age Kingdom and Perks of Being a Wallflower take place in other eras. And I could be wrong, but I just don see her and her sister one day looking back on Carlo or Bling Ring as their generation classics. Thank God for Way, Way Back or I have written this summer off entirely.
Lucy current favorite teen heroine won even appear on screen till next year. It Fault in Our Stars’ Hazel Grace Lancaster and that kid has cancer. I think she loves her primarily because she the star of a brilliant, funny, moving book. But it probably doesn hurt that like Hazel, Lucy intimately knows the world of cancer support groups and drips and death. I think about that as we watch movies together from our little room at Sloan Kettering, and wonder what stories the movies of her teen years will ultimately tell. And even if they never exactly document her adventures any more than the films of my youth did, I still can help but hope that most of her stories take place somewhere other than here. And that they have very happy endings.