...for a different kind of girl

silent surburban girl releasing her voice, not yet knowing what all she wants to say about her life and the things that make it spin. do you have to be 18 to be here? you'll know when i know.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

a night that was some kind of wonderful, except it wasn't actually 'some kind of wonderful'

Last summer, on a particularly perfect late August night, I prodded my two boys through the aisles of Kum & Go for boxes of Milk Duds, Reese's Pieces, and giant vats of pop. So eager was I to get them to the place that would answer their unending queries of "What are we doing?" that the prodding was absolutely necessary. It's amazing how long children given the combined magic of $3 and free will can spend pondering the perfect chemical-laden confection. I'm not being superior, friends. I just know that Snickers really does satisfy, so I'm able to pluck the holy grail of snacks from the sea of impostors faster than an 11 or 6 year old.

Sustenance and seat belts secured, I resumed responding to their need for answers with an eager refrain of "You'll see! Just wait! You'll see!" until the moment I stopped the mini near a vast, grassy park, then retrieved lawn chairs from the back and strapped them to my back like the hardworking pack mule I am most days. "Tonight, boys, is a magical night. Tonight you shall become men!" I cried, leading them through the park until we reached the summit of a small hill.

"Is that a movie screen?" the boys asked, equal parts delighted and dumbfounded by the aberration before them.

With glee - pure, magical glee - I affirmed their query, then challenged them to a race down to the front of the screen, a feat, it should be noted, that was made somewhat challenging by the addition of the aforementioned lawn chairs and the fact I was double-fisting 44-ounce refillable cups of liquid gold in the form of Diet Mountain Dew. It was, however, completely necessary, for on this particularly perfect late August night, I was introducing my two boys, just days away from starting school, to the magical world of a fictional teenage boy determined to play hooky from his own classes. On this night, my children were to receive their formal introduction to Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

Oh, yes. Leisure does, indeed, rule!

While some of the credit to their slack-jawed enjoyment may have to be given to the fact I was letting them maw down caramely nuggets of chocolate-covered fantastic (I love Snickers, but who am I to turn my nose up at a Milk Dud?) at 10:30 p.m., I do believe they were as equally charmed by the free-wheeling Ferris and his friends. Intrigue, wild rides through the streets of Chicago, art museums, baseball games and the Beatles. My boys loved it. My oldest also took a bit of delight in the fact that, for a few days at least, I allowed him to get away with what passes in our house among the under 18 set as a dirty word by saying to me, "Pardon my French, but Cameron is so tight that if you stuck a lump of coal up his ass, in two weeks you'd have a diamond."

I was, to say the least, quite pleased and very proud.

Then I was also rather cautionary, informing my boys that I could not, under any circumstance, condone the rampant disregard of authority, a less than exemplary school attendance record, the trying on of another's identity ("You're Abe Froman? The Sausage King of Chicago?"), nor the stealing of vehicles for the purposes of joyriding through the community. That particular brand of behavior can only lead to one thing and that one thing may very well end up being an extra eight weeks of detention.

But that's an entirely different movie and I'm saving that one for another particularly perfect late August night.

On this particular August night, I'm mourning the passing of John Hughes, who, for an unfortunately long period during my senior year of college, compelled me to quote "Their dog's a ball sniffer" and also "Waiting for your sex?" from Uncle Buck. Honestly, it's a wonder my friends are still my friends. I was REALLY enamored with that ball sniffing line, and, after catching a Christmas Day airing of Uncle Buck on HBO last winter, I found myself kind of chomping at the bit to reintroduce it my daily life, but I didn't and you're welcome. Instead, I've kept it tucked in the back of my mind until tonight. However, if you've been around here any length of time, you know how much I love me some John Hughes (and that's just a very small sampling of the posts I've written over nearly three years that have a little of that hot beef injected into them), and if you follow me on Twitter, you'll note my avatar is a nod to Sixteen Candles where Farmer Ted displays Samantha's panties to a sea of wide-eyed geeks.

So in memory of that particularly perfect late August night last year, on this particular August night, I quote my friend, That Girl From Shallotte, and say I'm lighting 16 candles in memory of John Hughes.

Danke shene, Mr. Hughes. Danke shene.



Blogger Heather said...

This post is a brilliant tribute to him. I wonder if he really knew how many girls he influenced with his movies?

Pretty in Pink was one of my favorites for years (and years and years...fine. Still a favorite.)

Vacation? "Sorry Folks, park's closed! The moose out front shoulda told ya!"

Sigh. When people like him pass on it seems to indicate that I'm old.

Friday, August 07, 2009 12:13:00 AM  
Anonymous agentninety9 said...

Great post for a great man. I swear I've seen every John Hughes movie. My husband is out of town this weekend and I'm planning a movie marathon. This weekend will be filled with laughter and tears..

Friday, August 07, 2009 7:03:00 AM  
Anonymous kdiddy said...

Ah, Ferris Bueller is such a rite of passage. You're a fantastic parent and I feel heartened to know that the youth are being properly educated. :-)

Friday, August 07, 2009 7:17:00 AM  
Blogger Always Home and Uncool said...

Somewhere, Ducky weeps.

Friday, August 07, 2009 8:23:00 AM  
Blogger Prefers Her Fantasy Life said...

Ah yes. I must thank John Huges for Bryce (My John Cusack).

Someday I'll do the same with my kids. Let them maul some Milk Duds and watch Grosse Point Blank with me. Of course, I'll have to inform my kids that I could not under any circumstances condone them assassinating anyone.

Friday, August 07, 2009 8:24:00 AM  
Blogger Madame Queen said...

You know, when I heard he died, I thought of you.

It's terrible, isn't it?!!? My husband I quote from his movies more than any other and I've seen them at least a thousand times. What a loss. But, at least he gave us those gems while he was around.

Friday, August 07, 2009 8:34:00 AM  
Blogger WILLIAM said...

Take this quarter, go downtown and have a rat gnaw that thing off oyur face.

Friday, August 07, 2009 8:57:00 AM  
Blogger Dana's Brain said...

I was so sad to hear about it myself last night! We have truly lost a genius.

Sixteen Candles was one of the reasons I've always loved the name Jake. My son has John Hughes to thank for his name.

Friday, August 07, 2009 9:10:00 AM  
Blogger Michele said...

Kum & Go is the funniest name for a gas station on the face of the earth. I'm so juvenile.

Friday, August 07, 2009 9:12:00 AM  
Blogger FTN said...

I know in your heart, this was all about your hidden love for Weird Science. I bet they show that movie every night in the afterlife.

I also was highly amused with how bad the dubbing covered the "obscenities" when Ferris Bueller played on TV. "Cameron is so tight that if you stuck a lump of coal...[pause, then with a different voice] IN HIS FIST... [back to other voice] in two weeks you've have a diamond."

Friday, August 07, 2009 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger Badass Geek said...

It is sad that he died, but this is a great tribute to a true visionary.

And stuff.

Friday, August 07, 2009 10:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had no idea until I read your post. And I kinda teared up a little. Legend...ary.

Friday, August 07, 2009 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger Petra a.k.a The Wise (*Young*) Mommy said...

I am devastated as most of my favorite movies were written/directed by John Hughes. This post was awesome. I am so glad that you exposed your boys early to the wonderfulness that is Ferris Bueller. You are awesome.

Friday, August 07, 2009 10:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Before I read the rest of this post... "Kum & Go"? REALLY?

Friday, August 07, 2009 11:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love those movies -- haven't seen all of his, but yes, definitely classics.

It is so sad that he's passed away.

Friday, August 07, 2009 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger Christina Lee said...

funny b/c I am doing just such a post tomorrow- I didn't realize or remember all of the movies he wrote or directed!

Friday, August 07, 2009 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger Sailor said...

You're a great mom, and properly educating your boys into movies is the best tribute to Hughes that he could want, I think!

Friday, August 07, 2009 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger Desmond Jones said...

I've not yet seen 'Ferris Bueller', which is really kinda odd, since my teens are constantly bringin' home movies like that. . . (nor 'Uncle Buck'; but I enjoy John Candy enough to give it a look at some point. . .)

I did see Matthew Broderick in 'Glory', one of my all-time favorite films. But also 'The Road to Wellville', a truly awful film which held a particular interest for assorted 'family' reasons (on which I'll decline to elaborate. . .)

Friday, August 07, 2009 12:01:00 PM  
Blogger Swirl Girl said...

His passing is simply Not Ducky.


Friday, August 07, 2009 1:04:00 PM  
Blogger Aunt Becky said...

Dude. I am The Sausage King of Chicago.

Friday, August 07, 2009 1:09:00 PM  
Blogger Ali said...

our mutual love for John Hughes is what brought me to you in the first place....

oh.my.god. UNCLE BUCK. love.

Friday, August 07, 2009 1:39:00 PM  
Blogger Mandy said...

Yesterday as I drove home, the radio was lamenting, "Bueller?... Bueller?..."

The Breakfast Club came out the summer before I went into grade 9. It defined my existence. That, to me, was what high school was all about.

Sigh. Oh the angst. No one has out-angst-ed Hughes for me.

Friday, August 07, 2009 1:49:00 PM  
Blogger Zip n Tizzy said...

Oh boy. Blogs really have become my news source. I had no idea. I guess we can say he directed our youth.
I remember my mom taking me to 16 candles after picking me up from sleep over camp and saying goodbye to my first boyfriend.
Oh how I pined. ( for Jake, of course! )

Friday, August 07, 2009 2:17:00 PM  
Blogger Aunt Juicebox said...

RIP John Hughes

Friday, August 07, 2009 4:36:00 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

His movies were a mainstay of my teen years and ones I was delighted to find while channel-surfing.

Friday, August 07, 2009 6:40:00 PM  
Blogger Seriously Mama said...

A little piece of me died yesterday. :-(

You are a super cool mom by the way!

Friday, August 07, 2009 7:11:00 PM  
Blogger Cocotte said...

Fond memories of all those movies - most seen in the theatre with my husband during our dating years!

I have to say, John Hughes movies are the only ones I can watch over and over again (add in Fast Times at Ridgemont High) and you've got yourself a never ending marathon of good times.

Friday, August 07, 2009 7:38:00 PM  
Blogger Brian o vretanos said...

That's a pity. And he wrote some of the better National Lampoon films, which I've always enjoyed.

Saturday, August 08, 2009 3:42:00 AM  
Blogger That girl from Shallotte said...

Beautiful. My friends and I saw "Sixteen Candles" on the lawn at an amphitheater in the suburbs a couple of summers ago (though our sustenance came from a cooler) and swooned over Jake Ryan like we were seeing him for the first, instead of the 152th, time.

There will never be another John Hughes. Or another Diff Girl. Thanks for the shout-out, sweet friend!

Saturday, August 08, 2009 8:49:00 AM  
Anonymous WaltzInExile said...

I've been putting off reading this post because I knew you'd make me cry. But I finally did, and now I want to say:

The world's a more imperfect place, now.

Saturday, August 08, 2009 9:33:00 AM  
Blogger lime said...

i wasn't much for anything that had molly ringwald in it, though i will admit a certain charm in "breakfaast club." but "ferris beuler" and "planes, trains, and automobiles" were movies i corrupted my kids with at a young age. yeah, i even let them see the scene were steve martin spews forth with the f bomb for almost 5 solid minutes....simply because if the situation that drives him to such extremity i think would have brought even gandhi to the point of foul language.

danke shoen indeed

Saturday, August 08, 2009 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger Amy@Bitchin'WivesClub said...

Awesome post. His movies were so integral to everyone our age. And don't get me started on how the soundtracks changed my life!

I'm going to go rent Ferris Bueller for my boys today.

Saturday, August 08, 2009 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger Running Irony said...

Bueller?... Bueller?...

Saturday, August 08, 2009 2:53:00 PM  
Blogger The Stiletto Mom said...

I thought you were kidding about Kum and Go until I saw one in Arkansas.

John Hughes pretty much defined our generation...I don't think anyone will ever find a way to portray kids so honestly, yet with kid gloves, in movies. He was a national treasure to be sure. Now pardon me while I go back to weeping my way through Pretty in Pink...

Saturday, August 08, 2009 3:37:00 PM  
Anonymous A Vapid Blonde said...

I do have to admit I got stuck on Kum And Go, cause that has totally happened to me and it brought back some bad things. Also, We have seventy dollars and a pair of girls underpants. We're safe as kittens.

Saturday, August 08, 2009 9:46:00 PM  
Blogger Bex said...

what a sweet tribute! you are so mushy when you want to be.

Saturday, August 08, 2009 11:28:00 PM  
Blogger anymommy said...

You're not a real teenager if you haven't shared your teen angst with Mr. Hughes. Great post!

Sunday, August 09, 2009 10:57:00 AM  
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Monday, August 10, 2009 2:08:00 AM  
Blogger Legallyblondemel said...

I knew from the title I'd like this post. Your are the cool mom I aspire to be one day.

Looking at the comments, "A Vapid Blonde" stole my favorite John Hughes quote! I may have to come after her in my AUTOMOBILE! for that one.

But seriously, Hughes' passing does feel like a bookend to our collective adolescence, doesn't it? Never thought I'd mourn its ending, but . . .

PS - I still cannot read "Kum & Go" without laughing. Pure retail genius.

Monday, August 10, 2009 11:49:00 AM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

Heather - I think his passing made those of us who were so taken with his body of work realize that our mortality is creeping up on us. Kind of like Long Duk Dong when he drops down out of the tree in front of Samantha in "Sixteen Candles"

agentyninety9 - Thank you, and I hope you enjoyed watching them as much as I did this past weekend, too. Oh, Ducky...

kdiddy - Thank you! My husband handles the science fiction aspect of our teaching, and I handle the rest (aka "the good stuff) of the genres!

Always Home - I also hope he comes sliding in and does a spectacular dance number!

Prefers Her Fantasy Life - OMG! How did I forget about the magical introduction of John Cusack!? Probably because I was so hung up on the idea of then-hot James Spader...

Madame Queen - Oh, you're among many others who told me the same thing!

William - I used that particular quote at work last Friday night. Unfortunately, it wasn't to someone who'd seen the movie...

Dana - Jake pretty much equals perfection. Except for that one ex-family member I have, but other than that, perfection.

Michele - I am just as juvenile. I'm also delighted by their refillable fountain drinks.

ftn - Maybe...MAYBE...I can see some of the good of Weird Science, but really, my dislike of it must stand as a matter of principle. And the dubbing on The Breakfast Club is even more stellar.

Badass Geek - Hey, thanks! And stuff.

Meg - It's OK, because I did, too, when I heard.

Petra - Awesome? Thank you! Really, I'm just a geek, but I guess that can be awesome, too! ;)

mommygeekology - REALLY!

mommygeekology - I'd tell you to skip Weird Science, but apparently, I'm wrong about that.

Christina Lee - I'd forgotten some of the works he'd done, too, but they did come flooding back when I realized.

Sailor - Thanks! I'm saving Uncle Buck for a day when I can bear them repeating all the classic lines (like I have room to talk).

Des - Ferris is a must see. I have a hard time seeing Matthew Broderick as anything other than Ferris, even now.

Swirl Girl - Not Ducky, indeed. Totally Steff.

Aunt Becky - Let me direct you to your table, Mr. Froman!

Ali - Yet another reason I so dig him!

Mandy - Absolutely no one. I would have been able to endure high school more if it had actually been as stellar as his depictions showed it to be.

Zip n Tizzy - I learned of his passing via Twitter, when Stiletto Mom wondered how I was handling the news. The Internet is a magical thing!

Aunt Juicebox - Indeed...

Melissa - I think it's virtually impossible to leave the couch if you come across one of his movies on TV.

Seriously Mama - For me, too. And thank you!

Cocotte - I agree. I'll stop what I'm doing and watch one of his movies, even if it's nearly over, if I see it's on TV, and even if I already own it on DVD. They are magic.

Brian - Those particular Lampoons are the only ones I can endure.

That Girl - Oh, you know how I feel...

Waltz - Sadly, screws fall out every day...

Lime - There's a small part of me that wishes to be the 80s version of Molly Ringwald even yet today.

Amy - Please, the soundtracks! They are mainstays on my iPod still today, and I quote from the Furs' "Pretty In Pink" as much as I do the actual movie!

Running Irony - aww...we all know and love...

Stiletto Mom - "May I admire you?" Sigh...

A Vapid Blonde - Ha! Um, maybe you know my first boyfriend...

Bex - Every once in awhile, the mush seeps through! ;)

anymommy - Thanks! His movies should be required viewing for all teens.

spam - yep.

legallyblondemel - The key is never really growing up completely yourself. You're pretty safe there, I think, because of the whole Kum & Go thing. ;)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009 2:33:00 PM  
Blogger Kathy B! said...

Why did I miss all these posts?!

We have Kum & Go here, too. Sounds like a porno shop, doesn't it?!

Friday, August 14, 2009 9:09:00 AM  

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