Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Dear Mr. Vernon,
By now, you've all been bombarded with the Facebook memes about the 30th Anniversary of The Breakfast Club...not of the movie itself, but of the actual day our favorite miscreants spent in the best day of detention, ever. It speaks volumes to me about the movie that so many of us stopped to recognize and acknowledge the date. It's a combination of the genius of John Hughes, the brilliant casting, and the ensemble of characters that made us all feel like we were included, whether we were a brain, an athlete, a basket-case, a princess, or a criminal. You know, all of those "most convenient definitions."
Thirty years later, we are the jerk parents putting pressure on our kids to compete harder or get better grades. We are the asshole assistant principal. Maybe some of us are lucky enough to be the janitor, lucky enough to be able to see things the way they are. But most likely not. What I do know is that it doesn't really matter who was what back then. Not much of it stuck--the labels faded away, and we grew up.
So why is it that I still relate more to Claire (the princess) and Allison (the basket-case) than to Brian's mom or Andrew's (hah, completely unintended) dad? It shouldn't be that way--my pressures these days are those of the parents, not of the kids. And why is it that when I took one of those stupid quizzes that I can't resist (you know the ones, the "Which character in Wuthering Heights are you?" quizzes---wait, where IS that one? I want to take it!) the other day, I held my breath hoping NOT to be the basket-case? The one who said that, "When you get old, your heart dies."
Because it doesn't. Not at all. We just get distracted by the day-to-day, run down by our jobs, driven by our desire to provide the best for our kids (that new group of troublemakers) and keep things functional to focus on our own hearts much. We do, it turns out, become our parents. The basket-case was right when she said THAT was inevitable.
And maybe as parents, we remember what it was like as the brain, the athlete, the basket-case, the princess, or the criminal...or as the kid who struggled with math, the kid without running water, the kid whose parents fought violently...and we just try to help our kids avoid having to go through what we did while dealing with our own crap at the same time.
It's midnight, and I'm at a loss for a profound conclusion here. So, in the words of the eternal bad boy, John Bender (who TOTALLY got more than an earring in that closet, I'm just SAYING!), "Screws fall out all the time, the world is an imperfect place."