Me: “Oh my god oh my god 5-year-old me would have lost her MIND if she saw this Ghostbusters movie with ladies in it!”
Him: “Well, 30-something-year-old you did just lose her mind.”
A young woman in New York is very pregnant and looking to escape the heat. She’d like a good laugh while she’s at it. So she goes to see this little movie called “Ghostbusters.” She laughs so hard she wonders if she’s about to give birth to the big ass baby inside her. She doesn’t, at least not for a few more weeks.
That big ass baby isn’t that big after all. She’s a tiny little squirt and she is in LOVE with The Real Ghostbusters. She wants to be a Ghostbuster. Her imaginary friends are Ghostbusters, and they go on all kinds of adventures saving New York City (okay really just Staten Island) from the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and his ilk. She’s heard it’s a thing for boys, but she likes it anyway.
Someone gets that little girl a few ghost-busting toys of her own.
The five year old little girl loses her shit.
No ghost is safe from her amazing aim and her fast acting trap. She likes to think she’s most like Peter but she’s probably more of an Egon, let’s be honest. She’s powered by little juice boxes full of Ecto Cooler.
Alright. If you haven’t already figured it out, that little squirt was me. It would be a while before I actually saw the Ghostbusters movie, aside from hearing it in utero. But I watched the HECK out of my The Real Ghostbusters VHS tapes. Sure, I had a pink room and lots of Barbies, like most girls. But I adored the Ghostbusters and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and I got frustrated at all the talk of how they were “boy” things. I had two little brothers eventually, and they got LOTS of boy things, but as you can see, I still did alright for myself. I spent HOURS of my young life trapping ghosts that the grownups couldn’t see.
Fall came around and I started kindergarten. When it was time to pick Halloween costumes, I knew exactly who I wanted to be. I was going to be a Ghostbuster. This wasn’t a typical costume for a little girl to wear, and I honestly can’t remember if I got any pushback for it. But Halloween came around and there I was, strutting my stuff as a REAL Ghostbuster! I couldn’t bring all my gear to school, but you get the picture.
I’m still amused at what passed for Halloween costumes in the 80s. In my memory, it was a real jumpsuit with a collar and everything. So when my mom dug out the photos recently in celebration of the new Ghostbusters movie release, I couldn’t help but laugh. I guess I’m going to have to do better next time…
Fast forward to 2016 and all the hype, fanfare, and griping about the new Ghostbusters movie featuring an all-woman cast. I REALLY wanted to see it with my mom, but sadly we’re not in the same town. (We did re-watch the original and shared some belly laughs together.)
I don’t want to spoil the movie and I’m not even going to review it. But I can tell you that I came home feeling more energized and pumped and happy than I have after consuming any kind of media in a long time. There is just something so nice about seeing someone like you up on that screen doing all that sweet ghostbustin’ action you mimicked as a kid. For every guy complaining that the reboot ruined their childhood, I’m pretty sure there is a another woman out there that feels that a little bit of her childhood is fulfilled by it.
Ghostbusters isn’t the world’s best movie, and it’s only one tiny step in a much larger movement to make true diversity onscreen a reality. But just being able to escape the real world for a couple of hours and enjoy some bad ass bitches kicking ghost-ass, that’s worth the price of a movie ticket.
Now I have to busy myself reading cosplay forums and deciding if I’m really a Holtz (I make Faraday cages out of pasta strainers TOO) or an Erin (because tenure-track physics professor though thankfully my department chair isn’t Tywin Lannister).
With many thanks to Mom for digging out those old pictures. Oh, and for encouraging your little girl to be whatever she wanted to be!