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Back to the…Reality.

Hey, guys, hi. I hope you had a respectful Memorial Day weekend and spent it in the way that meant the most to you. I spent it listening to my neighbor chainsaw all his trees down. It was very sad.

But we’re not here to be sad, unless you are, in which case I’ll sit with you. Hit me up in the comments.

But I digress. As is the case more often than not, I’m here today to write about movies. So for Sunday night’s Film Club selection (by the way, if I haven’t urged you guys to try out the Netflix Party extension on Chrome, absolutely do it. It’s a great chance to “watch” movies with your bros), we went back to the future.

I’ve recommended this one already, but the trilogy is still on Netflix if you want to see if it holds up. In my opinion, it absolutely does, and watching it as an adult with grown kids was an entirely different experience than watching it for the first time as a 10-year-old on her first date (“date,” in this case, meant that we did not speak, and never saw each other alone at any point).

What I noticed was, well, lots of things. First of all, how the hell old is Marty’s oldest brother, and why does he still live there at the end of the movie and act like he has any say about the family car if he has a job in which he’s allegedly very successful? MOVE OUT, DAVE. Move out, maybe make some friends, stop acting so interested in your sister’s social life. It’s weird.

But before I go down that rabbit hole, I want to talk about Marty’s parents, because I went on a whole journey for this one. Something I noticed (not so much when I was 10), and hell, like anyone noticed even if they were 10 because I’m terrible at noticing things, was that Marty’s parents were pretty awful people.

Let’s look at the evidence. Marty’s dad at first appearance seems to be a guy who has no friends, and gets bullied. That’s awful. But then, we see that he’s 1) a peeping Tom 2) the kind of guy to leave the scene when someone gets hit by a car 3) not in any way interested in people’s lives or anything but his own little world.

Marty’s mom, on the other hand, is portrayed as a woman of very loose morals, who is way down with attacking Marty, a total stranger, sexually before she even officially meets him. She drinks, she smokes, and she’s been around the block.

At the beginning of the movie, Marty’s parents seem to have resigned themselves to a pretty humdrum life, in which they don’t even have the strength to resent each other. Dave works at a fast food joint. Linda, the middle child and sister, can’t get a date to save her life. Marty seems to be the only one who has an active life with interests, though I’ll allow that we’re not given much of a peek into the other kids’ lives other than setting us up to be familiar with the characters.

Anyway, I started thinking, yeah, I get why Marty wants to keep himself from being erased, but honestly his parents are kind of the worst.

And then, almost immediately, I remembered what I was like in high school.

I didn’t drink, but only because I tried wine coolers once, got heartburn, and thought that meant I was allergic to alcohol because I’d never had heartburn. Same with cigarettes – inhaled once, thought my throat was on fire, walked away. No drugs because I grew up in the 80s, surrounded by D.A.R.E.

But I was also a moody little asshole. I had the biggest chip on my shoulder. I was super shy but also super jerky to my parents. I canceled plans routinely because I was too busy being angsty. I quit stuff when I didn’t want to do it anymore. I barely made it to first hour, ever, my senior year. I was even a dick to my favorite teacher, Ms. Holman, and she definitely didn’t do anything to deserve it. I took a bunch of diet pills once and had to have my stomach pumped.

If I’d been watching Back to the Future with me as the mom, I would’ve been like, “JESUS DO NOT LET HER HAVE CHILDREN.” (And also a little bit like, why would anyone want to be around her long enough to try?)

The point, and I did have one, is that very rarely do teenagers remain the same as older adults. They may have some of the same strengths and weaknesses, sure, but they also grow, and, hopefully, learn from their mistakes and experiences.

I still get too defensive too quickly. I still listen to music way too loud and worship the alternative genre. I still want to bang out my feelings on a keyboard, and get my ears way too pierced.

But I’ve also raised a child, and helped raise more. I’ve been married, and divorced, more than once. I’ve seen people that I loved, very, very much, die in front of me. I’ve done the right thing and been punished for it, and done the wrong thing and gotten away with it, more times than I can count. I was really sick for a long time, and wasn’t sure I’d be well. I saw others around me get really sick for a long time, and never recover.

A life is a whole, whole bunch of little parts spinning around each other to make a big picture. And that picture, while it looks pretty good from a distance, has as many ugly parts as it does beautiful.

So Marty, your parents were totally worth fighting for. While I may never know why Dave still lives there, it’s also none of my damn business.

Movie of the Day: Kind of misleading today. I’ve obviously already thrown a nod to Back to the Future, but I really want to recommend I Know This Much is True (HBO, but also Amazon Prime), a miniseries based on the Wally Lamb book of the same name that I found 20 years ago and absolutely loved. Mark Ruffalo plays twins, one of whom is schizophrenic, and he does so remarkably well.

Show of the Day: Run, HBO. (HBO gets all the praise today.) This is a fun little plot-take based on a man and a woman who were in a relationship in college and made a pact that if one should ever message the other with the word “Run” and the other one was able to also run, they would meet each other at a predetermined destination at a predetermined time. Oh, boy. You can guess where this is going.

Song of the Day: The Story, Brandi Carlile. I love this song a whole lot, obviously, but it also fits nicely into today’s blog. We all have our own stories, and those stories make us who we are today. Oh, man. Narrative paradigm is the best, and not just because it’s all I remember from college.

FreelanceJen

I start every day vowing to become healthier and end every day by zeroing out my fridge.
That's the kind of self-sabotage that forms the core of my being.
You know what I'm good at, though? Spinning words into a magical skein that envelopes you in success. Let's talk about that first, and if snacks end up happening, so be it.

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