Here’s To ‘The Future’

Here’s To ‘The Future’

Today is kind of a big deal.

Not because it’s my birthday (which it is). Not even because it’s my 40th birthday (which it also is).

No, today – October 21, 2015 – is the exact date that Marty McFly and Doc Brown traveled to in the 1989 film Back To The Future II.

That’s right, folks …. BEHOLD, THE FUTURE IS HERE!

And, whoa, is it a little underwhelming. I mean, after all that build up in the film, there’s no way the actual future could compare. Where are our self-strapping shoes and rehydratable pizzas? Seriously. I demand to see the list of scientists who were consulted when making the film. Their degrees should be revoked.

I was 14 years old when Back to the Future II came out, and like every other gullible teenager on the planet, I couldn’t wait to see it. It was THE FUTURE after all.

I remember sitting in the theater, happily munching on popcorn when Marty, Doc, and Marty’s girlfriend Jennifer loaded up in the DeLorean. Huey Lewis sang for a few minutes, then bing-o, bang-o, they landed somewhere in the future.

Marty: Where are we? When are we?

Doc: We’re descending toward Hill Valley, California, at 4:29 pm, on Wednesday, October 21st, 2015.

Marty: 2015? You mean we’re in the future?

Jennifer: Future? Marty, what do you mean? How can we be in the future?

Marty: Uh, Jennifer, um, I don’t know how to tell you this, but I… you’re in a time machine.

Jennifer: And this is the year ‘2015’?

Doc: October 21st, 2015.

I sat up a little straighter in my seat. Oh my god, that’s my birthday! Like, my actual birthday! In the future!

I looked around the theater to see if anyone else was feeling a weird cosmic zing. No, just me? Just my birthday? Ok. Then, a little quick math and … OH MY GOD…I WILL BE 40!

It seemed unfathomable. The year 2015 was 26 years in the future. I hadn’t even been alive for 26 years, so two and a half decades might as well have been a million.

Who cared about Marty McFly’s stupid hoverboard? What was my future going to look like? Because, honestly, 14 wasn’t going so great.

I had horrible glasses and tragic hair, which when combined, formed a noxious type of boy repellant that rendered me virtually undatable. I didn’t understand clothes or make-up. I wasn’t good at sports. I was obsessed with boy bands and soap operas. Would 26 years be enough to fix everything that was wrong with me?

Oh, that poor, freaked out, 14-year-old me! If I had a DeLorean that would take me back to 1989, I would sit behind her in that dark theater, put a gentle hand on her shoulder and say:

Don’t worry. Everything will be ok.

“Your hair won’t always look like that.

“The love of your life is out there and he’s way better than all the New Kids on the Block combined.

“You will have two creative, talented, hilarious daughters who are weird in all the best ways. They will make you feel like you can accomplish miracles. They will not be named Alexandria and Mallory like you thought they would, though. Sorry.

“Your parents are amazing people and a lot smarter than you give them credit for. Listen to them.

“Spend time with your younger brother. He isn’t as annoying as you think and there will be a day when you miss him more than you can ever imagine.

“You will go to college. Once there, you will get a tattoo of a butterfly on your ankle, start smoking cigarettes and drink this god-awful stuff called Zima. You will eventually regret all three, except maybe the tattoo. Sometimes you will think it looks cute with sandals.

“You will hate sushi but like tofu.

“You will have amazing friends.

“You will get up and sing “Total Eclipse of the Heart” unashamedly in front of strangers and get paid nothing for it. It’s called karaoke. You will love it.

“You won’t be a famous romance novelist, but you will be a writer. This thing called the internet will be invented and you will write what’s called a blog. Yes, it’s a real thing and everyone in the future is doing it.

“So breathe easy, kiddo! There’s nothing to be worried about. You’re future is going to be amazing.”



I am going through a break up. It’s the worst of my life. Twenty years we’ve been together. That’s longer than I’ve been with my husband.

But it’s time. I need to quit smoking.

People are always a little bit surprised when they find out I smoke. I’m not sure why. Maybe because I look like your average, dorky, middle-aged lady and most average, dorky, middle-aged ladies don’t smoke.

But me being average and dorky has always been part of the problem. I want to have a dark side. I want to be the bad girl. I want to be cool like Sandy at the end of Grease, stepping out in black spandex and crushing a cigarette underneath the toe of my smokin’ hot red high heels.

Now I’m a few weeks shy of being 40 and I’m realizing two things – first, I never looked good in black spandex; second, I never looked cool smoking.

Besides, by the time you’re 40 cool shouldn’t matter any more. I should be more worried about keeping myself alive.

So, I’m quitting. It hasn’t been easy. I would like to say I’ve been determined to be done with cigarettes by my birthday. But, as you can see by my progress report below, “determined” maybe isn’t the right word.

Day One

I’m feeling pretty good about this. I bought a bunch of candy to help me quit – suckers, Lifesavers, caramel apple pops.

My daughters see me stuffing the giant bags of candy into my purse. I’m afraid I’m sending mixed messages about how hard it is to quit.

Day Two

Maybe I should get an e-cig.

I have a few reservations about this – mainly I don’t want to use the phrase “vape juice.” Ever.

Also, they look like an instrument one would use to lure an infestation of rodents out of town. “Futuristic Fife Player” is not exactly the look I am going for. Although a 40-year-old-woman sucking on lollipops doesn’t say “sophisticated” or “mature,” either.

Day Three

FUUUUUUCK! I want a cigarette.

Day Four

We went to see a re-showing of Pulp Fiction. Every character in this film smokes. We are in the front row so the cigarettes on screen are seven feet long. Uma Thurman lights up and I am about crawling out of my skin.

Day Five

We are sitting on the deck with friends drinking a couple of beers, listening to Fleetwood Mac and New Order. There’s a huge fall moon and lively conversation. Evenings like this are my kryptonite.

Someone puts their pack of cigarettes on the table next to me.

Hey, girl, it’s been a while,” those cigarettes say.

Tell me about it, stud.”

Day Six

Cough, hack, cough. I am a cigarette slut.

Day Eight

Monday. My most stressful day at work. There aren’t enough Tootsie Pops in the world to help me deal with this level of aggravation. I’ve had five suckers already. I think my teeth are going to fall out.

Day Twelve

Maybe I’m looking at this in the wrong way. I have 19 days left before I turn 40. That’s 19 days I could still be smoking.

Day Thirteen

Karaoke + Beer = Smoking. I will eventually need to figure out another solution to this problem. But tonight I am still in my 30s, so who has a light?


I’m back on track. No cigarettes since Saturday. I haven’t even had a sucker since Monday. If I stay indoors and shut off all contact with other smokers for the next couple of weeks, I just might make it.

Check out my post on!

Check out my post on!

It’s possible that I’ve been lying to you. In all my talk of boy bands, Rick Astley and Dirty Dancing, I may have given you the impression that I love all things 80s. This simply isn’t so.

I am here to say that I’m not really a fan of John Hughes films …. any more.

To find out why, you need to check out my post I Am So Over 80s Teen Movies on