It was a rather basic plot that was repeated many times over in the imaginations of a handful of my young friends. It all started out with a single mother that represented the epitome of motherhood that was faced with the trials of raising an unruly sixteen-year-old daughter. The daughter was spirited, adventurous and wanted more for her life that her mother had. The secret underlying plot, was that the mother also wanted a different life, but had taken the high road after marrying her high school sweetheart, and then becoming an expectant mother. This mother’s ambitions became even more oppressed after the death of her husband and the complexity of raising a ten-year-old girl completely on her own. We will call this young daughter Mary.
The next branch of this movie plot involved an ironic polar opposite of the first branch, with a lot of it being the exact same. This was the single father whose loving wife had died, leaving him to raise a young son (whom we shall call Tim) completely on his own as well. This son would also be sixteen years old at the present time of the story. The son was a good son for the most part. He had been taught to drive and to shave by his father, but was in a big hurry to be an adult. His world would be turned up side down after meeting the heroine of the story.
That’s right, you guessed it: Mary.
Upon these two young people’s meeting, it was love at first sight. Mary, being the independent and somewhat obstinate young woman that she was, would pretend not to care about Tim, or even noticed that he existed. However, young Tim had been captivated by her intense spirit and had become instantly smitten. From that moment on, he would have to match her adventurousness and work to make her see that the two of them were destined to be together forever.
This new side to Tim results in his father’s increased concern for his son. It was not normal for Tim to not be interested in the weekly football game on TV. It was not like Tim to be secretive, reclusive and to be so incredibly preoccupied in his own thoughts. Was it drugs? What could explain this behavior?
Through a few clique scenes of extreme male strutting and a couple comical scenes of Tim making a complete fool out of himself, Mary realizes that she can no longer hold her feelings for the charming young man inside anymore. She takes a leap… and goes with her heart.
The romance is kept secret from the naturally concerned parents. But all is revealed in a climactic dramatization of feelings and tears that involves teenagers slamming the door and running out into the rain while weeping. Their parents called after them, but with no avail.
The crying teens find each other in the pouring rainstorm and pledge their love for each other promising that it will last forever! Then, in slow motion, they have their first kiss under the moonlight, and the pouring rainstorm that drenches them both. The parents of the young ones had chased after them, and met for the first time as they both, simultaneously learned that their children really did, truly love one another. Then, just before the credits began to roll, a spark seems to ignite between the single father, and the single mother as the dad says:
“Well, I think that we had better get used to the idea that our children are growing up. Would you like to get coffee with me at some point?”
The viewers totally know where that’s going to go!
When I was eleven years old, the age of sixteen seemed to be so magical. It was the age I was so excited to become. I would be able to drive and would be able to be cool. I was so excited about this, even though it seemed to be so far off into the distant future, that I was able to make my friends just as excited about it too.
I played the part of Tim in this story, and my friend Joey, who was a year older than I, played the part of Tim’s father. My Sister Kelly, was the single mother and played the part amazingly. She was usually more excited about playing house that anything else at the time anyway. Katie was the heroine in the film and played the part of Mary to a tee. She was also a very spirited young girl that loved to ride her horses and make the boys blush.
The infamous scene in the rain actually took place under a sprinkler in Joey and Katie’s back yard. There was no moonlight. And, instead of a kiss, it was a series of almost kisses… no contact of the lips was ever made, except perhaps, purely by accident. We knew that we would get into trouble had there been an actual kiss, so we decided to get technical just in case of a parental inquiry. Our technicalities rarely worked.
It’s funny for me to think about Katie now. As children, we had decided that we would get married when we grew up. However, our families parted ways about the time that her parents got a divorce. A couple years ago I ran into her at the local Wal-Mart where I was greatly taken aback. The memories, the feelings, then… the embarrassment that she was probably remembering the same things. I don’t know if it was just my imagination, but after the initial “Hey!” I think that we both turned bright red.