Big Deal

Newspapers are sure aiming for the lowest common denominator these days. boy. In the condensed headlines-only online version of the Boston Globe that appeared in my inbox yesterday it read, “This Day in History: Ally Sheedy turns 50.”

Really? News about that little fox-faced waif from The Breakfast Club tops the list of all the things that happened on July 13 over the centuries?

I clicked on that link and saw that all kinds of other things happened too, far sweeter things and more evocative things:

  • Like the fact that on that date in 1842, Queen Victoria became the first British monarch to ride on a train, traveling from Slough Railway Station to Paddington in 25 minutes. (Paddington! Like the bear! Queen Victoria, who missed her dead Prince Albert so much after his death at 42 that forever after she had the servants bring fresh water to his dressing room, the same as when he was alive!)

  • Or the fact that on that date in 1886, King Ludwig II of Bavaria drowned in Lake Starnberg. (A king drowns? Was there even an investigation? Was it like Fredo’s death in Godfather Two – or wait, that wasn’t exactly a drowning was it?)

  • Or what about on July 13, 1927 when Charles Lindbergh was honored with a ticker-tape parade in New York City? Lindbergh, that hero who turned into a pariah for saying nice things about the Nazis! I always felt like I knew the guy: my mom was in college with Anne Morrow, his future wife, who went on to live through so much, her husband’s ostracism, the kidnapping of their dear first baby, the many burdens of fame… Mom heard her once in the college book store, talking about how she had just met the famous young aviator…

So yes, my initial reaction was “Ally Sheedy? Pfffffft!” but in truth I have always identified with her, I think because she has that jaw-chin arrangement. We have that in in my family, too. I have it. See? That’s me on the right.

My girl Carrie has it too. And my mom sure had it. When she was mad she could extend that jaw of hers so far forward she looked just like a witch.

I can that do that witch trick too but I never do on account of how I’m all the time trying to frame myself as the new Mother Teresa ha ha. As for Carrie, when she sticks her chin out at work grown men run for shelter under their desks.

I read where Ally was a ballet dancer before she turned to acting. And she wrote a children’s book that made her famous before she was even old enough to vote. Her folks were these hooked-up artsy New York types so that that sure didn’t hurt.

Me I had to make it on my own (sob!) but look at what I can do now: yoga poses that make Salvador Dali’s meting watches look stiff. Or wait, is this really me or is it secretly Ally? Place yoru bets – then watch this clip from that signature high school film. Ah, Anthony Michael Hall! Ah Molly Ringwald! Emilio Estevez! Judd Nelson! Ah the lost 80s!

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