I can’t remember which John Hughes/Molly Ringwald movie was my first or what year it was but the top three (Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, and The Breakfast Club) instantly became a permanent fixture in my list of favorite movies. Molly Ringwald was the only actress I loved, until Scarlett Johanssen came along. I realized that I only knew her as the characters she played but something about her spoke to me.

So when I saw this book at Barnes and Noble (50% off) I had to get it. Needless to say, I’m feeling far from pretty these days. The stress of the past few weeks have resulted in hives, the horrible dreams have returned, and I still have the weight and acquired stretch marks, which are only reminders of what I’ve lost. I needed something light to read before bed.

There are some things that are better than therapy. Like having a good girlfriend visit, having lunch outside on a perfect summer day, and then shopping like your credit card doesn’t have a limit. But when out in public, it is inevitable that we would see pregnant women. I knew it wouldn’t be easy but I was surprised at the surge of resentment I felt towards the very perky, very pregnant woman helping us at J Crew. So after my friend left (who was as wonderful as good friends are in these circumstances), I retreated to the safety of my comfortable bed, with Molly Ringwald to keep me company.

Tucked away in the middle of her anecdotes, her advice for how to feel pretty, was a surprise. She had also suffered a late miscarriage in her early thirties. She mentions it but doesn’t go into the details, as she says, it would be a whole other story to tell in another book. Still, it was enough to make me put it down for the rest of the night. Not because it was too painful but because every time I hear or read about someone having a similar experience … I can’t explain the feeling. I felt a deep sadness because I could relate to her desperation. I felt relief because she was another example of a woman who had lost a baby and then had gone on to have three perfect babies. I felt amazed that my adolescent idol and I shared a common experience. It’s complicated. It’s a strange club to belong to. I wish I didn’t.

I haven’t gotten my pretty back but the book made me smile, which is enough for now. (I go back to the gym tomorrow so that will be the next step.) I am more convinced than ever that if I ever met Molly Ringwald, we’d be great friends. Kind of like the Sex and the City women, only much less annoying and shallow.


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