Saturday, August 08, 2009

I did start out normal

As many of you out there, the teens of the 80s, today I am reminded of my teen years. That awkward time when I thought that by rocking a shorts-overall combo and a men's stripy shirt tied loosely in the front, topped off with that awesome light blue scrunchie, I would epitomize all that was holy with fashion and complete divaliciousness. Although the word diva wasn't quite in vogue yet, that's totally what I was going for. I was trying to be fierce, when it was still known as having attitude.

In hindsight, I think I failed miserably, and the only thing that shorts-overall piece of clothing did for me was give me a camel toe that will haunt me for the rest of my life.

But I wanted so bad to be someone else.

John Hughes is gone, and I'm not ashamed to admit that what he created shaped a large chunk of my psyche (not to mention fashion sense) and was a crucial part of making me the 'off-the-hook' (your words, thank you very much whoever it was), eccentric, part-time hermit I am today.

Kudos? Or, it wasn't all your fault mother, after all?

I am joking mom, no need for an email. 

I'm especially reminded of what it was like for a teenager to move to Savannah, Georgia with only such movies as Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller's day off and The Breakfast Club to inform her on how to act, how to be, and how to walk and talk American.

Not to mention the classic television series Roseanne. But those stories are perhaps better left unpoked at.

That teenager was quite lost in the big United States of America. Especially since she was there in the early 90s, while the films reflected the society of the early 80s, and although she was in one of the states of all of the united states in North America, she might as well have been in Algeria, for all of the correspondences between the 80s delightfully neighborly and suburban Illinois, and the 90s afraid of 'racial violence' gated community of Georgia she was able to draw on.

She was quite lost in the big United States of America.

She longed for a friend like the adoring, and quirky Duckie Dale, and for a boyfriend who would be one part Ferris Bueller, one part John Bender and the rest Jake Ryan (mostly his looks, other than that he seemed a tad empty), and to be either Sam Baker or Andie Walsh, both of whom she so identified with.

Little did she know that for the teens out there, amongst whom she looked for those types, she represented a wholly different stereotype from a teen comedy: The Foreigner.

The one who is always the butt of jokes, the one who doesn't understand a word that is being said, the one who sports impressive amounts of facial hair for a woman or a completely weird milk-maid or nerdy hair-do, or the one who will have sex with anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Like Long Duk Dong of Sixteen Candles.  

Although not Japanese like the Donger, she was quite lost in the big United States of America.

And she didn't look pretty in pink. She looked like a little piggy. But perhaps she was the better for it, and more quirky.

In hindsight.

I wanted to be her and hang out with them. (I actually photographed my DVD cover for this)

I'm off to watch Sixteen Candles now and cry just a little for Hughes and for that teenager who luckily remained herself in the end. Yes, wine will be involved.

Have a good weekend! See you back here on Monday.


My name is Erin. said...

I think it's amazing how many of us felt defined by his movies. Most of us could only dream of being THAT cool, but somehow we felt so connected to those characters. I've read so many stories on the blogosphere about his passing. He is most certainly an important and loved individual to so many of us who were adolescents in the 80's and 90's.

RIP John Hughes! *insert John Bender fist pump here*

I'm Kim, by the way said...

God, he really was amazing, wasn't he? It seems that everyone who was anywhere near the teenage years when those movies were coming out thought he was speaking directly to them.

Enjoy your movie marathon and have a glass for me.

Vancouver's Enviro Girl said...

I LOVED Duckie Dale and had my very own Duckie in high school. Those movies still define part of my life too. They just SPOKE to me in the otherwise best forgot 80's. I hear you, sister, I hear you.

forrestina vintage said...

I always say the most redeeming factor of the 80s era was the music. I'll have to add John Hughes films to that list as well. RIP, Mr. Hughes.

Sandy K. said...

Media and memories...definitely linked forever. What will this new generation link to? I think I'm scared! And sad. The "good ole days" - are they a thing of the past? (Now, isn't THAT profound!:))

Not So Glamorous Housewife said...

As I recall my own moments of 80's angst involving snap off sleeves and pants that zippered at the bottom so that I could still get my foot through that tiny tiny leg hole it is nice to know that I was not the only big haired girl with a knot tied in the side of my t-shirt in the corner. More importantly, from these experiences a wonderful drinking game from my college years in the 90's emerged. Pop in the breakfast club, get a little wine (maybe like a box or so) and every time Judd Nelson says something sarcastic you must drink. There don't you feel better? RIP John Hughes.

Prakky said...

Vale, John Hughes.

Who's making these quirky, lovelorn, huggable movies for teens now? ...

Pattern and Perspective said...

He did direct and write some fantastic flicks. (and produce). I loved The Great Outdoors, Uncle Buck, my bf loves Planes, Trains & Automobiles...Mr. Mom...etc.

There were so many great movies he did and it's sad...b/c he really wasn't very old. It is always sad when someone passes, but movies do define us don't they?

I love movies. I just counted by DVD's because I'm sort of obsessive or something (oh, well!) and I have a whopping 214 DVD's. Is that crazy or what? I think it's a lot. Now....I think I've spent a lot of hard earned money on DVD's, but pretty much all of them are excellent movies (albeit, the $5 movie from Wal-Mart that sucked -- I'm going to get rid of this one in a garbage sale!)

VaNeSsA said...

Sad. So sad. Personally, I have been in love with John Bender since I was about 10. Sigh, on both counts.

Kaotic said...

So how did the lil cry go? Must have been good, as the teen finally remained herself. :-)

Sigh, the music and movies of the 80's did get to us in itty bitty ways, that only those of us growing up in the 80s-early 90s would understand I suppose.

Neon laces, showing a lotta straps, especially the black one(remember somebody called Madonna:D), short denim jackets, singing cool rider, and finally when everything else failed, wearing tees 10 times your size, so you look like you're wearing sack cloth!
Feel better about yourself now. :D

Avery K. said...

God, looking back at the 80's is fun. Crazy outfits, strange movies and lots of drugs make a great combo in retrospect. Everyone cared too much for fashion in a retarded era. The best part: it is back today in the American High School. Keep up the wine and great work :)
(im not sure if this is the second time this has been posted, so bear with me)

caroldiane said...

Although I was in my twenties and a mom by the 80's, I relate to the wishin' and hopin' that went on from those movies - lovely blog! I wonder if your experience would have been much different if you had been transplanted to Canada??

Optimistic Pessimist said...

Please please tell me you have a photo of you in your overalls??? Please?!!