Waiting for Molly Ringwald

Posted by on Sep 12, 2012 in Admin, Blog | 2 comments

Yesterday, I happened to hear that Molly Ringwald would be reading from her new book, “When It Happens To You,” at the Brookline Booksmith. For weeks now, I’ve been seeing her name pop up in various publications and I was curious. What was this going to be like? I’d never been to a book reading before (I’m a BAD English major, I know) much less one where the author was so well known for something completely different. So I decided to hop over and join the line that wrapped around the corner.

Molly Ringwald was huge when I was a teenager. My friends and I would go to the Church Street movie theater in Harvard Square to catch the double features of “Sixteen Candles,” “The Breakfast Club,” and “Pretty In Pink” long after they made their individual debuts in the mid-eighties. These movies were funny, quirky, and spoke very well about teen awkwardness as Molly’s characters ranged from the trials of the outcast to the seemingly perfect world of the high school princess. The movies explored the desire to fit in, not fitting in and even the nuances of well-meaning grandparents who commandeer your room and remark about your incoming boobies. These movies built a relevant universe for many people and couched it in the big hair and awesome music of the 80’s.

Flash forward to the present where I’m now sitting in the basement of the Brookline Booksmith, surrounded by 60 people lucky enough to grab seats or a spot on the wall. While people were told that Molly was there to sign copies of her books (her other book, “Getting the Pretty Back,” came out in early 2010) there were still folks who came armed with memorabilia, hoping that they could get her to sign it. One person in the front row was actually playing “Sixteen Candles” on his MacBook as we waited for Molly to come on. But when she did, one thing was for certain: she was no longer a representation of any of the teenagers she played in the past.

I haven’t watched “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” the show that she is currently involved in, but I did see her a few years back in 2010 at the 82nd Academy Awards. John Hughes, the director of those movies we loved so much, had died of a heart attack in 2009 and a number of other actors who had worked with him, including Molly, were delivering a tribute to their fallen friend. I had actually read an article that Molly wrote in the New York Times shortly after his passing. I had to blink twice to get over the fact that it was her name that I saw in the byline. But when I read the article, my surprise gave way to relief. For someone who had humanized the lives of teens so well, it seemed fitting that John Hughes was finally given that respect himself even though he had receded from the Hollywood spotlight years ago. Molly would appear to be the obvious choice for this task since she was one of his muses back then, but being meant for the job and actually doing the job are two different things. After the article, I had a new sense of respect for her.

So there she was onstage with Matthew Broderick, Macaulay Culkin, Jon Cryer, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, and Anthony Michael Hall looking every inch a mature, attractive woman. None of them were the kids they used to be and that was okay. Time has stood still for none of us and instead of struggling to relive the past, everyone had walked into their futures. In Molly’s case, she’s now a mother of three, part of a popular television show, and has decided to branch out into writing (did I mention the jazz album coming out next year?) She revealed that she wrote her previous book, “Getting the Pretty Back” when she reached 40 and after watching her in action last night, I’m inclined to say that she’s done a great job. I don’t think I’d be alone in saying that she looked amazing in a form fitting orange sweater and gray wool skirt. As she read from her book, she was poised even though a part of her had to be a little nervous striking into new territory like fiction. As she answered questions afterwards, she was patient when topics of conversation would wind back to her acting career and well spoken when answering questions about the theme of her book: betrayal.

When it came time to get my copy signed, I felt pleasure more then I felt excitement. In the span of an evening, Molly had gone from being an icon of my teenaged memory to a woman I could relate to at this present point of my life. She’s still experimenting with her passions and trying to make it all work while she attends to her family and her career. As we spoke, I felt like I was talking to a friend and if the way she comports herself says anything about the way she writes, she may have yet another bright future in front of her.

If you want to see what Molly is up to these days, go to www.iammollyringwald.com. (her original domain name was bought before she could get to it)


  1. Wow, superb blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is fantastic, as well as the content!

    • Thanks Stacy! I’ve been blogging since March and its been a pleasure.

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