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17 September 2010 @ 11:00 am
Blog: Back to the Future and doing things over... if you could.  
One of my favorite movies growing up was BACK TO THE FUTURE.  Michael J. Fox was so very cute and funny and cool to my eight-year-old adoring self--especially when he played "Johnny Be Good" at his parents' dance.  Swoon!

The DeLorean was the coolest car ever (the doors opened upward!) and whenever I'd play the MASH game in middle school with my friends, I'd make sure it was one of my car selections.  Also, the 50s details were really interesting to me, and my sister and I loved quoting George McFly.  "Gimme some milk.  Chocolate."   "I'm your density.  I mean, your destiny."

I mean, really, what wasn't there to love about this movie?

As I got older, though, the ending started to bother me.  I mean sure, Marty saves the day, gets his parents together just like they always should have been, and comes home to his life where Biff can't bully them and his family isn't just a bunch of screwups.  It's awesome to see that the choices that were made back in 1955 carried over into 1986 and they were all happier for it. 

BUT.  That means that Marty's life and all of his memories aren't real anymore.  There is a new reality and even though it's the true reality to everyone else, Marty and Doc are the only two who know what life would have been like if they hadn't unintentionally meddled in the past.  It's kind of sad, I think.

Over at The Contemps this week, we put together a short video (please watch it . . . if you wanna!) where a few of us (including me) finished the sentence, "If I could do over one day from my teenage years, it would be the day . . ."

For mine, I said, ". . . When I asked out a guy who later trashed my reputation and tried to slip me a roofie."

The thing is, there were a lot of bad days for me during my teen years.  A lot of bad choices I made, a lot of choices other people made that affected me adversely.  I chose to talk about that particular day because I was feeling like it was the one crappy thing that if I really could travel back in time, it wouldn't change the overall course of my life.  Asking this guy out caused me a lot of stress and grief for a long time.  But if I hadn't done it, I felt like I would still be me and have the life I have now.

I realized, though, in the weeks after filming my part in that video, that I was wrong.  The awful experiences I had with that guy (very, very, very, very) loosely inspired a subplot with Kendall in Freefall.  If I hadn't asked him out, I would not have written Kendall the way I did.  Who knows, really, how important my fictional character is in the scope of my life or the world at large?  Maybe not very.  But I am glad that I had those experiences because they might matter and make a difference to someone out there.  It could happen.

I've decided now, if I could do over one day from my teen years, it would be the day during spring break (I was 17) when I chose not to play Bingo with my grandma.  I'd always loved going with her when I was a kid, but that night I didn't feel like it.  She died a couple of weeks later.  I have no regrets; I spent that  whole week doing lots of fun things with her and even called and talked to her the night she died--not having any idea that it would be our last conversation.  Still, I would love to have just one more Bingo memory of her. 
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Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
 
 
 
ext_259033 on September 17th, 2010 06:26 pm (UTC)
“What people are ashamed of usually makes a good story.” F Scott Fitzgerald
I'm not convinced that you can effectively write a believable YA book (or any story for that matter) without having really "lived"--even if some of those experiences aren't the best...
Mindi Scottmindiscott on September 18th, 2010 06:16 pm (UTC)
I feel the same way. I wouldn't say that I'm grateful for the bad things that have happened in my life, but I know that I wouldn't have anything deep to write about if things had gone differently for me. :-)