Dear Diary

December 14, 2011

FINAAAAAAALS!!! Plus: the greatness of Heathers and cookies.

Ruby

Assent—and you are sane—
Demur—you’re straightway dangerous—
And handled with a Chain—

—from “Much Madness Is Divinest Sense” by Emily Dickinson

I watched the movie Heathers for the first time on Saturday night. I piled on the couch with my family and two dogs and got excited to watch this film that my parents love dearly. Someone pressed “play” and the film opened with the song “Que Será, Será.” And then…I was amazed. Not only by how great the movie was, but also by how much things have changed since 1988, the year it came out.

Have you seen Heathers? You should see Heathers. It’s about a 16-year-old named Veronica and her relationship with the dangerous rebel JD. Veronica is a new and reluctant member of the most popular and powerful clique in school, the Heathers. The Heathers are three mean girls (plus Veronica), each assigned to their own color to wear, and each named Heather (plus Veronica). They belittle their classmates, and though Veronica disapproves of their bullying, she feels trapped—they’ll only make her life more miserable if she defies them. She falls for the new boy, who wears black and doesn’t like her “friends” very much, either. In an early scene, when two popular boys come up to JD and hassle him for talking to Veronica, he pulls out a gun and shoots blanks at them. Then we cut to a game of croquet.

My first thought was: “WHAT?! Why wasn’t he expelled? Arrested?” But this was pre-Columbine. You could do stuff like that in movies back then, apparently. The faculty smoke during their meetings. And everyone’s hair is SO BIG.

When I got over my shock at all of the smoking, guns, violence, and hairspray, I grew to love this film. I related to Veronica. Not because I (spoiler alert) kill people and make it look like suicide—because I don’t—but in that sometimes Veronica feels like she wastes her intelligence on choosing what lip gloss to wear. I feel that way a lot—like I’m wasting time and energy on things I don’t really care about; or that I know I’m better than the petty, stupid reasons I hang out with some people, just because I feel I’d rather have friends that I don’t like than none at all. This logic makes no sense, but it’s a very in-the-moment sort of feeling.

After lots of death, the film ended with another round of “Que Será, Será” (whatever will be, will be), and I said, out loud, “Wow.” I’d never seen anything like it. None of the teen movies made nowadays are anything like this. Heathers is smart and avoids cheap cultural irony.

The fact that my parents loved this movie when they were teenagers made it less awkward to sit between them watching Winona Ryder play strip croquet and drop F-bombs. I wonder what my generation’s Heathers will be? ♦

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27 Comments

  • Adrienne December 14th, 2011 7:16 PM

    Hehe my high school’s finals are after the winter break… but then I get stressed out during the holidays, :\

    Oooh I’ll have to watch Heathers! Sounds like a good movie. :) I love the giant flower brooch(?) Veronica is wearing.

    • Dylan December 14th, 2011 7:24 PM

      My high school was that way too, it was so much better. That way I could enjoy the holiday season instead of being at school for 15 hours a day for 3 straight weeks. I miss making gingerbread houses on the last day before winter break, instead of sitting through 4 hour long art critiques.

    • Sphinx December 14th, 2011 8:33 PM

      Everyone should watch Heathers, seriously.
      Oh, and that’s not Veronica, it’s one of the Heathers ( Duke maybe?).
      Anyway, Winona plays Veronica, being all awesome and stuff!

  • Nomi December 14th, 2011 7:19 PM

    Our generation’s Heathers will be Mean Girls.

    • Miarele December 15th, 2011 12:25 AM

      YES! Recently one of my friends said she has never watched Mean Girls before (!!!) and everyone is so shocked that we immediately have a sleepover to watch the movie. She said that her life has now forever changed LOL

      But yeah, it gives a look of the modern social culture (albeit exaggerated) and it has spawned sooo many iconic references. And come on, who doesn’t love Mean Girls? :D

  • Freja December 14th, 2011 7:24 PM

    I think I love you, Naomi! I relate to you in the scariest ways and have to reflect for a moment just to reassure myself that I’m not blacking-out and writing these entries myself – ha!

    Best of luck “checking in”. It’s weird and frustratingly difficult (why does going to the grocers’ feel so complicated??) but you can definitely pull through it!

    • Naomi December 15th, 2011 1:28 PM

      well then i love you too!

  • regina December 14th, 2011 7:26 PM

    naomi, i am so proud of your progress. i know how amazing it feels like to be able to look at yourself after a long period of inner turmoil and finally like what you see.

  • puffytoad December 14th, 2011 7:30 PM

    Katherine-

    Those girls sound so odd! Anyway…

    COOKIE HUSBAND. yes.

  • MissKnowItAll December 14th, 2011 7:40 PM

    I read Naomi’s entry and teared up a little. Sometimes When I’m having a particularly crappy day I look in the mirror and tell myself “I love you”.

  • Marguerite December 14th, 2011 7:46 PM

    I never realized how much time i’ve spent worrying about things that i don’t care about! LIKE TODAY! I was walking, and it started sprinkling, and i got all worked up and worried cuz i thought i would start pouring, and then, i remembered, i like getting soaked by the rain…

  • talia December 14th, 2011 7:57 PM

    Heathers is priceless and lines like “fuck me gently with a chainsaw” and the use of the phrase “you’re beautiful” as a comeback should live forever!

  • Sphinx December 14th, 2011 8:31 PM

    Heathers is brilliant, I love every bit of it ( even the huge shoulder pads and hair)!!

  • Maddy December 14th, 2011 8:42 PM

    I just watched Heathers on Sunday!!! because it was oddly enough on my Dad’s netflix instant queue…yes both my parents loved it too. it was soo good! but there is this continuity issue in the first “suicide” that has been bugging me

  • Chimdi December 14th, 2011 8:48 PM

    Ummm… Heathers seems WAY too scary for me! I can’t even sit through The Night Before Christmas!

    Ohh, and I can completely relate with Ruby when she says sometimes she feels that she has friends just for the sake of having friends…Besides four besties of mine, I feel like that with a lot of people. Especially because I don’t share interests with most of my peers.

  • emilyelizabeth December 14th, 2011 9:55 PM

    Dylan, finals are stressing me out too!!! my left eye keeps twitching–i think it’s the combination of the stress, lack of sleep, and the massive amounts of coffee i’ve consumed. but i know what you mean about the solidarity of finals and actually kind of liking them.

    Ruby, i was just watching Heathers the other day because it is finally on netflix instant watch! such a great movie! glad you liked it!!

  • erin December 14th, 2011 11:04 PM

    I love Heathers!

  • MayiMayi December 14th, 2011 11:41 PM

    Katherine,

    Just wait until you’re 23…it will only get worse. However, I find that cookies and a good episode of 30 Rock usually cheers me up.

  • fizzingwhizbees December 14th, 2011 11:58 PM

    ugh. finals. SERIOUSLY. my last exam is tomorrow morning and i’m going to die.

  • Minna December 15th, 2011 2:10 AM

    I’m gonna get ma gurl gang onto him!!!

  • timelady December 15th, 2011 3:25 AM

    I love Heathers so much. I watched it the first time ages ago (before I ever saw Mean Girls) and fell in love with it. I love the dad’s ‘I don’t patronise bunny rabbits’ bit, and I don’t know why. Such a quotable film.

  • fran December 15th, 2011 11:13 AM

    Naomi – your story sounds exactly what a close friend of mine is going through/was going through last year. I really wish I could show her this and let her know she’s not alone. Thank you for giving hope that, even if it takes a while, things can get better :)

  • FashionHauties December 15th, 2011 12:02 PM

    This is a really relatable article. I definatley procrastinate way too much because I really could care less about what I’m learning. And of course there’s that little thing about how I end up cramming and doing all of my work at the end of each quarter… Oh. I just like to call myself procrastination nation. Pretty much all I do is blog. (BTW my blog is fashionhauties.blogspot.com). That’s my life.

  • pushelildaisies December 15th, 2011 3:23 PM

    Naomi, I know exactly how you feel. It’s like Plato’s analogy of man coming out the cave for the first time – you see that the world has managed to get on without you, and you realize that you best get livin’, cos no one is going to force you.

    I live in a basement apartment, and the current December Canadian weather is depressing as fuck. Hopefully I can find a UV light or something, but for the meantime, I keep on chuggin’.

  • Harriet December 15th, 2011 5:34 PM

    Sorry Katherine, I watched it…. and I cried.