Do you remember the movie “The Breakfast Club”? It’s one of my all time favorite movies. The movie defined our era. The 80’s spawned so many movies about coming of age “Sixteen Candles,” “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” “Mystic Pizza,” “Pretty in Pink.” The list of movies goes on and on… These movies defined our era…the 80’s. All these movies explored teenage angst, cliques, fitting in, not fitting in, wanting to fit in, where to fit in and how to fit in.
In the movie “The Breakfast Club” there were very distinct groups the jocks, the popular kids, the brains, the outsiders…just like my own memories of high school. Distinct groups, cliques, crowds, teams…they all mean the same thing. In high school, I think, we were all divided into what defined us. Or maybe it we let others define us for ourselves, just like the five kids who sat in Saturday detention in “The Breakfast Club.”
Last night was girls’ night in our house. Claire and I watched the movie “Prom”. It was a throw back, for me, to the movie “The Breakfast Club.” For Claire the movie ventured into a realm she has never seen before. For me, it was a trip down memory lane taking me back to high school homecoming dances, proms, sub debs and the daily routine of high school itself.
I recently pulled out my homecoming pictures…
The other day Zach told us he asked a girl to homecoming. That’s a big one. I remember my first homecoming dance, and my second and my third… Stan and I were at odds with our memories from homecoming. Stan said homecoming for him was not a big deal in his high school. I pulled out picture after picture from homecomings of years gone by ~ my homecoming pictures.
Interspersed in my homecoming pictures were pictures from both my junior and senior prom. Watching “Prom” was like a scene out of my own high school experience. In the movie the main character, Nova, talks about how on prom night kids forget about what place they played in their high school experience, they all come together on one special night just to celebrate their class. Again, it was like “Breakfast Club” revisited.
In our high school, as I remember, there were the geeks, the jocks, the ropers, the cheerleaders, the thespians, and the popular kids. As I remember things I think I was kind of a floater. My group didn’t have a distinct title. I floated, with my group of friends, between other groups. The pictures I found from my junior and senior proms led me to believe Nova might be right. Maybe prom is that one special night in high school where we forget who belongs to what group. I found pictures the other night of me posing with classmates and I have no idea who they were. Stan was shocked…how could I not know who these people are in the pictures. When we were talking I told him I don’t know how I don’t know them but now I do. Prom is that one night where I had the freedom to abandon all pretenses and be with the people maybe I admired from afar, or the people who seemed out of my league or the people who I really wanted to get to know but because they weren’t in my little circle of friends, it seemed out of the question.
I hope Zach has a blast at his first homecoming. I hope he has many more fond memories of high school dances. I know I do. My only wish, or regret, is that I wasn’t so compartmentalized in high school and I felt the freedom to explore other groups.
I hope Zach’s like the characters from “The Breakfast Club” who don’t want to forget about each other and who don’t want to let others define them anymore.
Oh, for the love of my children…