Crushin on a Reunion in 1997

Like I said in the previous year, I love how ridiculous the ‘90s were. So far we’ve seen proof of this as songs like “Macarena” and “Humpty Hump” were hits, people wanted nothing but cheesy family sitcoms on Friday nights, and theaters were filled with people wondering if Arnold Schwarzenegger could be a ‘Kindergarten Cop.’ All of that said, another movie we all collectively loved (in hindsight as it didn’t do too well at the box office) was ‘Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion.’ 

Yeah, audiences didn’t quite flock to theaters for it, BUT thanks to home rentals (for the kids, that’s when we had to leave our homes to get movies to bring home), it became a cult classic that underdogs everywhere could rally behind. This is why we’re crushin on it as we kick off a week dedicated to 1997 with an episode featuring Steve G. from ‘Happened in the 90s’ as well as some more of my favorite things about this year, but first, let’s get back to my favorite businesswomen. 

Looking back, I really should’ve seen my love of this movie as a sort of omen that my life would be more Romy and Michele and less A-Group because who was I kidding? I was far from the cool kids club. I didn’t even get invited to a party until senior year was ready to wrap up. Before that, my Friday nights were spent with a single mom who worked two jobs, loved her kids, and never stopped. She instilled in me the heart of a fighter, but not enough cool points to be considered a social butterfly at Banning High. 

Of course, at the time I thought I’d return shining bright like a diamond. In reality, I’m more like a ring you’d see sadly displayed on the counter at your local drugstore for $8.99+tax. Ironic that all of that, including my downward spiral after leaving the honor roll, was captured beautifully in ‘Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion.’ However, there is a beautiful upside to their story that paints them not only as aforementioned underdogs but heroes to many who fail to fall in line with what those around them consider successful. 

Living in the Los Angeles area for almost two decades without your family or any sort of financial safety net is hard. Take it from me, you learn to hustle quickly because rent waits for no one. So hustle I did but with each passing year, I felt more and more like Romy and Michele as soon as they opened that yearbook; a loser. Realizing they had very little to offer career-wise or romantically…I would say I was in the same boat, but my boat was the Titanic in this situation. For years (and even today) employment has been my Achilles heel. My resume has never had a full-time, run-of-the-mill position with fancy benefits and paid days off – and it’s not because I didn’t try. I have an inbox stacked with rejections. I should make an art piece out of them and call it; ‘Educated Millennial.’ 

As far as romance goes, there were plenty of years that went by where I thought…I am going to die a 40-year-old virgin. Thankfully, a dating while nerdy (something like that) panel at a comic convention gave me the boost I needed to put myself out there. So I did and in no time I was almost normal in that regard. 

In time though I found my partner in crime, my ride-or-die-for-life but as far as the career goes, I’m off the sinking boat and basically floating on a piece of driftwood. My 20th high school reunion is on the horizon and I am like, can my mom write me a note to get out of it? Because there are days, especially in the age of social media, where you can feel like complete and utter shit for not “living up to your potential,” but I think back to when Romy tells those be-otches off and she and Michele realize that success isn’t just one thing. To some, it’s marriage and kids and to others, it’s their career. Romy and Michele grew up and had fun. They lived in a cool city with their best friend and did whatever the fuck they wanted, and to them – in the end – that was their success. 

‘Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion’ is a silly ass movie with bits and pieces that highlight just how ridiculous the ‘90s truly were, but at its core, it’s a life lesson in not grasping for the life of others, and just living yours the way you want to live it. When you do that, that’s success. 


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