I've often wondered what it would be like to meet one of my idols. I have many: writers, political figures, teachers, and of course, movie stars. Many of my celebrity idols are actresses from 80s movies and punk/glam musicians from the 70s and 80s. If I had to narrow it down, I'd say that Molly Ringwald and Patti Smith are probably my top two.
As I previously posted, I have a serious issue with being awkward. Certain situations just make me act like a complete moron. There's a moment in Sixteen Candles that encapsulates this feeling entirely: it's the part where Samantha slides down the wall outside the gym and starts crying. The popular girls come by and she immediately has to act cheery and breezy and fails miserably. Samantha is my favorite of Molly Ringwald's characters and it's the role that made her my idol. I wanted to be Molly Ringwald when I was 12; I've since realized that when was 12 I really wanted to be Samantha but that doesn't make me love Molly Ringwald any less. I've also admired her as she grew up - her story isn't typical of most of the actors from her generation (or however you want to describe them) many of whom struggled with fame. Molly Ringwald always seemed normal. And now she's a real live grown-up in addition to being an actor, a writer, a musician, and a mom. Admirable.
I found out that she would be coming through DC on her book tour for her new novel, When It Happens to You (this is why I love Twitter). I decided to go to the book event; I enjoyed her first book and figured that this would be my only opportunity to meet one of my idols. Somedays I am a genius.
You have to hand it to Molly Ringwald; she handled questions about the Brat Pack, John Hughes's death, and a rambling old lady with grace and poise. She thanked everyone for their questions and was generally nice. You could tell the audience was made up of a lot of people like me and we were all a little giddy and really excited. I heard one woman comment that the evening was "transformative" for her (she's a writer too and asked a question about process that was really good). I felt the same way.
I don't just write this blog because I don't have anything better to do or because the world needs more people writing about random movies and their cat (clearly the world does). I do it because it's a creative outlet for me and I love to write. Just like Molly Ringwald. Her answers to questions about process and transitioning from one career to another and about making art were really inspiring. It wasn't just that the woman who played Samantha, Andie, and Claire was right there; it was that she was agreeing with the conversations I have with myself about this blog and my other writing. One of my favorite quotes from the night, "Good writing finds its way."
And yes, I did get to meet her. My friend Daniella went with me and we had yellow post-its on our books so we got to get in line first (although Daniella talked her way into a yellow post-it which I admire greatly). We were told that Molly wouldn't be posing for photos, just signing books. We could take pictures at the beginning of the talk and while we were in line. Daniella, being the amazing friend and partner in crime she is, took my picture while Molly was signing my book. She told me I looked star-struck. Totally true. I wasn't awkward - I told Molly that I enjoyed her first book and her movies and was looking forward to reading this book too. She said thank you and was very polite. That's all a person can ask for.