Monday, January 25, 2010

The Plight of a Leading Lady

I think sometimes my dream life sort of ruins my real life. I have these idealized visions of how things should go, and when reality goes anything but that, it's a little disappointing. I cast people as characters, I script our conversations, I have the appropriate makeup and wardrobe departments (i.e. my closet and makeup bag), so why isn't everyone else quite apt to live up to my screenplay?
There was a book that I was utterly obsessed with when I was twelve or thirteen. It was called "Life is a Movie Starring You" by Jennifur Brandt. The book encouraged young girls (young both in heart and in body) to live each day as the star of their own movie. A girl is supposed to be the leading lady in her own life, never the sidekick. The sidekick (in typical romantic comedy fashion) is always the dependable, less-attractive friend of the lead that always says those daring or slightly inappropriate things that a leading lady would never dare say (because she is too wonderful). The lead girl is darling, romantic, dreamy, and so full of genuine hopes and ambitions that we all want her to succeed.
I completely blame John Hughes for ruining my high school experience. I wasn't the athlete, the basket case, the outlaw, the brain, or the princess. According to the Gospel of John (Hughes), I was nobody. I wouldn't be the star of my own '80s teen comedy, I would be an extra that filled in seats in the classroom of wandered the hallways. I suppose like in a lot of romantic comedies nowadays, the leading lady is supposed to be so relatable that every girl can insert herself into that role. Molly Ringwald was that girl of the eighties for Hughes' films. But honestly, how is a girl supposed to compare to Molly Ringwald? She was supposed to be the 'everygirl,' the underdog that we would all root for, but why do I want to root for the girl who has better hair/cooler clothes/way more appealing romantic prospects than I do? I had to go stag to my senior prom (no Duckie to rescue me, I never had a cool mentor like Iona to teach me her ways, nor an annoying freshman who worshipped me, and when my birthday was forgotten, it was just like any other day - I never got to make out with Jake Ryan at the end.
But what I guess I have to realize is that life - despite how much I want it to be - is not a movie. It is alright to maintain romantic notions about how we want or wish our lives to be, as long as these dreams don't crowd into our reality. And as much as I love films and dreams, I can't let that be the only thing that I have in my life. I still want very much to be my own leading lady, but I have to grow to accept that a life's film is a production - there are many people that go into making it, and I can't write the script, make the costumes, do the lighting, sound, etc. etc. I have to accept that there are limitations and just enjoy each scene (or day) as it comes.

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