February 16, 2010
I hope you’re all having a cheery and festive February and aren’t buried in the remains of The Blizzard of 2010 like us icicles on the East Coast.
Itchy to get out of the house, I met my friend Meg — who, as we met on the first day of first grade, is my oldest friend — for lunch the other day. She brought her 12-year-old daughter and let me tell you: This girly girl was decked out from head to toe in everything Robert Pattinson — the mopey guy from the Twilight movies who looks like he needs a bath and a B-12 shot. She had a T-shirt, a button, a book bag and a hat, all adorned with his pasty face. Why? Valentine’s Day was approaching and she was expressing her adoration of sullen Edward Cullen. Of course, I let loose with a tirade.
“Where was all that stuff when we were young?” I asked her mother. Where was the gear logoed with the fine visage of Jake Ryan from Sixteen Candles, and Lloyd Dobler, the weirdo, kickboxing iconoclast from Say Anything, or The Breakfast Club’s resident bad-ass, Bender — the first in a long and sketchy line of bad boys to pique my interest. I felt gypped, and wasn’t shy about ranting.
Meg, always the voice of calm and reason to my torrents of reactionary mouthiness, pointed out that we did, in fact, have tons of logoed items from Duran Duran, The Cure, The Thompson Twins and Bananarama in our youth, but it’s different — the music industry has always been ahead of the curve in promoting its pop stars (think The Beatles).
All I’m saying is, movie star groupies and teenyboppers today have it easy: There are vast amounts of imprinted merchandise with which to express their affection for silver-screen boy toys. But for Lloyd Dobler and his ilk back in my heyday, not so much. To paraphrase a line from Say Anything: I gave him my heart, and I didn’t even get a pen.
Who was your teen crush? Do tell …
Cheers, and more next week!