If my life was a movie, firstly it would be fist-eatingly, crashingly dull. Secondly, the audience would wonder why there was a little brown girl on-screen cursing up a storm and talking about food as if it was her boyfriend. And finally, if my life was a movie – I would play the sidekick.
In my own movie.
Cogitate on that for a second.
I am the sidekick in a movie about my life.
I am not the pretty girl you lust after. I am not the girl that inspires double-takes and sweaty tangled sheets. I am not Pattie Boyd – a muse who’ll inspire both one of the greatest and one of the most insipid songs of all time (George Harrison’s Something and Eric Clapton’s Wonderful Tonight. What? The latter is glurgey garbage and should be summarily banned from all wedding receptions).
Dudes. It’s cool. I’m going somewhere with this and also, I’ve had thirty years to reflect on it.
I’m the girl you wanna hang out with because she can talk about how Undertaker is 21-0 at Wrestlemania or how Lily Allen’s brother is Theon Greyjoy on Game of Thrones or how someone needs to make a goddamn Batman movie featuring Arkham Asylum because the fucking Rogue’s Gallery would be even more bad-ass than the fucking Avengers.
I know my weight and I punch it.
And bolstering this belief is Vertical Horizon – that late 90s pop-rock act with one big hit and one smaller hit that featured none other than Kelly Kapowski in the video.
Everything You Want was on heavy rotation in my life in 1999. Well, the local alternative rock station was on heavy rotation (RIP 103.1 – The Buzz) but this song in particular? It hit me right where I live.
The lyrics were so overwrought with anxiety and suffering. I mean, you guys! It’s like this band really knows me! Like, they totally get me, right? Like, totally.
Yeah, me and every other poor bastard who has suffered through a crush. Read: everyone in the history of ever.
The last refrain had a particular impact – “I am everything you want/I am everything you need/I am everything inside of you/That you wish you could be/I say all the right things/At all the right times/But I mean nothing to you/And I don’t know why.”
I could relate in a serious way. When you’re 16 with frizzy hair and glasses (I legit spent my high school years looking like the ‘Before’ Girl in a bad 80’s makeover movie) – this song speaks volumes.
As is usually the case, Teenage Jaime was wrong and Adult Jaime (the broad with straight hair, gainful employment and a preference for expensive gin) is right.
Teenage Jaime: I just know that if my crush got to know me – I mean really know me – they would totally fall in love with me, right?
Adult Jaime: Wrong! “I mean nothing to you and I don’t know why?” Uh, seriously sailor? I think I know why. It’s because you’re a presumptuous wank who thinks you know everything. Seriously, Dipshit – If you really did say and do all the right things at exactly the right time, they would notice. Trust me.
Teenage Jaime: ….Wow. I’m kind of a dick when I grow up.
Adult Jaime: Yeah, but look how cute our hair is.
Teenage Jaime: Good point. So, what do I do about this whole crush thing?
Adult Jaime: Know when to hold ’em. Know when to fold ’em.
Teenage Jaime: Did…did you just quote Kenny Rogers to me? Are..are you drunk right now?
Adult Jaime: Possibly.
Everything You Want had a pretty insidious effect on me. Teenage girls are already prone to crushing insecurity. Teenage girls with frizzy hair, glasses and Jessica Rabbit curves in a Bilbo Baggins body? Even more so.
That being said – I love this song. If I randomly hear it on the radio or on my iPod, I’m going to turn it up. But I’m old enough now to know the truth – that if someone loves you, they love you. That’s the long and the short of it. You don’t need to say all the right things at exactly the right time. You don’t need be some sort of mythical inspirational figure.
You just need to be yourself and if they can’t figure it out and they don’t love you based on that? Fuck ’em.
There’s seven billion people wandering around this shiny blue orb. You’ll find someone who wants you. Because, y’know, math.
And also because you’re kinda fucking amazing.
Trust me on that one – I’ve got cute hair and like good gin. I kinda know what I’m talking about.