Time Travel with My Teenagers

I’ve been forced to take it easy this month.  I thought that I would be up and at ’em after the stent was removed, but I was sadly mistaken.  To speak honestly, I have felt like shit.  All that inflammation in my kidney and urinary tract had to heal.  The post-op fatigue has been intolerable.  I am not a person who enjoys sitting around, but the kidney pain and nausea that suddenly take over my body force me onto the couch.  I’m subject to my body’s needs whether I like it or not.  I have Fibromyalgia so I live in a world where pain and fatigue are relative.  They don’t really tell me the truth.  I might feel exhausted or in pain, but I just have to push through whatever I’m feeling.  Resting doesn’t really accomplish much in a body with Fibromyalgia.  It often just exacerbates soreness.  Movement is what heals.  This has not been the case for the August Kidney Debacle.  Apparently, one must rest after surgery and stent removal, or one will throw up and be in terrible pain.  Huh…who knew?

As it turns out, Doireann has been my faithful companion throughout this month.  She has chosen to stay home with me when everyone else has left the house for more interesting diversions.  She makes sure I’m drinking water, brings me tea, and keeps me company.  As I was sitting on the couch a few weeks ago, I asked her if she wanted to watch a movie.  She nodded.  I pondered the choice.  I was suddenly inspired by a wonderful notion.  “Do you want to watch some 80s movies? You know, the movies that are often referred to in ‘Psych’? The little girls aren’t around right now.  We could totally watch something that might not be appropriate for them.”  Her eyes lit up.  “Yes!”  

What was my first choice? Well, in my mind, that was an easy question to answer.  Doireann loves Alan Rickman due to his smashing performance as Severus Snape in The Harry Potter franchise.  She had to see the film that introduced him to American audiences–the film that marked him out as one of the most beloved villains, at least for me.  We watched “Die Hard”.  It was really one of the first action blockbusters that I recall seeing.  I saw it in the cinema when it was released, but I wasn’t 17.  I think I was 14.  We watched it together, and Doireann oohed and ahhed over Alan Rickman’s portrayal of the slick yet sophisticated bad guy, Hans Gruber.  She loved the movie.  Even though Gruber was a murderous sociopath, she loved Rickman all the more after seeing the film.  It’s true.  There is something about him.

After “Die Hard”, Doireann was practically salivating when she asked me what was next on the 1980’s movie docket.  I had to ponder that.  Eadaoin had meandered into the room in the middle of my ruminations, and she’s a sensitive girl.  She’s not going to watch a film where a terrorist gets his kneecaps blasted off.  I would be horribly remiss, I decided, If John Hughes wasn’t covered at least once.  He defined the era.  I chose “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”.  The girls were a bit incredulous when I tried to explain the plot.  In the end, I said, “Just watch it.”  If you want to see the introduction of meta-humor into the culture, then watch this film.  John Hughes was brilliant.  The girls loved every minute of it, and Eadaoin declared during the credits, “This is now one of my favorite movies!” Doireann commented, “That Charlie Sheen was quite attractive.  What did you say happened to him?”

I was starting to feel the pressure.  I had to pick another film from the 80s that has had some kind of staying power or is at least referenced now in the culture.  I looked back on my own experience and tried to think of a film that my girlfriends and I watched a lot.  What films launched a career? What actors made their names in the 80s? If we’re honest, then we can’t overlook Tom Cruise and “Top Gun”.  The volleyball scene and its infamous “windmill high-five” are still referenced today.  “Top Gun” launched Cruise’s career not to mention put Kenny Loggins on the Musicians Who Write Heavy-Handed Soundtracks list.  Doireann was immune to Cruise’s boyish good looks.  She found him to be arrogant.  At some point in our viewing she remarked, “Mom, Maverick is an asshole.”  It was the typical 80s love scene that had me rolling on the floor.  Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” starts playing, the slow motion thrusting ensues, and Kelly McGillis and Tom Cruise are in the middle of the screen tonguing each other.  Doireann shrieked.  “What?! Tongue?! Ohmigod….WHAT? More tongue?! MOM! WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS MOVIE? AAAAH!! AGAIN?” She eventually covered her eyes and declared that she could never unsee that.  I tried to explain to her that the 1980s followed the 1970s, and there was just no real way to apologize for the content of film in those two decades.  Lots of tits and ass really.  And tongue apparently.  No subtlety.

She really enjoyed the movie though.  She did say, “I liked ‘Die Hard’ better.”

Eadaoin returned to our evening film viewing last night requesting another 80s film.  Both girls looked at me as if I could pick the perfect film.  Eadaoin is starting high school this year.  She is terrified.  Her high school orientation didn’t go well for her.  In honor of the high school experience, cliques, and the idea that the unlikeliest of people can become friends in spite of being judged wrongly, I chose “The Breakfast Club”.  John Hughes had a gift for capturing the adolescent experience.  The girls LERVED the movie.  Doireann, of course, thought that John Bender’s character was very relatable.  The school principal was an ass much like Eadaoin’s middle school principal who was caught on record saying that he hates working with children.  I imagine that they are going to want to watch this movie again and again.

While I haven’t enjoyed extended convalescence, I have really enjoyed hanging out with my girls.  We have laughed together and talked about the funniest things.  Once the school year starts there just won’t be time to do this.  Perhaps this has really been a blessing.

School begins the day after tomorrow so, of course, we have one more night to watch a movie.  I already know what it’s going to be.   Do you want a hint?

“Nobody puts Baby in the corner…”

So, if you had to choose some favorite films from the 1980s to watch again, what would you choose? For the record, we’ve already watched “The Princess Bride” because, you know….Wesley…

le sigh…..


17 thoughts on “Time Travel with My Teenagers

    • OMG! Back to The Future!!!!!! I MUST put that on our list! We own Goonies. Love that. I really like Overboard, too. What was it with all the boobs? Geez…There was even a boob shot in Die Hard. Doireann rolled her eyes, and I just sat there saying, “I don’t remember that being in the movie.” She said, “Because everyone wants to be THAT couple. ‘What were YOU doing when the terrorists came in shooting at us? Screwing in your office? You guys SUCK!'” She seems to handle the hypersexualization present in the culture fairly well.

  1. I didn’t watch too many movies in the 80’s, deprived childhood and all that. But definitely Back to the Future. And the first is a classic. Always the best. Glad to what you’re feeling somewhat better now.

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