Hi, I’m the woman all rom-coms are based on. My movies (adaptations) have taken heat for portraying “unrealistic” situations with “poorly-written” dialogue and “stock” characters. Well I’m here to tell you that behind all these “stupid tropes” (i.e. my LIFE), there’s a reason, a reason they don’t tell you in the movies.
Take my first love, for instance. His name was Tag (stop laughing), and we were both stuck in hopeless relationships – he with a nagging wife (I’m not sure what her name is),and I with a SoCal hunk who, for what it’s worth, did not give me the love I deserved. One day, I left Tag to board my flight to LAX, and without knowing what time my flight was or what airline I was flying or even which airport I was leaving from, he ran through security and stopped me, just as I was about to board the plane. So trite, right? NO. Because it turns out his mom was an industrial engineer and built every airport in the state, so it was, like, really easy to get all that information and track me down. But they CONVENIENTLY leave that out of the movies. Go figure.
Then my second love, Steve, came along. He was my best friend – eternally single, but always down to help with my bra shopping (in retrospect, this may have been awkward for him??). Anyway, I had been dating renowned Welsh oiler, Ralph Elliot (Ralph like “Ralph Fiennes” which sounds like “Rafe”). It was perfect, until his business calls proved more important than calling home. But luckily, when I came crying to Steve in his bagel factory(?), he wiped up the crumbs of my tears and said, “I’m sorry, I know you thought he was perfect.” I replied, “but he’s not perfect for me —” – and then I got cut-off by an overhead helicopter! What I had meant to say was “but he’s not perfect for Meowth, my cat, who did not like him, but unrelated, I think I’m falling in love with you.” Much less corny, right?! And totally unaddressed in the movies. Anyway, Steve kissed me and then we fell in love and Sixpence None The Richer was playing on the radio just because whatever.
But then there was my third love, Rich (a.k.a. “Da Quarterback”). I met him during my “big glasses” phase, when I looked gross (see: big glasses) and my main interest was reading shampoo ingredients (see: big glasses). But after a confusing courtship (his friend dared him to date me, which I’m sure is typical), we were gazing at each other beneath a flickering streetlamp. Then, he took off my big glasses (ew) and voila! Suddenly he discovered I was actually gorgeous and cool and good at guitar and also going to Brown for grad school. BUT THIS WASN’T SUPERFICIAL because IT TURNS OUT my glasses had been causing pressure build-up in my frontal lobe, which controls personality, ergo (see: Brown) the glasses had made me forget these INTERESTING things about myself! But Rich’s medical prowess for the power of not wearing glasses is yet another missed detail in “the biz.”
So you see? To make me less human, the commercialized monster of Hollywood filmmaking SIMPLIFIED these moments of my life (probably happened to Malcolm X, too). And frankly, if I didn’t spend so much time defending myself, I could be advancing my burgeoning small bookstore / Etsy kazoo career at this coffee shop.
[Rekha Shankar writes for Reductress, makes funny videos, is the champion of Punderdome 3000, and can be found on twitter right HERE. ]