Dimon Kendrick-Holmes: Another happy ending

September 28, 2012 

Talk about a Hollywood ending.

Maybe you saw the story about Whitney Kropp, an unpopular Michigan high school student who recently got elected to homecoming court, something that doesn't usually happen to unpopular people.

But Whitney's classmates thought it would be a hoot if they voted her onto the sophomore court along with Josh the Jock.

Actually, a screenwriter would have probably named him "Chad," but Josh will do.

Anyway, Whitney wasn't in on the joke, so she went to Facebook to write about how surprised and excited she was. That's when one of her "friends" replied that Josh had bailed out on the festivities. Whitney cheerfully reasoned that Josh wanted to concentrate on playing the football game. Um, that's not what Josh was telling everybody.

Whitney was right back where she started: Loserville. She burst into tears and told her mother she was skipping homecoming.

That's where the Hollywood ending comes in. No, not the one where the rejected girl goes to the dance and uses her telekinetic powers to start a raging fire that kills everybody in the gym.

In the end, Whitney decided to go to homecoming after all. She went to Facebook and, according to the Detroit News, wrote this: "Going to homecoming to show them that I'm not a joke. I'm a beautiful person and you shouldn't mess with me!"

Inspired, somebody started a Facebook support page, which garnered nearly twice as many "likes" as her town has residents. Then businesses started offering to buy her a fancy dress, professional portraits, a new manicure and hairdo, whatever she wanted.

Oh, and Josh changed his mind and decided to celebrate homecoming after all.

That's Hollywood, all right: In the end, our hero gets fame, respect and a bunch of free stuff.

It's not that simple, of course, or that magical. The real story here is why people were touched by Whitney's predicament, why the town wanted to help, and why this has become a national story: Just about everybody who's been in high school has some bad memories that are hard to shake.

Parents have been telling their children for decades that high school isn't all that big a deal, that success there doesn't mean your life is going to be a success, just like failures there don't mean your life is going to be a failure.

But that's awfully hard for a kid to believe.

Meanwhile, Whitney Kropp is just a sophomore. For this one week of her life, John Hughes has risen from the dead to direct her story, and she's being played by Molly Ringwald.

The bad news: The credits are rolling and she's still got more than two years of high school left.

But the good news: Life really begins after high school.

Whitney will learn it soon enough, and I bet she'll be ready.

Dimon Kendrick-Holmes, executive editor, can be reached at dkholmes@ledger-enquirer.com.

Ledger-Enquirer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service