Anne T. Donahue
May 15, 2015 2:52 pm

I’ve been watching Veep for the last three days (seriously: I blitzed through three seasons and the only thing I regret is not watching season four right now), and it brought something very important to my attention: My Girl.

Remember My Girl? I ask that rhetorically (duh) because that movie shaped us. It changed things. Vada brought us hope — especially if you were (are?) a young woman with a lot to say, and had a lot of facts and feelings to back what you were saying up.

Also, it manifested within us a deep fear of bees. (One not even Nicholas Cage screaming, “NOT THE BEES!” could inspire.)

So let’s gather and bask in the glow of a movie that celebrated the complexities of being a girl, as well as the terror I now feel anytime I’m in the woods and hear a buzz.

1. So yes, we have all learned to avoid bees at all costs

I can’t even tell you how much I hate bees — nay, wasps, which I’m PRETTY SURE those things were. (Like, honey bees are chill and big and fuzzy. Wasps are the things that stung me in the leg at a BBQ a few years ago and I had to basically go to bed and weep because I hated it so much.)

As we remember, Thomas J. (beautiful, precious Thomas J.) goes into the forest to find Vada’s lost mood ring, and he ends up getting STUNG TO DEATH BY BEES. Like: no. NO. NO, YOU GUYS. Why. Is this the most horrifying moment in cinema? Nay, LIFE? (Yes! It is! Both questions are to be responded to with a hot YES.) It’s terrible! It’s horrible! It is EASILY one of the worst ways to die. (And we have to life with the knowledge that this LITTLE BOY went through it.)

Let’s just remember him looking lovely. (And eventually going on to defeat two robbers in a series of Christmas films.) So the lesson here? Forests are evil, angry bees, moreso. And once a mood ring is lost, it’s lost forever, and I’m sorry.

2. And since we’re here: kids/teens are better at grief than us

And I say “us” meaning “adults,” so if you fall into the “kid” and/or “teen” camp, be so proud that you can go to a funeral and freak out about your best friend not having his glasses on while in a coffin. (Adults? We would probably just murmur that fact back and forth and then express our quiet discontentment in the car.)

But I mean, where were his glasses? And how did EVERY ADULT not break down and sob during Vada’s freak-out? Was Vada the only person with feelings? Also, HOW CAN ONE LITTLE GIRL WITHSTAND SO MUCH? Answer . . .

3. Veda is QUEEN, personified

Think about it. She loses her mom, she takes care of her sick grandma, she’s got an interest in death (like: it borders on obsessive, but honestly? Girlfriend’s got a thirst for knowledge, and her dad owns a funeral parlour, so this just makes sense), she only wants to hang out with people who she thinks are interesting (read: worthy, as it should be), she takes writing classes, makes mistakes, handles her period (which 100% does feel/seem like haemorrhaging sometimes, so let’s be real: she’s not far off), and then writes a poem about her best friend’s death. She SLAYS, is what I’m saying.

And yes, I am TOTALLY tearing up even remembering all this. Why? Because My Girl is the most beautiful and saddest movie, and also Vada’s trajectory is inspirational for a grown-up, let alone a teen girl. How are we not writing and talking more about Vada? And more importantly, can we pretend her daughter is Amy from Veep? Because Amy is another spirit animal of mine, as it should be.

4. Crushes are terrible

I will say it, because I believe it: My Girl — or more specifically, Vada’s crush on Mr. Bixler —  reminds us that crushes are so difficult and brutal, 99% of the time (even when they’re really, really great). I mean, right?! In this present moment, I am crush-free, and I feel alive. Do you know what will happen in like, a day? I’ll see/meet a guy and ALL OF A SUDDEN, my life will be a disaster. Crushes are disasters. They are fun, wonderful, terrible disasters. And anyone who’s had a crush is nodding along, remembering how shattered Vada is when she discovers Mr. Bixler is engaged. Why? Because we KNOW. We have BEEN THERE. Our hearts have dropped into our stomachs, and then our stomachs have dropped out of our bodies, and then we were just shattered, empty people and/or traumatized like in Broad City when Abbi realizes she wasn’t home to accept Jeremy’s mail. So what I’m saying is: Crushes. The worst. Also the best. But also . . . I hate them.

5. Shelly embodies “adult goals”

So growing up, we all followed Vada’s mentality when it came to Shelly. First, we thought, “Cool!” Then, we thought “But you can’t date Vada’s dad!” Finally, “Okay, Shelly — you rule.” Shelly is the prime example of a person who knows teen girls are powerful beings. Shelly’s got ~*respect*~ for Vada insofar that she even tells Vada’s dad to buck up and start parenting his grieving kid. (Also: she knows cool makeup tricks and enjoys bingo. The woman is magic.) This is how all adults should be. NEVER underestimate an 11-year-old (or any-age) girl.

This is because Shelly — played by Jamie Lee Curtis — obviously changed her name and started anew in this town after escaping Michael Myers as a teenager herself in Halloween. And no, it doesn’t matter that the timelines don’t add up. The reality I’ve created is flawless, and I’d pay for a My Girl 3 that explores this narrative. (I’m not kidding. Anybody want to help me make this?)

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