Do you remember in the movie Sixteen Candles when Samantha and her mom talk about their plans for the evening and Samantha was all angsty about her family forgetting about her sixteenth birthday?
As a kid my reaction to this was all "I will rip my jelly shoes to shreds in outrage if that ever happens to ME!!!" As a parent of small kids I was all "YEAH RIGHT like any parent would ever forget their own child's birthday, AS IF!" And as a parent of t(w)eens I'm all "Jeebus, this almost happened to me just the other month; I need to stop day-drinking."
Anywhoopsies, Samantha was all defeated about her stupid family forgetting about her most important birthday, and muttered to her mom "I think I have a dance to go to" in order to get out of the house and escape the horrors of spending the weekend with them and her grossly inappropriate and thus totally normal grandparents.
*experience the magic at 2:05*
Sixteen Candles came out at a formative period in my life, and as such I have used its wisdom in many life situations. I use the "I think I have a dance to go to" line all the time when my husband asks me to help him with something, tailoring it to any situation. Him: "Honey, can you help me reorganize the shed?" Me: "I think I have to check the yard for worms." "I think I have to buy some pickles." "I think I have to go to the mall for new pantaloons."
It works. Any seemingly more important event trumps whatever someone else has going on. It helps if the task is incomprehensible to the person making the request. Pantaloons are hard to find, peeps.
We all know what happened next in the movie. Because Samantha was so distraught about her birthday being a dud, she went to the dance and gave her underpants to a nerd. Obviously that was a brilliant idea and so it became my go-to response for every crummy thing I experienced in my teens. And twenties and thirties. As for my forties, I haven't really tried it yet, but fingers crossed that it still works.
The lesson here is that anything can happen at a school dance. A school dance is scary and exciting at first, eventually becomes no big deal, and turns into a great way to avoid your family.
And this weekend, it was a big deal for this one, who went to her first big school dance on Friday:
Don't worry. I warned her about the underpants.