Do you have certain movies that were iconic for your generation? For folk of my vintage, Fast Times and Ridgemont High, The Breakfast Club, and Sixteen Candles just about sum up my high school years. The weird thing is that I hung out, today, with one of my closest friends on the planet and I realized that my friend M IS living the life of Molly Ringwald's character, Samantha, in Sixteen Candles!!!
Let me explain …
Do you have old friends that you can hang out with and enjoy a day without really doing anything? M is one of my friends like that. We're in mid-life now, but M. and I are high school classmates. In middle school we became acquaintances because M's oldest brother and my older brother were friends and classmates a the all boy rival high school down the street. After graduation M. went to the University of Washington for school and I stayed home at the local University, but during the summer after our frosh year, we somehow ended up falling into a really close knit group of friends and from that point on M became one of my closest confidants and most trusted friends. She was one of those people that always seemed to have her act and her life together. In high school, however, we both pretty much considered ourselves to be dorks. I, objectively, was a complete dork (think Anthony Michael Hall's character in Sixteen Candles and you'll get the main idea). M thought of herself as a complete dork, but she really was on the fringe of the A-list (kind of like Molly Ringwald's character, get it???).
To make a long story short, after having her heart crushed by a longtime boy friend who dumped her, M re-connected with another of our classmates and ended up getting married to him. Her husband was (and this is no joke) male athlete of the year in our senior year and an all around really great guy (think Jake Ryan, the guy with the red Porsche … Are you following?). Fast forward a bunch of years and I moved to Lala Land and M and Mr. Athlete have two daughters. M is a teacher and Mr. Athlete is a dentist with a thriving practice.
I got to spend the morning with M and her oldest daughter who is in kindergarten. We went to the Target (Target only recently opened their first stores in the Hawaii market). While we didn't do much except shop for a few hours and have a simple lunch, just hanging out made me realize how special our friendship is. We did a lot of our grown-up growing up together. I think, though, that the most special part of our friendship is that it is NOT the same friendship as the one we had when I left the islands almost ten years ago. Since then I found a great significant other to share my life with and she married and became a mom. We've changed. What I realized today, though, is that even though we may not be the every day close best friends that we used to be, I'm certain that if I ever needed her, she'd be on a plane to where ever I was without thinking twice about it. I hope that she knows that I'd do the same for her. We've allowed each other to change and grow up and still figured out how to make a special place for each other in our lives.
How great is that, huh? I think I'm a pretty fortunate guy!!!
So on another note … In Sixteen Candles, do you think that Jake and Samantha lived happily ever after? Do you think that they had a really bad break up after Jake was busted knoodling with a skank from the all girls' high school across town? Did Jake have to get a temporary restraining order after Samantha got all clingy and started stalking him after they broke up and went to college?
Am I the only person who wonders these things?