I believe that we are all always a work in progress. Who I am today is not who I thought I would’ve ended up being 25 years ago … and I’m sure in 25 years, I’ll be saying the same thing. We’re always evolving. At seven years old, I thought I’d be Punky Brewster.Punky lived in a city, wore the coolest clothes and had a happy disposition, despite her parents abandoning her and moving into an apartment with an old man. I considered asking my parents to change my name to Punky many times but decided I didn’t have the wardrobe to pull off the pull Punky effect and let it go.
Around this same time I had a mild (ok massive) obsession with Macgyver.
Good ole’ Mac was on every Monday night and you can bet I did NOT miss an episode. Possibly my first adolescent crush (without me even realizing at the time), but more importantly, Macgyver knew how to do EVERYTHING. He had genius level intellect and as a secret agent, and could literally save himself and “Macgyver” himself out of an impossible situation with a single paperclip. His name alone is not only considered a verb but a noun now.
v. 1. To use ingenuity to fix or remedy a problem using only the tools available at hand. 2. To jury-rig
n. Someone who can regularly cobble together solutions to problems using only the tools available at hand.
Simply, he was the coolest guy around… and for you die-hard fans, you’d know his real name is Angus.
In junior high, I probably most identified with Jessie Spano from Saved by the Bell.
I’d love to say I was Kelly Kapowski, but I had just moved from NYC to a small coastal town in little Rhode Island and was the new kid in town. I was certainly not the most popular, but I had a lot of friends. I considered myself to be middle of the road and friendly with most everyone. Jessie was super studious and somewhat dorky. Unfortunately, I didn’t follow her fashion sense, as I spent most of 7th & 8th grade wearing orange lipstick and 90’s grunge flannel shirts, worshiping Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains & Nirvana, but my work ethic at school and her goody two shoes attitude most closely resembled Jessie, despite my musical interests.
In high school, I idolized the movie Reality Bites and thought about how my life would turn out after I graduated high school and college. Life seemed so complicated but free. The best scene out of this movie is the end, with the best U2 song in existence in my opinion (All I want is You). I would have used this song as my wedding song. But it was simply way too long. Ethan Hawk had the greasiest hair, was a grunge looser and yet I couldn’t help falling in love with him.
College was filled with a weekly roommate screening of Sex and the City.
I identified with every character in some way or form. Carrie Bradshaw, being the main character, was the obvious choice to connect with. She was fashionable, living a somewhat fabulous life in NYC but she wasn’t perfect. She cheated on good guys (when she broke up with Aiden, my heart literally broke). Looking back, she was incredibly selfish for her age while simultaneously being a hopeless romantic, and she spoke to every woman of my generation. Life isn’t perfect, but despite all the drama going on in that series, the main point was that friends should come first and don’t diss them for some douche bag guy. I’ve made that mistake a few times more than I’d like to admit and have regretted it tremendously.
My latest idol has been this chick.
Claire Underwood from House of Cards is one Badass Bitch. She knows what she wants and she gets it. She isn’t the most likable character at times but she has an agenda and you have to respect that. She takes no bullshit. She gets shit done. She’s also scary though. In real life, I respect the “real” Robin Wright over her character (You can read more if you click on her link)- she is beautiful, intelligent and she’s one of the few examples lately of the short list of women who have broken the glass ceiling. She recently re-negotiated her contract to be paid the same as her costar, Kevin Spacy. (Plus, her haircut is amazing; something I’d never be able to pull off.)
“It was a perfect paradigm. There are very few films or TV shows where the male, the patriarch, and the matriarch are equal. And they are in ‘House of Cards,’” said Wright, who had been talking about the problem of equal pay for women more generally.
“I was looking at statistics and Claire Underwood’s character was more popular than [Frank’s] for a period of time. So I capitalized on that moment. I was like, ‘You better pay me or I’m going to go public,’” Wright said with her trademark blinding-white grin. “And they did.”
Good for her.
I met my husband after college. He is 11yrs older than me; and in a former life while I was watching all these TV shows, he was riding his motorcycle all around the country. He’s seen more than I have. He earned a business degree and has 10 times the amount of financial knowledge than I do. He is an intelligent man. Talk to him for five minutes and he’ll prove my point. He is a former State Trooper and comes from a wonderful family. He was a single bachelor with no one to be responsible for but himself. Once I showed up on the scene, I changed that. Our kids have changed us the most-today, we see little of our old lifestyle that we used to live. We’re mostly ok with that- one day they’ll be gone and we will miss this time in their lives.
I doubt my husband has ever watched Saved by the Bell, Sex and the City or Punky Brewster– yet we make it work. We come from different backgrounds and have different perspectives on life in general. There are times that we’re not on the same page about things. We’ve both brought past baggage into this relationship; but hasn’t everyone?
Since having children, while I’d love to say I’m Claire Underwood or Carrie Bradshaw, I’ve developed into a crazy mix of MOM.
Bev from Meet the Goldbergs, idolizes her children- to the point of over suffocating them. I’m not that mom, but at the same time. I’d do anything for them. They are my life and while they drive me insane sometimes, my love for them has never wavered.
I’m glad I never turned into Punky Brewster or any of those other idols I held dear in my younger years. I’m still a little sad I never married Macgyver, but if you’ve seen a recent picture of him lately, You’d probably be ok with losing good ole’ Mac as well. I’m married to my the love of my life, and coincidentally- he is somewhat of his own Macgyver. Physically, he can fix almost anything out of nothing and mentally, he challenges me to be a better person everyday.
For now, I’ll be smothering those babies I have, because at the end of the day; family is all that we have left, and is all that is important.