ManOMan! What is wrong with me?! It’s 6:45 on a Saturday night and I am on my couch, curled up with a glass of wine, ratty purple tank top on and sans pantaloons, watching Superbad. You know, Superbad, that movie that had such hype in 2007 when it first came out? I’m just now getting around to checking it out, on account of, mostly, I hate comedies. I mean they are never that funny. Adam Sandler is goofy. Will Farrell drops trou. Lok at him run! Chris Farley, Seth Rogan, whoever, is fat. Ha ha. But for some reason, on one of the last Saturday nights of summer, it appears that by 6:50, I am in for the evening. This comes at a bad time. My young and adorable friend Em, who is as spunky as she is scintillating, just accused me of being a shut-in. “You’re a hermit,” she announced. “A real hermit crab.”
“Oh yeah!” I shot back. I find “Oh yeah” to be one of the most effective of comebacks, and I use it often. That and, “Your Mama!”, or, if I’m really fast thinking, “You’re ugly!”
“I’m not a hermit crab,” I went on. “I have crabs! There! Who’s sorry now?”
Em didn’t answer, but I’m sure she got my point. Still, the whole thing left me thinking. (Cue sound of Carrie Bradshaw rapidly typing this week’s Sex in the City column/ theme, and voice over in three, two, one…) Am I wasting my life away? Should I be actively rejecting spinsterhood instead of letting it fall over my shoulders like a warm, soft shawl?
Now see, Superbad is an exception to my theories that comedies suck, along with several other notable anomalies; I like any comedy that is also a musical that features transsexuals or transvestites; I like comedies that are really dark, like Harold and Maude; I like mockumentaries, like Spinal Tap; and I like romantic comedies, if they are When Harry Met Sally. And - I almost hate to admit it - I like 16 year old boy humor. I find it hilarious. I totally get it. This explains why I get along so well with my male students; I think they are wildly funny, and they think I might just buy them beer. They think I’m cool because I can drive without my mom in the passenger seat. I think that’s pretty cool, too, and I admire the way they take enormous pride in simple accomplishments, like burping a word or punching a friend in the nads. What I’m saying is, I understand teenage boys, and their joy and stupidity, their idiotic crudity, their preposterous discomfort – it all makes me laugh. I like them even better in movies than in reality, because I can guffaw right at them, point even, without having to worry that they will get offended and flick something at me while I am at the board, or fart right before the bell rings and then run out.
Still, is indulging this - shall we say ‘hobby”, - really the best use of my time? Shouldn’t I be out trying to forge meaningful relationships and connections? Shouldn’t I be trying to build something here? I mean let’s face it, I am middle aged. Everyone I know has somebody special in their lives, even if they aren’t particularly happy with who – or, in some sad cases, what – they have settled for. Even my friends who are engaged in nasty divorces have boyfriends or girlfriends. I don’t even have a pet. I don’t even really have crabs. And, as Em points out, they - companions, not crabs - don’t just fall out of the sky; unless there are folks hiding out in your closets or under the bed, you have to leave the house to meet people.
But therein lies the problem. First of all, in order to leave the house, you have to get dressed, and also, it is suggested that you bathe first. We are all aware of my stance on bathing, I believe. You have to get dressed and put on make up and be interesting and witty. You have to smile and nod, even when you are not interested, and you have to pretend to like the band and you can’t make fun of anybody in case you are unknowingly sitting by his or her friend. The worse part of it is when you don’t do a good enough job of sparkling, and you feel like you didn’t pass the audition. You end up lonelier than you were before you went out. A lot of effort goes into deflation.
Instead, I could be at home with a character named McLovin. Is that a ridiculous fake name, or what? I can laugh and think, “Boys, boys, your day will come! Someday you will find someone who appreciates you and finds you delightful, even though you are gawky and weird.” These movies are always so full of hope at their core. I can relax and laugh out loud and not wonder if my laughter is inappropriate, or I can not laugh throughout the whole movie and nobody will tell me how funny it was, and that I just don’t have a sense of humor. I can eat until I’m full and get sleepy when I’m tired. I can get into my bed after the movie, content, and fall asleep, or read a book that may or may not be ‘smart”, or listen to a little of the BBC.
Maybe tomorrow I’ll go out. Tonight, I have a good movie, a good glass of wine, and a real comfy couch, just big enough for me. And that Michael Cera: hilarious! I just loved him on Arrested Development! Hey, maybe I’ll catch that next!