Everything I Need to Know, I Learned From Topanga Lawrence-Matthews

Today is the birthday of the sassy, sweet, hilarious Danielle Fishel, so obvvvvviously, it is time for this.

EINTKILF Topanga Lawrence-Matthews

1. Sometimes, girls have to make the first move.
And by sometimes, I mean ALWAYS. They ALWAYS have to make the first move.

I can count on half of one hand the number of times I have not made the first move. I have not been quite as bold as Topanga, especially because my first kiss was not in freakin‘ middle school, but regardless, it is nice knowing that I am not alone. When you are opinionated and determined, sometimes a lady has to be the one to go for it first. (Pretty sure I have almost always given my number first because I don’t have half of my life to waste waiting for a dude to ask me for it.)

2. Being a little strange is just fine.
When Boy Meets World first started, I more often than not agreed with Cory’s impression of Topanga. The lipstick on the face, the weird poetry, the long, crimped hair and Stevie Nicks style tops? I was too conformist to appreciate any of that. Now of course, as a super mature older person, I think it is awesome that Topanga was such an icon for girls my age. There is nothing wrong with interpretative poetry, or having your own clothing style at a young age. Be yourself, little guys and gals!

…but I would still keep the lipstick just on your lips. That ish is expensive and really hard to get off your skin.

3. Opinionated women are sexy women.
As aforementioned, opinions are in! Though in my opinion (get it?), opinions have always been in. I am a huge fan of women speaking their minds, all of the time, in all of the places possible. I am less a fan of men doing that because the world runs off of their opinions already and I think we could all be better off if men shut their mouths from time to time.

Whoa–where is this man smack talk coming from? Happy Monday!

Jokes aside though, Topanga was always the first to speak up in class, to Cory and Shawn, to her parents, to anyone who had an ear to listen with. I love that.

4. And smart girls are awesome.

Can we talk about how this show is from the ’90s?! No wonder my generation of women is so awesome. I don’t think I heard the term “destructive, gender-biased thinking” again until I was paying twenty thousand bones for my education.

5. Breaking up is hard to do.
Arguably one of the saddest breakups in television history (ugh!), Topanga breaks up with Cory when he comes back to tell her that he wanted to be with her, not Velma from Scooby Doo. The scene is so sad though because Cory is so hopeful as he explains to Topanga that he needed to prove to himself that he definitely wanted to be with her, that he only loved her. And Topanga listens so patiently, and she forgives him for everything he did–going on a date with someone else, kissing someone else–but she is so honest and strong when she tells him they can’t be together anymore.

Topanga: Do you have any idea how many guys hit on me?
Cory: What are you talking about?
Topanga: I never needed to test my feelings for you.

Gawwwwd, that hits close to home.

6. And there is life after cheating.
But good news! Even though Cory is a stupid stereotypical human being for one weekend during a ski trip, obviously everything ends up working out for Cory and Topanga. Though there is a lot of heartbreak and growth and pain and hurt feelings and tears and anger and uncertainty through a break up–especially one that involves other people–sometimes all of that is necessary to get to where you need to be. For Cory and Topanga, that was with each other.

And ohmygod yes I know I am talking about television characters, but like…Fishel and Ben Savage are really, really close in real life, so it feels like this has all been real.

7. Bodies are always beautiful.

Topanga: Eric, we’ve only been on this diet for twelve hours, toughen up!
Eric: Is that you, Topanga?
Topanga: Come on, it’s not that hard…I smell Danish!
Eric: Topanga, I can’t do this, okay? Women reject me based on who I am, not what I look like.
Topanga: This isn’t only about you! I want to be as slim and slender as the day Cory met me.
Eric: You were two years old!
Topanga: I’m telling you, there’s Danish in this room!

Though this episode is hilarious, it is safe to say that Cory loved Topanga no matter what size she happened to be, and if your love interest/partner/boyfriend/girlfriend doesn’t treat you the same way…don’t even get me started.

8. Ladies CAN propose.

Though I personally cannot imagine proposing to a man, as I was writing the first lesson, I started to think I might have to one day. Which is okay! You know, it’s 2014. There is nothing wrong with a little gender role reversal. I mean, I still probably won’t propose to anyone ever in my life, but I love that Topanga did. The decision was so true to her character: strong, romantic, confident. Sigh, my dream girl.

9. Trust in fate.

Topanga: I do my thing and you do your thing. You are you, and I am I. And if in the end we end up together, it’s beautiful.

…a mindset I wish everyone in the world would take. I always say, you are never dealt something you cannot handle. The universe has your back. Believe in it.

10. Family is forever.

If this picture didn’t jet you back into the heart and soul of your childhood, you are not a human and/or you did not grow up in the ’90s. For those of us who did (I am confident everyone reading this did), this picture should prove that family really is forever. These guys have been eating meals together in television limbo for ages, and now we get to reunite with them! I am so excited for Girl Meets World.

Oh, and the lesson I guess is that the family who eats together, stays together. Family really is forever. Love the ones you’re with.

Happy birthday, Danielle!

Featured image via fanpop, first kiss image via fanpop, smart girls image via womenofmedia.tumblr, pizza GIF via wifflegif, proposal image via boymeetsworld.wikia.com, family picture via abcnews.

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