Today as I sat waiting in the high school parking lot to drop off my son’s tennis equipment before he left for a tennis match, I was transported to another world. Actually back to my world back in high school. And the world according to the Breakfast Club movie in 1985.
This movie has been hailed as one of the greatest high school films of all time, by John Hughes (God rest his fantastic movie making soul). And the song – “Don’t You Forget About Me,” that instantly reminds my generation of scenes from the movie that have stayed with us since.
The movie follows five students—Allison Reynold (Ally Sheedy), Andrew Clark (Emilio Estevez), John Bender (Judd Nelson), Brian Johnson (my favorite Anthony Michael Hall), and Claire Standish (Molly Ringwald) as they surprisingly find common ground with each other throughout a single day of detention on a Saturday. Each student represented a different clique or stereotype within the school. If you haven’t seen it, rent it.
Watching the disbursement of high schoolers on a Friday after school took me right there. I watched each stereotype pass the front of my car. During a phase when I am feeling a little old and thinking things are so very different, I suddenly realized things really didn’t seem that different. Had nothing really changed except for the fact that they each had a cell phone and ATM card in their pocket?
The ‘Jock’s (although in this case both male and female) were gathered on the sidewalk high-fiveing each other. The ‘punk’ hard edge type kids were all walking alone with a jolted gate, looking very guarded. I even saw one bump into a jock, then the jock got upset and held his hands out just like in the movies (if only he had been wearing a letter jacket), then the punker extended his hand and they shook hands and did a “bro” hug. I should have been filming as it was stereotypical perfection.
Then I also watched as the many ‘princesses’ dialed for their rides exhaustedly while flipping their hair in frustration and simultaneously watching peripherally to see who was checking them out. Then came the ‘brainiacs’/nerds as I watched them attempt to talk to the cute girl jocks while the huge guy jocks with gelled hair stood to the side fanning their feathers. They didn’t stand a chance but I was rooting for them. And I sadly watched a ‘misfit’ walk out to her car alone.
Maybe they will all be in detention together one day and bond over their similarities, but I doubt it. More likely, they will all find themselves in different cubicles of the same corporate world and bond over the lack of sunlight. Sorry, that was dark.
Today I am just grateful that the world isn’t really racing ahead as fast as I thought. And that makes me happy.