Duckie Finally Gets the Girl

On first glance, this column is going to appear out of place. I’m a writer professing to share insight with you about writing and finding your message. But that also means sharing what inspires us, what makes us tick, what makes us who we are – as writers, as business people, as men or women simply trying to get along out there. 

I could have put this blog out on another site I write for, but that didn’t seem right. After all, you will find as you read my columns regularly  that pop culture is a part of everything I do. It’s my Wheaties, it fuels me, it leads me to my most creative ideas, often to the people I want to be with most and to my general philosophies –  on life, work and writing.

 So humor me. (But know that this won’t be my last pop-infused column…)

One of the things I love most about writing is being able to play God. Okay, let me rephrase that. It’s the ability to take a living, breathing entity – like a play, a poem, a short story, whatever – and guide it to whatever outcome I choose. I’m a film lover, too, and have always dreamed of directing my own movie or documentary secretly (but I guess not so secretly anymore since I’m jotting it here). That power to be able to guide a premise and characters to their final destination is so intriguing to me.

I also loved the 80s. (Okay, this is not such a profound revelation, I realize that.) Feathered hair and legwarmers aside, it was a very special time of my life. Not always easy but truly impactful on carving out who I would become, what I wanted to do with my life and of course, most significantly, which movies I would hold closest to my heart for life.

I discovered John Hughes and it was kismet. He spoke for me. He championed for me. It was as if he knew me but he knew only my cinematic counterpart, his muse, Molly Ringwald. The 80s represent a time whenI found out who the heck I could be, and like many other girls at the time, I wanted to be Molly Ringwald. As long as a Jake Ryan lingered somewhere in one of my classes to show me the path to sweet sixteen love and would rescue my underpants from a geek.

I always had a real affection for Sixteen Candles and Breakfast Club which both articulated those things I wanted to say but as a straight A student that never got in trouble, I kept these things to my quiet little self.

And then I saw Pretty in Pink and met Duckie and I realized that while on the outside, I didn’t appear the freaky, misfit kid in weird clothes, a strange pompadour or pointy duck shoes, I felt like Duckie – inside. I made the references to jokes that others didn’t laugh at because I always felt like I was from another time or planet. I never felt accepted by the popular crowd who I sensed peered down their perfectly sculpted noses at me and truly believed their perfectly chiseled frames were far too beautiful to be seen with this frumpy, pudgy teen.

I related to Duckie in more ways than I could ever realize. And that’s why when I saw the movie all of those many many MANY years ago in the theater the first time, I was infuriated with the director whom I usually embraced so much. How could Duckie come up on the losing end? Why couldn’t at the very least the woman who seemed to understand him more than anyone else show her affection to him at  the film’s close and not choose the stuck-up, unredeeming, snobby (and let’s face it. downright CREEPY) Blaine played by Andrew McCarthy?

So when I learned that there was another ending originally proposed and that it just didn’t test-screen as well as the  one we have all come to know, I was immediately hungry. Hungry to see if the geeks finally do inherit the Earth in more than just Revenge of the Nerds (another one of my sentimental faves).

For any of you other Duckies out there who have always longed for that more fulfilling ending, here’s your chance. Take it in, put your best visualization skills to work and check out this new and improved ending to the Hughes love tale.

I don’t watch “Two and a Half Men” regularly. It’s a cute show but I am a 24 addict so you’ll find me hanging out with Jack Bauer instead on Monday nights (at least until the show runs out of time permanently end of this season). So I don’t watch Jon Cryer weekly but I honestly don’t think I could watch without reflecting on the memorable character he created those 20+ years ago or getting misty-eyed thinking back to my awkward teenage years.

I hope the other Duckies out there at least enjoyed the opportunity to share this little victory dance with me. To Otis Redding, of course.

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