I've been reading this book. It's a collection of essays inspired by John Hughes films. I've also been watching My So-Called Life reruns on Sundance.
And I had a revelation.
No wonder I'm fucking single.
John Hughes and Winnie Holzman ruined romance for me at a very young age. And continue to ruin me. If I'm flipping through the channels and I come across any John Hughes film (ok, except The Great Outdoors, I don't like that one) I stop and watch and sigh and cry.
And, oh my, My So-Called Life - how much was I like Angela Chase? I think I still AM like Angela Chase. I do have trouble wrapping my head around Jordan Catalano being the same dude who now has a pink mo-hawk and fronts one of my favorite bands, but whatever.
I just wanted the MSCL episode where Angela and Ricky go to Jordan's band practice and she thinks the song he is singing he wrote for her. Double sigh. I can't tell you how many band practices I went to, just to be in the same building as the boy I liked, and hoped and prayed that the special meaning I inferred from the lyrics were true. Thankfully, I don't do that anymore. Yes, I still know a few bands, and I'm sure they do practice somewhere, but I think it would be pretty pathetic of me to hang out there and flip my hair and sigh. But still - that episode had my stomach turning - in nostalgia and bittersweet ness.
One of the essays I read recently was about Some Kind of Wonderful - which happens to be my favorite John Hughes movie. I was Watts. In a lot of ways, I AM Watts. Ok, not thin, and I would never wear my hair that short, but in many other ways. The essay was all about the high school and college love triangles, or as the song says "You love her, but she loves him, and he loves somebody else, you just can't win". The essay was pretty black and white - the writer wondering if she had paid attention to the ones that loved her if her life would have been different. Oh, fuck, this could not have hit closer to home. And I do wonder, often enough, what could have been if I had been paying better attention back then.
I now realize that my Blane, Keith, Jake Ryan, Jordan Catalano, even my Duckie will never ever exist. There is no guy who will buy me a cake and pick me up in his Porsche on my birthday. No one will ever tell me he loves me, always to the aching tune of "If you Leave", no one to, while dyslexic, write a song about his car that I will instead pretend is about me. And no one to ride his bike past my house on a daily basis. And for all of these delusions of romance, I still have to blame John and Winnie.
I need to give it all up. Ok, maybe not the dream of playing the drums like Watts in the opening credits of SKOW, because that's still pretty awesome, but the rest of it.
It may be time to let a real man, faults and all love me for me, and not the me I think is Angela Chase, or Amanda Jones, or Andi, or even Watts.