Having just learned the meaning of #tbt (but unfortunately today, a Friday...), I've concocted a non-topical list of life lessons gleaned from the cult-popular nineties television show, My So-Called Life. For the uninitiated – or for those who do not spend snow days marathoning defunct high-school programs – this show featured a young Claire Danes as the wistful, perpetually uneasy Angela Chase, whose life changes the day she dyes her hair red.* Angela was in love with Jordan Catalano (Jared Leto), an unremarkable person with a guitar. This eclipsing crush caused her to snub the affections of Brian Krakow (Devon Gummersall), a cynical geek. Angela had two crazy friends who wore feathers in their hair and skipped class. And because of these fictions and more, today I know in my bones that:

  1. Perpetually confused teenage boys can traffic in mystery. But alas – sometimes, a gentleman pensively leaning against a bank of lockers is just...a guy.

    Image courtesy of Fanpop.com

  2. Following brave, crazy, near-strangers will lead to great adventures, the stuff of your novel. (Side fact: I directly applied this theory once and ended up in somebody's television dream of 60s New York.)

    Image courtesy of Hellogiggles.com 

  3. ...but even as you go toward the unusual, the strange – don't snub the Brian Krakows of the world. Not only will they grow cooler and more confident in college, but someday they will be captains of industry. Keep in touch.

    Image courtesy of Brightwalldarkroom.com 

  4. Every so often, it's possible to wake up one morning and just – kind of magically – be over him.

  5. Italics. In the way that, like, you speak.

  6. There's a graceful way to grow apart. Dropping your childhood best friend like a hot potato and hiding from her company in the girl's bathroom is NOT one of these ways.

    Image courtesy of Sitcomsonline.com

  7. Sometimes your greatest heroes (and I obviously refer to Mr. Racine, a substitute English teacher who blows everyone's eyes open in episode six, The Substitute) can disappoint you. But that doesn't necessarily detract from what you learned from them! People are flawed, and one's idols in particular should not be held to perfection – unless you are the kind of person who loves to be disappointed. See also: Angela's Dad.

  8. You think the look he's giving you is, “Oh baby, I want to write you a song.” But it's actually, “I want to have sex. Here and now, in this car.”

    Image courtesy of Heartlessdoll.com 

  9. If you want to change your life, dye your hair.

    Image courtesy of Fashionablethings.com

  10. Though sometimes it's hard not to be selfish, stay attuned to your loved one's inner lives. Even if they're your starry friends who seem like they couldn't possibly have problems. On closer inspection, your BFFs might be alcoholics, or struggling with their sexuality – in which case they'll need your support. So put down the mirror and listen.

    Image courtesy of theonepercentclub.blogspot.com

  11. Your parents mean well. And this won't help your ego, but they probably talk and worry about you more than you think.

    Image courtesy of Thiswastv.com 

  12. And this should help your ego – no one else is looking at that zit. Plus, if you stop picking at it, it will go away faster.

  13. Eventually, when you stop spending so much anxious time on Jordan Catalano and Brian Krakow calms the eff down about getting into college – you might consider growing towards people who love you despite glaring personal flaws. You know, instead of chasing the ones who seem to require all of your superficial energy and also, like, can't read.*

 *It's not red; it's crimson glow.

 *Though we can still have compassion about this, because the system clearly failed Jordan Catalano at least as much as he failed the system. 


Tagged in: reruns, nineties, my so-called life, jordan catalano, jared leto, girls in tv, claire danes, 90s style, #tbt   

The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.

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