“I don’t believe this! I have to get up at 5:30 every morning so I can beat rush hour traffic into the city and go sit behind a desk for eight hours a day and miss Oprah Winfrey everyday on my summer vacation. And then, I get to drive home in gridlock IN A VOLVO with no air conditioning just so I can take care of you guys and put food on the damn table! It’s a rat race and it sucks, Kenny. So what do you want, a medal?”
If you were part of the ’90s youth, you’ll likely remember the movie Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead, the story of unintentionally abandoned siblings for one summer starring a young Christina Applegate as Sue Ellen “Swell” Crandell. The best summer for Sue Ellen revolves around her mother going abroad to Australia, and Sue Ellen assumes responsibility to watch her siblings for the summer months.
Summer freedom is quickly jolted when Mrs. Sturak arrives, a decrepit, whistle-blowing babysitter hired at their mothers request and Sue Ellen’s dismay. Within no time flat, the hellish Mrs. Sturak croaks, and the kids decide to discretely drop her off at the morgue in a trunk with a kindly-worded note attached. The problem? All the cash needed for the summer was left on Mrs. Sturak. Would you call mom? Absolutely not, because it’s the early ‘90s, and we’re going to rock on and get through this on our own.
Despite it’s ’90s retro palette, Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead offers a lot of déjà vu into my post-college life. Here’s what I gathered:
Coping with Coworkers
The art of mastering the expressionless poker face doesn’t come naturally for some in the workforce jungle. Whether it irritants above or below you in the office, the key is the keep your cool, and learn the art of psychology of how each individual ticks; you can then handle them accordingly depending on their personality type.
Learning the Language
“I’m right on top of that Rose!” is still a phrase I use to this day because of this movie. Office jargon is easy to pick up on if you have a keen ear to detail. Emphasizing the positive when asked a question is always more assertive and smiled upon than uncertainty.
Quarter Life Crisis
It’s real. There’s no guarantee to meeting the age cutoff of 100, but as Carrie Bradshaw explained, “I would never relive my 20s.” It’s a decade of incessant trial and error. The completion of college and fulfillment of accomplishment doesn’t equate to a home-run job straight out of school. The unfamiliar emotions of personal failure, inadequacy and uncertainty become the norm. Screw the 5-year-plan; it’s archaic and unpractical in our era.
Budgeting never existed in my world prior to graduation, but it’s the ghoulish nightmare your parents always warned you about. When you’re cut off that lucrative parental income, your priorities restructure. Cereal for multiple meals sometimes becomes more of a practicality than a desired option.
Work World Uniform
The corporate jungle has a very structured uniform on how to dress. Fortunately, our generation is a little looser on colors and creativity, and we’re not all slumped in black suits with stockings. But in some offices, being trendy isn’t the formality and blending is preferred.
Relaxation is Necessary
The amount of stress in my 20s has resulted to more naps, more massages and more anxiety.
All of a sudden it’s not college group projects that suffocate you, but it’s the post-college you’re-on-your-own deadline stress that matters. You may not be getting a numerical grade, but those QED reports are reliant on you. It’s not just your GPA relying on you to do well, but now it’s a company breathing down your neck to surpass their expectations.
As if the monotonous question of “what’s your major” didn’t get tiresome enough for four years, now you have to explain what your day job is and the complexities of that stratosphere. The supply of dates have dropped, and the dating apps have become plentiful in current day technology. Dating is weird. Enough said.
Although this movie is heavily dated with a late 80s, early 90s appeal (I almost forgot that fake nails were hugely popular in the 90s!), the lesson’s remain relevant. It’s a great teen flick if you haven’t seen it yet, and it’ll definitely remind you of the greatness of your past youthful existence.