August 6, 2009
Rest in peace, John Hughes
John Hughes, the creator of so many iconic 80's movies has died of a heart attack. I wonder how many people my age saw his movies and identified with the characters, particularly if you didn't fit into one niche. He had an imperial run in the mid eighties, when he wrote or directed some of the very best teen stories. My favorite is Pretty In Pink, but I also love Breakfast Club and, to a lesser degree, Sixteen Candles. Ferris Bueller is funny, but I always thought Ferris was kind of an attention-seeking dick.
I was never "unpopular" per se, but I sort of flitted between the different groups at will (and against it). As an adult, I think that's served me well and it generally did as a teen. When I was a junior in high school I had to take Phys Ed after most of the kids had already fulfilled their requirements. This meant I was placed in class with jocks who took PE for fun. So I never said anything. I just sort of smiled and laid low. One of the football players called me Smiley. "You never talk, all you do is stand there and smile, dude."
I'd be curious to know what you were like in school? Perhaps not surprisingly, I was the editor in chief of my senior yearbook, so the journalism offices were usually my home. I went to a school with 4200 students in 7th-12th grades, so you needed a "home." But after school hours, I really did not run with a crowd. I was much more solitary, or just met with one friend at a time.
People sometimes ask me what I think about the ending to Pretty In Pink, when Andie chooses Blane over Duckie. I feel the same way about that movie as I do about the Sex And The City finale - that Andie should have chosen neither guy. One was really not worthy and one was just a good friend. But that's too logical. Live and learn.
If you wonder what I looked like at the time I'm describing, here is a picture of me and my real-life Andie, Joanna, in 1986.