You know… When Pinky wanted me to go with her to try and get Molly Ringwald for the thousandth time I was like… Oh why! But it didn’t turn out half bad for me… Now, Pinky… She got a Fangirl’s dream come true!!
I’m not going to go on and on because this is most truly Pinky’s moment, I will just say, and you’ll understand when reading below, I have never said, “Girl Please” in all my life. I mean, the fact that someone would think I say that, is a tad crazy, but I give the Pinkster enough joshing so it’s up… But for the record only severely out of touch cross dressing pseudo hipsters use that saying and only as a throwback reference… And little did I know that playing around and helping Pinky “test” her camera would lead me to looking like a crazy person… Ah… Good times!
Hello, my lovelies. Last night something so incredible, so amazing, so unbelievable happened that it simply cannot wait for another Manic Monday: Molly Ringwald took a picture with me!!! That’s right; she actually posed for a picture. With me. She even smiled! Oh, and did I mention that she even signed my beloved beat-to-hell Pretty in Pink album color (with a pink paint pen…thanks so much to Mikey for bringing it and taking the lead on that one as I just stood there “pulling a Pinky” because she was near us)?
I’m still in shock (on a side note: Good news! When I went to get the album ready to take with me, I realized I DO have Jon Cryer’s autograph on it after all! WIN!!! Now I just need to get Andrew McCarthy to sign it and all will be well with the world. Yes, Mikey, I’m sure that totally turns me into “Grapher Pinky” – ha!).
Now, I realize that we here at Mike the Fanboy were very vocal in our disappointment with the myriad of previously bad encounters we’ve had with the lovely Miss Ringwald. In fact, I’m afraid my rants may have been misconstrued as disdain and hatred for Molly, but in reality nothing could be further from the truth. I adore Molly. I’m a huge, huge, huge fan, which is why I’m always so devastated when she repeatedly denies my simple little request for a picture (or blocks me on Twitter). And I’m not alone. I must’ve asked half a dozen people to attend this event with me and the general consensus was, “Why waste your time when you know she’s going to shoot you down?” Trust me; I understand. I felt the same way, but I still had to try. If there was even a 1% chance I’d be successful, I had to try because it meant that much to me (did I mention I’m a Taurus? I can be a bit stubborn at times…I’m just sayin’).
Like most people, I fell in love with Molly as Samantha Baker in Sixteen Candles in 1984 and rooted for her to get together with the oh-so-perfect Jake Ryan, although I do remember watching her as “Molly” on The Facts of Life before that. Samantha Baker was such an iconic coming-of-age character that it’s hard to believe she could possibly morph into someone else so quickly and have people love her even more, but the very next year she won over hearts as the “princess” rich girl, Claire Standish, in The Breakfast Club and got to kiss and trade earrings with the sexy bad boy, John Bender. I love this movie so much – actually, I love all these movies so much – it’s ridiculous. I’ve seen them more times than I can count and, if pressed, could probably put on a one-woman show (playing ALL the parts, no less) for all three films (don’t judge me). Still, while I don’t have a favorite per se, sometimes I think they saved the best for last and one year later, in 1986, Molly played Andie Walsh in Pretty in Pink, and made pink Volkswagen Karmann Ghias look like the coolest cars on earth. In addition to Andie Walsh (“I just want them to know they didn’t break me”), Pretty in Pink gave us Duckie Dale (“Let’s plow!”), Blaine (“Blaine? That’s not a name, it’s a major appliance!”), and, of course, the dastardly Steff (“That girl was, is, and always will be nada”). Not that the other films lacked in colorful characters – The Geek , The Donger, and the “sweaty beau hunk” to name a few. As the sole actor to be in all three films, Molly became a sort of “poster child” for John Hughes films and is still adored to this day.
That is, except for in The Land of Collectors where we’ve all been burned a few too many times by her inability to embrace her ‘80s roots.
(Editor’s Note: When the hell have I ever said “Girl Please” WHEN!?!? M-)
Look, I have no idea what it’s like to be her and my heart went out to her last night when she said that if given the choice today, she isn’t sure that the trade-offs (lack of privacy, celebrity, etc.) were worth it. She may have come into popularity long before the craze of the internet, but her iconic status lives on to this day. As an author of two books who’s married with three daughters, I can tell how much she values her family life and her privacy. I get that. I understand there’s a time and place for everything and it must be extremely hard to balance it all, especially when she’s still working on a show and still widely recognized. I’m sure that’s hard and I don’t pretend to even begin to grasp her challenges with it. That being said, when you’re promoting your work and people have paid money and gone to great lengths to see you, one would hope that you’d be gracious and kind and accommodating – at least for that small window of time.
I’m pretty sure I’ve admitted that my walls – to this day – are adorned with movie memorabilia from these films.
I don’t think I’ve ever lived somewhere that didn’t have Molly’s face hanging on the wall, looking at me, every single day of my life. Combine that with the amount of times I’ve seen her films (and even read her book) and I suppose I’ve come to feel like she’s my friend. Yes, of course I know she’s not. I know she played a character – a multitude of beloved characters – that played a prominent role in my life (let’s not forget I based my Prom dress on the one she wore in Pretty in Pink) and that those characters aren’t real. I know that in my logical brain. But when am I ever logical? Molly Ringwald holds a special place in my heart – there, I said it. I admit it. And because of that, I get way too excited around her.
I’m sure Mikey is going to recap our portion of the night as my spazzing out or talking a mile a minute or dropping things – all of which are true. I don’t recall what came out of my mouth, but I can imagine it was insane. Not wanting to be cheesy with typical flowers, I made her and her daughters necklaces (that I dropped when I tried to give them to her way-too-eagerly) that Mikey thinks are ridiculous. I suppose I just wanted to let her know I’m a fan; I appreciate her; and I was excited to see her.
In support of her latest novel, When It Happens To You (which is actually a collection of really interesting short stories), the event last night was called “Live Talks Los Angeles: Molly Ringwald in Conversation with Meghan Daum.”
Not only did I buy a ticket to go in, but I made sure to sit up front, as she denied my request for a picture going in and I wanted to try to get up to her as soon as it ended. I actually really enjoyed the Q&A and was especially fond of the selection she decided to read from her book
(although, to be fair, hearing “Samantha Baker” drop the “F” bomb and talk about masturbation was a little strange). I was tempted to get up and ask a question, but I was afraid I’d blather on or start crying or just make more of a fool of myself, so I resisted.
The most interesting part of the Q&A to me was learning that Molly used to keep really detailed journals and created elaborate back stories for her characters during the filming of the John Hughes’ films. While she only remembered some of what she’d created for Claire Standish, I kept thinking to myself that those books would be something that would make a killing.
I’d love to hear back stories about those characters from the person who played them. It’s an ‘80s lover’s dream come true!
While we were waiting for the Q&A to start, I ended up making friends with the women around me and we were instantly bonded in our love for Molly and all things ‘80s. One of the girls in particular had a camera, a shared love for Duran Duran, and a website and I asked her if she wouldn’t mind taking a picture of me standing anywhere near Molly when it ended. Actually, what I said was, “I’m going to ask Molly for a picture when this ends and she’s going to shoot me down. If you could possibly somehow get us in the same frame together, I’d really appreciate it.” Sure enough, when the Q&A ended, I asked Molly for a picture, told her what a huge fan I was, how much it would mean to me, and how long I’ve wanted to meet her, and she said, “If I take it with you I’ll have to take it with everyone” (which is my absolute least favorite thing for a celebrity to use as a “cop out” excuse). But then, a miracle happened and Molly continued, “If there’s time after the book signing, maybe we can do a picture.” I said (probably way too enthusiastically/desperately), “I’m happy to wait all night” (side note: What is wrong with me? Why do these things leave my mouth??). Her reply? “I believe that you would.” As one added incentive for her, I said, “I would never ask you for anything ever again” (which is totally and completely true because I’d have everything I’ve ever wanted – my album signed by her and a picture with her). She went to sign books sequestered away behind a bar and I went to the little girl’s room. When I returned, the line was already done. The signing was pretty much over except for my book which I had yet to purchase. I bought the book (because it really does look good) and went to have her sign it. I told her I really enjoyed her last book and I’m sorry if I come off as too much (or crazy, who knows what comes out of my mouth)
and she said it was OK and asked if I had my camera ready. OF COURSE!!! Can you believe it? I still can’t. We took a picture and she’s smiling and I’m the happiest person ever. Of course, I’d like to think that it was my fandom or my sincerity or my necklaces that won her over and made her come around; in reality, I’m guessing it was the promise that I’ll never bother her again. Either way….whatever. My fandom lives on and a picture lasts forever.
(Editor’s Note: as a postscript to this, after Pinky got her photo she said to Molly, “I just met Long Duck Dong a few weeks ago!” and according to Pinky Molly looked at her like, “get away from me now!” Also, Molly did not sign any other memorabilia inside the event! Doh! M-)
So far everyone I’ve told, “I got Molly” has had the same reaction, “WHAT?!?! You got Molly?!?! No way!” It cracks me up.
For additional pink fodder, please visit www.pinkylovejoy.com or follow me on Twitter @Pinkylovejoy (unless you’re Molly and you block me). As always, have a pink day!