The Time Between Vacations

Lots of people call this work. I like to call it the three weeks in July between trips to Florida/July 4th week and the Ozarks. It’s also the three weeks when I have to shave for at least five consecutive days for those three weeks. After you spend about two weeks never having to save more than once a week, you kinda fall out of the habit. That’s what happened to me. Yesterday was the third consecutive Monday I’ve had to shave. Thankfully I did not have to do it today as Mom and I caved and agreed to let Kinsey take four of her friends to Adventureland. It’s a local amusement park and waterpark. I was not excited about it. Going to work sounded like a better option. Now don’t get me wrong. Going to Adventureland with Kinz and her friends is not like being in the trenches during the siege of Petersburg in 1865. I’ve not been asked to fight Apollo Creed for the Heavyweight Championship of the world. I didn’t grow up a Lions fan. But as a guy who likes routine, and is not a fan of supervising a gaggle of soon to be 6th grade girls along with Bails who gets to come along, this was not my Tuesday activity of choice.

Turned out fine. Weather cooled off, kids all behaved and there were no injuries. And that’s a win.

That all being said, an interesting and entirely unrelated question occurred to me the other night while I was watching The Breakfast Club on AMC.

When should we let Riley, or any of the girls, start watching John Hughes movies? I don’t mean Uncle Buck and Home Alone either. I mean the ones that defined the teenagerdom of Gen Xers. The Breakfast Club. Sixteen Candles. Pretty in Pink. Ferris Bueller. Weird Science. Okay, not Weird Science, that’s for dudes. Sixteen Candles came out when I was finishing 8th grade. Rye will be starting 8th grade this fall. Too early to let her watch them? She went to see World War Z the other night so I’m not sure Long Duk Dong is going to warp her in any sort of permanent life defining way. And truth be told I don’t screen every movie she watches. Which means she’s already been exposed to the same stuff I’m worried about. Which in turn makes my initial question somewhat less interesting. But here’s the thing, I’m all in favor of not only Riley, but all the girls watching these movies. Just not sure its time yet. Especially after watching The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles for the first time in awhile. I love The Breakfast Club. One of my favorite movies of all time. It’s lands on the all-time list somewhere after Hoosiers, It’s a Wonderful Life and Patton. It could be fourth. Then again, it might not be. Red Dawn, The Blues Brothers and The Hunt for Red October are pretty good movies too.

Have you seen TBC lately? Go watch it again. Now that I have a 13 year-old daughter my perspective on this movie has changed. I really didn’t expect this. I mean I watched it plenty of times since the girls were born. But this was the first time I watched it while I was father a daughter whose age end in “teen.”

That changes a man.

John Bender is far more frightening and menacing now than he was when I was 15. Plus with today’s anti-bullying and harassment laws, he’s a walking lawsuit. Dick, excuse me, Vice-Principal Richard Vernon is so fired if he did any of that stuff in 2013. Back in ’85, I guess it just made him a douchebag. But the movie is still relevant to teenagers even after 28 years because it still deals with all the crap that teenagers think about and deal with. Which, if you recall, is not stuff you really want to do twice.

Second question that we recently discussed involves dancing. Rye and her friend Madison are going to dance a duet this coming dance season in addition to being on the various pom and hip hop dance teams. As far as I can tell the largest impact of this decision is on my wallet as another costume will be purchased and another set of classes/practices will be paid for. Hoo. Ray. The most interesting thing about the duet is that they have to pick a song. Bailey suggested Physical from Olivia Newton-John. Which we thought was hilarious. Also disconcerting. How does Bails – age 9 – know Physical? Has Disney assimilated this song into its empire and sanitized it’s lyrics? Mom suggested PYT by Michael Jackson. Somebody mentioned Express Yourself by Madonna. I had three suggestions. The first was Highway to Hell by AC DC. It was summarily dismissed. Next I suggested Ride the Wind by Poison. It did not gain the necessary traction to be part of the debate. Finally I suggested Let’s Go Crazy by Prince and the Revolution.

Mom seemed intrigued. Riley not so much. However – mitigating factor – she’s never heard the song. So I attempted to explain its awesomeness.

“Back in ’84 at the nightclub, the Kid and his band, also known as the Revolution, were big rivals with Morris Day and his band The Time. The Kid had all kinds heavy, depressing, emotional issues to deal with at home. And there were doubts he’d ever realize his potential on the stage. Then, in one awesome night, he freaking belted out Purple Rain, I Would Die 4 U and then Let’s Go Crazy. And, as I’m sure you assumed, Let’s Go Crazy blew everything else out of the water. Oh and its awesome to dance to and the judges being of similar age to Mom and I will be unable to contain their smiles, enthusiasm and outright love for this song choice. BOOM!”

I was unpersuasive. They picked some song called Dance With Me Tonight by Olly Murs. Yeah, I never really heard of this guy either. And if he got in my car and starting singing the song right there in the passenger seat I not only still wouldn’t recognize it but I’d have to call 911 to report aggravated face punchisizing.

So there’s that.

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