Life, Death, and Big Hair


Amanda Peterson died this week.  She is best known for her role as Cindy Mancini in the 1987 movie “Can’t Buy Me Love.” Oh, Cindy Mancini.  How I idolized her.  I was ten years old when that movie came out and for the next few years I must have watched it about a million times.  I can recite it from beginning to end (totally not exaggerating here).  It was THAT movie for me: the one that defined my “tween” years.  My sisters and I still quote that movie to this day.  My husband refuses to watch it with me because I insist on saying each line along with the actors which, apparently, is slightly extremely annoying.


Today is Amanda Peterson’s birthday.  She would have been 44 today.  This week is also my birthday.  I will be 38 on Friday.  There’s no getting around it: I am officially in my LATE-THIRTIES. Part of me wants to hide and let the day just pass (if I don’t acknowledge it, can I stay in my MID-THIRTIES?)  But if there is a message in “Can’t Buy Me Love” (besides, of course “the bigger the hair the better”) it is “Be Yourself.”  So instead of lamenting my birthday I will embrace it and use it as motivation to reflect on my life and focus (re-focus?) on just “being me.”  I will make an effort to do more things that make me happy: running, writing, reading, being silly with my boys, snuggling, laughing.  I will spend more time appreciating what I have and less time thinking about what I don’t.  I will be more self-confident and less self-doubting.  I will be more decisive and less apologetic.  I will make an effort to surround myself with positive people and purge the negative ones.  I will be thankful everyday for my sons.  I will be stronger, smarter, healthier.


So, here’s to Amanda Peterson, whose character had such a lasting imprint on me, whose too-short life made me reflect on my own life and changed the way I feel about turning one year older.  Thank you.  And to my LATE-THIRTIES:  Welcome.  Bring it on! 


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