As a lady of the theater I can’t help but think that maybe we creatures of the underworld can’t afford to love. And that we have lots of reasons for it every day.
First of all we have appearances to uphold. That’s what this quote meant in context.
But beyond that, I find we just don’t have the time. Normal people go to work in the day and then come home to their lover. Or can use that time to go on dates. We have unpredictable hours. Last week I had most of my evenings free and starting next week I won’t have a minute to myself. Especially after dark.
But what I think really kills us is that our job is to study relationships. Usually broken ones. Plays are about relationships. Fathers and sons. Husbands and wives. Dukes and prostitutes. Harry and Sally. When you spend that much time watching relationships crumble and secrets unfold it has to change you.
Perhaps into a creature of the underworld. Who can’t afford to love.
The entertainment industry can do some pretty messed up things to a person. Sometimes you wish you hadn’t been allowed to see the man behind the curtain.
See the things that are wrong with the creatures of the light. The ones you’re supposed to love.
So I recently wrote about how all forms of love are equally important whether they’re familial, romantic, or whatever. The problem is that I rely heavily on this idea that all love is equal. That just because I don’t love romantically (yet) doesn’t mean that my heart isn’t filled with love.
But then I saw this art piece that threw me for a loop. It had poetry written by a friend of mine with choreography and music mixed in. It seemed to point out to me all the ways that romantic love is superior to anything I call love.
While this art piece was breathtakingly beautiful it also rocked my foundation to it’s core and completely knocked me off balance.
However I want to keep believing in this:
Could romantic love and platonic love and parental love all be different facets of the same diamond–brilliant, no matter which face is turned up to the sun?
~Jodi Picoult (Vanishing Acts)
So instead of saying that I’ve changed my mind. I’ll just say here that I’m feeling doubtful. And this:
I dream of a love that even time will lie down and be still for.
— Sally Owens (Practical Magic)
I won’t specify that it must be romantic. Just that it should be. And perhaps that it will help me get my faith in love back.
So a while ago I wrote a post about QuirkyAlones. And while I like the basic premise, I would like to add something to it. I’m a classic QuirkyAlone in the way that I approach relationships. I would rather not date someone just for the sake of dating someone. However I don’t think that’s what makes us QA’s.
Let’s do some easy math. According to Wikipedia there are 6,877,400,000 people on this planet. Let’s say 1/2 of them are too young/old for you. That leaves 3,438,700,000. Let’s say that 1/2 of those people are a gender you aren’t attracted to 1,719,350,000. That’s a good round number to start with.
So lets say we have a pyramid.
So far we’ve concluded that the number of potentials for you is 1,719,350,000.
So in my theory we say that the people on the bottom rung could fall for 214,918,750 people on earth. That’s 1/8 of the above number. That means that if you met everyone on the planet (in the age/sex that you prefer) you could potentially fall for 1/8 of them if tossed into the right situations together. A lot of them don’t even speak your language.
In South Pacific Lieutenant Joe Cable meets Liat and even though they don’t speak the same language they fall instantly in love. He is one of her 214,918,750 and it doesn’t matter that if there weren’t a war going on they would never have met. Those people aren’t QuirkyAlones because they fall for everyone. It’s not that their standards are low, it’s just that they happen to click with a lot of people. On the next rung are people who only click with 53,729,687 people.
Way at the top are the few of us who consider ourselves QuirkyAlones. We’re only potentially interested in 209,881 people in this world most of whom we’ll never meet. No wonder we’re perpetually single. There are fewer options out there for us.
Acting like a QuirkyAlone is a reaction to being a MatchFew. We’re not QuirkyAlones because we hate people and love knitting and kittens. We’re QuirkyAlones because while Joe Cable and I have met the same 1,000 potentials in our lives he could have fallen for 125 of them and I could have fallen for 0.1220703125. I just need to meet a few more thousand people before I can belt at Carnegie Hall too.
My fabbity housemates and I are watching the movie Hot Fuzz at the moment. And I noticed that there are no women in the movie. The only female characters are This Guy’s Wife, That Guy’s Girlfriend, The only female cop in town and a florist who exists to get killed.
Lillian goes on about homosocial films and their role in the media. To be honest I don’t know much about it. I understand that they’re comments on how men interact with other men. That the way James Bond
(Sorry, I got distracted. And yes, I do only believe in brunette Bond’s)
behaves around his ladies is going to be very different than how he behaves around his bros. And yes, it’s important to look at his relationships with men as well as with Halle Berry’s butt.
However a homosocial movie for me says This is serious and important and therefore there is no room for a woman in it. To better explain this I introduce the Bechdel Test. This fabulous lady can explain it so much better than I can so I’ll just let her.
There aren’t any women in Hot Fuzz. And the ones that do exist are boring, even for the actresses who play them. Hot Fuzz Man (I don’t really care what his name is because he’s blond and short and I was doing homework instead of paying attention to all the blood and guts anyway) gets to play someone really interesting. I’m sure he gets to play a lot of really interesting people pretty often.
Writers all around the world write sexy multi-faceted men. Meet:
These are actually really bad examples because Dexter and Mad Men both have really great women in them. But I like these guys so…yum.
There are just more interesting characters written for men than for women. I wish I could present lots of examples and studies but I regret to say I’m not that big of a dork. I can tell you that the ratio of boy actors to girl actors in my drama school class is incredibly unbalanced though. Why? Because there are more roles for men. Why?
Point #2 of the Bechdel test: Because men are the default and women exist by comparison. But that’s a thought for another day.
So a point. Something I should make right?
I’m not an actor. But I hope to be in their union one day. I side with them often…for legal purposes. And I love them. I see over and over again my female friends getting shafted into roles where they come on, complain, and get shooed off by a man who then complains and calls her something on the offensive scale. Of course then he goes on to screw something up for everyone.
Oh, man. Men. Can’t live with ’em, can’t shoot ’em.
It occurred to me that my life has and is going to consist of a lot of time spent waiting for a guy to call me. Waiting for him to pick me. Waiting for him to realize what I already know. I like to think that this is because he’s stupid and it takes him longer to realize the awesomeness of me than it should. Even better, if he doesn’t call it’s because he’s too stupid to see my awesomeness at all.
On the other hand it calls to mind auditions for a play. You go to an audition. You stand in front of a table packed with “important” people you need to impress and recite what you think they want to hear. Then they go on to meet lots of other people to fit that same role and you go home and wait by the phone.
Will he call? Was I the right fit? Did I wear the wrong thing? Did my voice sound too nasal? Did I look old? Was he put off by my shoes?
But most importantly if you weren’t picked then you wouldn’t have wanted to try to play the character that director was looking for anyway. If you weren’t right for it then really this show wasn’t right for you.
Don’t think you’ll never get chosen. You’re just going for the wrong thing. Everyone is perfect for something.
Everyone is perfect for someone.
Oh, and don’t forget about those times when you get cast in the most horribly written show ever. When you’re the best thing about it and the director is so glad to have you. Don’t forget that sometimes idiots pick you and that’s when you need to exercise your right to turn him down too.