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Original image credit: Brock Davis
The Reality versus The Manic Pixie Dream

Picture this: you're the Average Jane living your life. You're that college girl with a small group of friends that never smoked or tasted alcohol. You got everything that you needed. Loyal friends, a family that's always been giving and a long-term relationship. Then one day, you got a text message from this person. A person your friends are friends with but you were never really introduced personally. All you knew about him were hand-me-down stories from other people. He's that guy from school that is your complete opposite, you never thought your worlds will touch until, well, that day he sent you the most random SMS.

Sure, it wasn't a big deal until fast forward to today, 6 years from that what you thought innocent exchange of words. You're in that situation where you have to choose between what's right in front of you or that thrill of the chase. And now, you're asking yourself how the fuck did you let this go on that long. You justify the situation with the following arguments:

  1. He always made you feel you mattered.
  2. He's so fucking unpredictable, it boils your blood with excitement!
  3. You haven't talked to each other for a year and then one night, he just shows up at your house... at midnight. 
  4. He did that for 5 years.
  5. You always felt that he needed you.

He shook up your life in so many ways, much more than you could imagine, and you loved the feeling of being reckless for once. He talks in riddles and you honestly thought you could solve the puzzle, or make your way out of the labyrinth. Those little tidbits of pure forbidden emotions were the highlight of your dull days, somehow making you crave for more. You believed there was a promise behind everything.

And yet the cold hard truth was staring you at the face: Everything was happening all at once but the two of you were  n e v e r  e v e r  in a relationship. He jumped in and out of your life and you did nothing. You knew you deserved so much more but you settled.

What you thought was the perfect time came but he gave you the lamest reason why things won't work. All you can think of was, "You're not even trying!" It was so lame that you thought why couldn't he come up with a more creative excuse. In the end, he explained and told you something along the lines of "I'm afraid I can't live up to your expectations." What a coward! What a pussy!

He was your Manic Pixie Dream* Guy. He was and that's all he'll ever be. You look back and realized it cost you your relationship, your health and your emotions. Yes, you gave up something real for the illusion of what you thought was perfect. You keep telling yourself there's a perfect time, but the truth is there's no such thing. This reality was already present the first day this whatever-you-call-it happened. If you only looked at the bigger picture 6 years ago. If only.

Then, you remembered that line by Clementine Kruczynski from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind:
“Too many guys think I’m a concept, or I complete them, or I’m gonna make them alive…. But I’m just a fucked-up girl who’s looking for my own peace of mind; don’t assign me yours.”
You realized you shouldn't have projected all your fantasies into this one person. You share half the blame. Nobody's responsible for making you feel alive but yourself. You felt like an empty space and you had this illusion that he was the perfect fit. You got so blinded with the little gestures that you failed to see what's happening on a grander scale. Not everything that's hard to get is actually worth having. Maybe you thought him being your total opposite was a way for you to live your life to the fullest, an excuse to experience all the things you'd never do on your own.

You fell in love with the idea of a person, but not the actual person.

Was all that time wasted? Maybe yes.


Six years later, he's with her, and you're finally free.

*

*Manic Pixie Dream Girl is a term coined by film critic Nathan Rabin, which he used to describe Kirsten Dunst's character in the movie Elizabethtown (boring movie, btw.) I quote Mr. Rabin, "that bubbly, shallow cinematic creature that exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures."

Of course they do exist in real life. Not exactly in all that cinematic glory movies make it appear, but for sure once in your life, you met someone who fits this complex mold. And now, I know exactly what to call this certain guy I knew before. Thank you, Internet!

Think Sara Deever from Sweet November, Penny Lane from Almost Famous and Ramona Flowers from Scott Pilgrim vs The World. Those quirky, complicated characters with unusually great taste in music. Think Ludlow Tristan from Legends of the Fall, Troy Dyer from Reality Bites and Patrick Verona from 10 Things I Hate About You. He's free-spirited, rash, has an unconventional way of showing that he cares but when the going gets tough (or just because he feels like it), he will disappear. As this website says, MPD Boy is the emotional and quirky hit-it-and-quit-it.




This post is in response to Truth Thursdays' current prompt, Versus. Truth Thursdays exists to connect people through writing. To initiate something honest, thoughtful and meaningful. If you want to know more about Truth Thursdays and how to be a part of it, read here.

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