Good golly Miss Molly

It’s possible that the next queen of all media will not be someone with double K initials or a twenty-something pop tart but an old friend. Molly Ringwald is up in your internets, people, and she’s winning them.

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“God, I hope whoever got that note doesn’t know it was me who wrote it. I’d shit twice and die.”

Samantha Baker, the protagonist of Sixteen Candles, was having a bad day.

She’d filled out a survey about crushes and given away a bit too much personal information. Then misplaced the survey.

Add that little snafu to the fact that her self-absorbed sister was getting married, causing her home to be overrun with various relatives; she was being relentlessly pursued by a geek who was just looking to get his hands on her underpants; the boy of her dreams was unaware of her very existence and not a single person remembered that it was her sixteenth birthday, a day she’d looked forward to since her twelfth.

Ignored by all but the least-desirable boys? Yes! Misunderstood by even her closest friends? Yes! At turns humiliated then disregarded by her family? Yes! As a thirteen-year-old girl, Samantha’s plight really spoke to me. As did Molly Ringwald’s portrayal of the character.

I’d first watched Molly bop around on episodes of The Facts of Life, as the annoyingly perky “Molly”–she of bowl cut, big toothy smile, and divorced parents. Everything about her bugged me.

“Get over yourself,” I’d tell the girl on television. “Sometimes parents split up and fight! Sometimes parents stay together and fight! We all have problems!”

Then, I saw Molly in Sixteen Candles, and had a change of heart. After all, a girl so much like me1 might be OK after all.

Then Molly grew up and made more movies I related with. The Breakfast Club was me, Pretty in Pink was me, The Pick-up Artist was me. Hell, even Fresh Horses was me.

But then Molly Ringwald seemed to fall off the face of the Earth. There were rumors that she’d given up acting altogether, turning down the lead roles in both Pretty Woman and Ghost, and had run off to live in France. Basically, Molly Ringwald pulled a Dave Chappelle before Dave Chappelle pulled a Dave Chappelle.

But, now, Molly Ringwald is back.

Having joined twitter (@MollyRingwald) just a little over two weeks ago, she’s already reached more than 15,000 followers. That number is rising, rapidly, and not just because she’s an 80’s icon.

Molly’s twitter feed reeks of internet savvy. Included are Twitpics of her cat, her garden, and her coffee; flirty, sassy tweets to her husband; and tweets about Reddit, shopping, her children, and the problem of tweeting too much. Oh, and replies. Lots and lots of replies. Molly Ringwald is down for a chat.

Molly comes across as a best friend, who just happens to have starred in the movies that have shaped you are as a person. A Mindy Kaling for those of us ten years too old for Mindy Kaling, if you will.

But Molly Ringwald’s new kingdom is not limited to twitter. She has penned a well-received book; writes a popular blog; updates a facebook page with nearly 25,000 likes; been featured on several cooking websites, sharing recipes and stories; and taken to Reddit for one of their infamous Ask Me Anything segments–a Q&A session where anyone can, quite literally, ask anything of the subject.

Molly came through the AMA with flying colors, throwing out references to Kristen Stewart, Seth MacFarlane, and Neil deGrasse Tyson with enough internetspeak to demonstrate that not only had she been lurking around the world wide web, but she’d been paying attention. It’s important to mention that Molly promoted almost nothing (infrequently mentioning projects, but never specifics), which is often a motivator for celebrities stepping into the AMA ring.

Basically, Molly Ringwald has gone from someone I’d like to be, to someone I’d like to share a glass of wine with. Calculated or not, it’s a brilliant transition, and the only way to stay relevant in a world that moves quickly but has a short attention span. And all without having to give her panties to a geek. Way to go, Molly.

— ∮∮∮ —

Footnotes

  1. Spoiler Alert! Minus the happy ending. Oh, how I envied her Jake Ryan-heavy happy ending. 
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The Checkout Girl

The Checkout Girl is Jennifer Lemons. She’s a storyteller, comedian, and musician. If you don’t see her sitting behind her laptop, check the streets of Richmond for a dark-haired girl with a big smile running very, very slowly.

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