Friday, June 28, 2013

Real Honest/ Thelma & Louise

You know the first night when you finally see a movie that people can't believe you haven't already seen? I'm thinking The Breakfast Club, The Godfather, The Graduate, etc. And you know, how, after you've seen said movie, your life is forever changed and you can't remember how you ever lived without it? It's like the movie was made for your eyes only. Well, that is how I felt tonight as I finally watched Thelma & Louise, a film that made my eyes wet (that ending!!) and knees weak (cue Brad Pitt's butt), made me laugh and shout at the TV. Damn, what a good--no, GREAT--movie. And I had almost no idea what it was about going into it, just that it involved two gals causing trouble, which always sounds like a good time to me.

One thing I've been thinking about a lot lately is missed opportunities. Or things put off for far too long. I guess finally watching Thelma & Louise brought my mind to the same topic, because tonight I find myself thinking the same thing: why don't we ever do what we really want?

Let me elaborate on this, because that's a very broad statement. The other day as I rolled up to a coffee shop (okay, it was Starbucks), I saw a guy I knew from high school sitting outside, reading a book and sipping some joe. Now, mind you, it was past 9 at night, so I'm not entirely sure how he could even see the pages. Nevertheless, there he sat, and past him I walked. He barely glanced up, but I know he saw me and recognized me. This was a guy I talked to maybe twice in my whole 4 years at MHS, but someone I dug for quite some time. He was pretty quiet and kept to himself a lot, and he was totally kind of nerdy, but that's why I liked him...secretly, of course. I've always had this Lizzie McGuire complex, so since about age ten I've been hopelessly searching for my Gordo.

Here's the thing, though: this guy--who was a good-looking guy, and killer at the drums--totally turned into an asshole late into junior year. His parents had money, I guess, and he had a real nice house. So, what does he do? Starts throwing parties and inviting everyone in the class to come. I rejected all that nonsense for two reasons: one, I never drank in high school, and two, as soon as he started hanging out with the jerks and boners of my class, he became infinitely less quirky and cool to me. My absence at his parties was intended to convey my disapproval of his new self, although there is no doubt in my mind that he never noticed my presence, or lack thereof.

ANYWAY: traveling forward in time, back to Tuesday night at Starbucks, the importance of this memory is that I really wanted to know where he was at in his life now. "Are you still an asshole? Did you become nerdy (AKA actually cool) again? You're hanging out at Starbucks, reading and sipping coffee on a Tuesday evening, that's kind of hipster of you. That is definitely something a Gordo would do. TOO BAD I NOW HAVE A WONDERFUL BOYFRIEND AND YOU'RE NO LONGER A GORDO IN MY BOOK."

 I imagined telling him that. Or at least saying, hey, you know what? You were a really cool guy in high school and always looked completely badass playing the drums. But then you tried to be cool and be something you weren't, and it really made those who actually cared about you not care at all.

But did I say any of that? Of course I didn't. I grabbed my coffee, walked out that door, hopped in my car, and thought, I'll wait 'til the five-year reunion. Which, I can tell you right now I also won't do because it's NOT SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE. It's true. Speaking our minds and expressing our emotions or opinions always seems like the last thing anybody wants us to's always repeated by adults and counselors and friends ("speak your mind!", "just be you!"), but in reality, if what we want to say isn't something a majority of people want to hear, being "just you" isn't the popular option.

Watching Thelma & Louise tonight gave me that same feeling. Thelma's stupid, verbally abusive and degrading husband is a perfect example of people always wanting to shut other people up. I loved the part when Thelma finally held the phone to her mouth and just said, "Darryl, go fuck yourself."

Now I'm not saying we should all go out and say all the horrible truths we've been thinking about all the rude, ignorant, toxic people in our lives. I'm saying tell that guy at Starbucks that, yeah, you thought he was sweet in high school when he was a nerd, but he became an asshole senior year and started throwing parties every weekend, and that's when you stopped caring.

I'm saying sometimes, when someone treats you like dog poo, it is okay to tell them where they can shove it. I'm advocating for more honesty and openness about the way our minds really work. If your friend looks ugly in that shirt in the dressing room, tell her. You won't do her any good by lying.

When you have something you wanna say, share it. When there is a moment you want to happen, make it. I don't want to have feelings like that years later, when I see someone at a grocery store and remember that I hurt their feelings and never told them how sorry I was. My summer resolution is to be real. Real, and real honest.

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