The Over-IdentificationPosted: August 23, 2011
Alison: Can I ask you a question?
Alison: She never cheated on you.
Tom: No, never.
Alison: Did she ever take advantage of you in any way?
Tom: Well, no.
Alison: And she told you up front that she didn’t want a boyfriend.
I bumped into a guy I used to work with when I was out for drinks a couple of weekends ago.
We chatted for a few minutes and suddenly he brought us onto the topic of 500 Days of Summer.
Former Colleague: Have you seen that movie?
Me: *insert witty ‘Eh, like Duuuh’ remark here*
Former Colleague: I really hated the girl.
Me: *choking on drink* It’s Zooey Deschanel! How can you not like her!!?
Former Colleague: It was just the character. She was so awful. Such a bitch.
Me: *getting worked up* I thought she was a brilliant character. The whole film was so real. It wasn’t a black and white relationship where there’s a good and bad guy – it was just a real relationship that didn’t work out.
Former Colleague: She was the bad guy. She led him on and used him.
Me: Ok, so she didn’t act in an ideal way and do the obvious ‘right thing’, but she warned him from the start where her head was and he said it was fine and kidded himself.
Former Colleague: He fell in love with her.
Me: And she didn’t fall in love with him!
Former Colleague/Soon to be top of my Enemy list: She was going out with him and hand-holding and everything. She was a slut.
Me: *mouth falling open* What!?
Former Colleague: Look, if she wasn’t some quirky cool indie chick and had tarted up in a short skirt and killer heels while carrying on the way she did, everyone would be calling her a slut. But because she’s the Alternative Miss, the behaviour is viewed in a different way.
Me: *now so high-pitched only dogs can hear* How can you say that? She wasn’t in the right place for something serious, but she wanted some intimacy. She needed some human contact and to feel close to someone, but without the heaviness of the We Are In A Relationship label. And she was honest with him from the beginning, she never led him on or hid her true intentions. Sure she could’ve been less selfish and ended the relationship, but he could’ve been less blind and done the same. There wasn’t a bad guy. They were just being human. Humans are flawed.
Fomer Colleague: No, she was just…
Me: *cutting him off* I really think we’re going to have to agree to disagree here, cos I have to go find my friends now…. *storms off*
And what is today’s lesson, Class?
Sometimes I take attacks on fictional characters a little too personally….