Andrew McCarthy - My 1980s Dream

I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned my unwavering affection for Andrew McCarthy. For anyone under the age of 35, Andrew (who I shall henceforth refer to as ‘A’) was quite simply the ‘80s actor everyone wanted to go to prom with. At least, he would’ve been if we’d had proms in those days, which we didn’t. But still. Michael J. Fox was too cutesy, Rob Lowe too…something I can’t put my finger on but which frankly made me a little nervy. A was…well, perfect.

If you’ve ever watched St Elmo’s Fire or Pretty in Pink, (and if you haven’t you need to. I mean it) then you’ll know A is the good guy. The dependable, calm, sweet-natured one with the nice face who you just know would never lie to you or let you down. Because even when he does something a little bit cray, it’s actually ok.

Let’s take Mannequin as a case in point (I know you’ve seen it). A, as the character Jonathan, works in a department store and has a penchant for getting off with the window display mannequins. Now, if this went on today it’d be plastered all over the Daily Mail and there’d be uproar on Facebook and the like. I’m sure that even in the ‘80s having relations with plastic dummies was frowned upon, yet, A, aka Jonathan, got away with it. In fact, he didn’t just get away with it – he had people like me wishing we were mannequins, on the off chance he came along, took a liking and whisked us off on the back of his motorbike-thingy (to the prom. This is where the prom fits in). 

And I’m obviously not the only one – read Jenny Colgan’s 2001 novel ‘Looking for Andrew McCarthy’. It was like that book was written for me.

I’d be hard pushed to think of an actor today who gives me the same feels. Often, usually on a Saturday evening whilst cradling a bottle of Prosecco, I’ll watch Mannequin with a heavy heart and tears in my eyes (particularly at the bit where Emmy, the object of Jonathan’s affections, gets rescued from the chipper at the very last second and Starship’s ‘Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now’ starts playing), wondering where A is now. A quick google search confirms he is alive and well, directing (Orange is the New Black, no less) and writing and generally doing things that don’t involve mannequins, so that’s good.

Mannequin is 30 years old this year. This also brings tears to my eyes, for different reasons. But I’ll never forget A – he’ll always have a special place in my heart and every time I hear the opening bars of John Parr’s 1984 hit St Elmo's Fire (Man in Motion), I ache a little at the thought of the imaginary motorbike-thingy ride to the prom that never was.

Someone pass the Prosecco.

What's The Point Of Blogging?

Bit of a random one, but nevertheless this is a question I've asked myself a fair bit over the last five or so years since I've been writing stuff on the internet. Blogging has become a phenomenon; a way to influence, to sell, to share. It's become an aspiration, a goal, and even a career choice, for some.

When I started blogging, I knew no one was reading. Literally, no one. Except myself, obviously - and occasionally the husband, when forced. I wrote because I enjoyed it, it allowed me to be creative when my day job didn't, and I likened it to a diary; something I'd look back on with fondness in the future. I never thought about promoting my blog, or trying to gain followers. It was just a blog. My blog.

As time has gone on, I've developed my blog - no where near the level of a lot of other bloggers, but it has grown. I've made some great friends through attending events (and let me add here that I've never been a particularly sociable person, so that in itself was a big thing for me) and had some brilliant opportunities that I would never have expected. Yet I found the actual blogging part more and more difficult - the actual sitting down with my laptop and tapping out my thoughts, ideas and opinions. So what's changed?

Earlier today I went to an event called #Instasistas, organised by the very lovely Lea (@thecowbarn on instagram - go and check out her beautiful interior design skills. Errmm.. after you finish reading this). It was a very informal gathering of around 15 ladies, most of whom had never met before, with the aim of getting away from day to day life and relaxing over coffee and scones at a lovely local parlour called Wheelbirks. A few of the ladies asked about my blog and as I was talking, I mentioned I was thinking of changing the name, since telling people usually involves me repeating 'Is it Just Meme. No, IS It Just Meme. No, Meme. ME ME'...etc etc. 'Don't change it! It's great!' was the resounding response. I've been thinking about changing it for probably a year now, thinking I need to choose something more simple, more mainstream - more....plain, I suppose. After this morning, I realised that actually, I don't need to change it. I don't even really want to change it. My blog name is ME. (Ermmm....literally).

So that got me thinking about why I blog, and remembering the reasons I started. Not to write something I thought people would read, or get likes on social media, or grab the attention of PRs  - all of these things are lovely, of course they are, but they aren't necessarily a reason for me to blog. I started because I enjoyed writing, and wanted to do it, even if no one was reading.

So what have I learned? Write like nobody's reading. For me, that's it - that's how I blog. That's how I be as authentic as I can. That's how I enjoy blogging. And I'm looking forward to writing my blog again. There's a good chance there'll be swearing, and mildly inappropriate humour, but, as I said: authentic.


PS- You should know that I agonised over the title of this post. Those who know me well know that poor grammar is a serious pet peeve of mine, so I was unsure whether 'What's the point of blogging' was better than 'What's the point in blogging'. I thought about it for a while, then gave up and had tea and cake.