About a year ago, I had to admit to myself what I always secretly knew was true — that for as much as I loved Star Wars as a kid, Back to the Future was my pick for the Greatest Trilogy of All Time. It wasn’t an easy thing to confess; much of my teens had been devoted to obsessive Star Wars fandom. I fell in love with my first boyfriend because he too loved Star Wars, back before Force Day, back when you had to special order Star Wars Insider and hope to find old figures at a garage sale.
But that relationship ended and he got Star Wars in the breakup. It seemed too childish to me, too goofy when I watched it and remembered the endless scenarios my sister Hilary & I would create in our backyard. It was a part of my life I could remember fondly, but I just don’t care to continue fawning over the same way I don’t collect Pokemon toys or dress in goth clothes. If I do see the new one, it’ll be because friends wanted to go, and it certainly won’t be opening night. I’m just not that fan anymore.
But in rewatching Back to the Future with my friend Dave & Rachel and their kids, my heart still raced as Marty speeds towards the clock tour with seconds to spare. I was still on the verge of tears (and being frantically clutched by their daughter) when Marty sees his dad’s tombstone and screams, “This can’t be happening!” And I’m not entirely convinced that Donald Trump isn’t just our version of Biff Tannen.
My crush on Doc Brown, (before I even knew what a crush was) laid part of the foundation for the men I would be attracted to throughout my life–smart, quirky, shy, warm and a touch sarcastic, grey hair a bonus. For as sexy as Han Solo was, I knew even as a kid that he had none of the traits I would look for in an eventual boyfriend. But Doc, with his chess games and his Jules Vern novels, was more in line with what I would seek in a mate. Later, I would see those same fantastic traits in college professors and writers and actors and artists, men I would adore and daydream about.
And while my husband Ian isn’t a wild-eyed inventor, he is endlessly creative, constantly teaching himself new ways to make beautiful things. When we got married in June, our recessional was “The Power of Love.” Our intro music at our reception was Alan Silvestri’s majestic opening theme. And this year, teaming up with a whole mess of our friends, we’re staging a Back to the Future group costume. I’m going as Jennifer to my Dave’s Marty…and Ian is going as Doc.