So let’s talk for a second about how amazing The Mindy Project pilot was. (Yes, I know I’m behind the times and the pilot has been out for months, but I have this weird thing about not watching fall shows til the actual fall.) The show further cemented my belief that Mindy and I are meant to be BFF, as her character also has a ridiculous obsession with romantic comedies, and also thinks her life will turn out like one. Unfortunately for me, Mindy the character has a way better chance of this happening for her than I do, as she is a TV character. This is merely one step removed from a movie character, so it might take her a few seasons of the show for her life to get perfect instead of 90 minutes, but I sense things will work out okay for her. I will have no such guarantees.
Mindy and I both spent our formative years watching a lot of movies, and believing they in some way represent real life. Mindy the TV character gets to actually live the Grey’s Anatomy fantasy of being trapped in an elevator with a hot doctor, and gets to have Penelope from Gossip Girl as her assistant. This is because Mindy the writer gets to create these sorts of scenes. My life doesn’t have a showrunner, and correspondingly, I probably shouldn’t attempt to plot it like a romantic comedy. Below, a list of movie lessons I have internalized, and why they are not working out for me.
1. Dating in high school is a thing
Thankfully, this issue is now eight years behind me, but if you’re still dealing with it, let me help you out. In high school, I believed, on the basis of all prom movies, plus the entire TGIF lineup, that dating was something very normal and common for high schoolers. Maybe it is normal, but it is certainly not necessary. I cannot tell you how many hours I wasted being stressed out about never having been kissed, or not having a boyfriend, but it was a lot and I was convinced that my single status basically meant I was going to end up just like Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed, before she got the makeover. So I spent a lot of time trying to get weird, immature, acne-ridden high school boys to like me. While I won’t necessarily call this a waste, because when you’re fifteen, it can certainly be fun to giggle with your girlfriends over if so and so likes you or not, but I definitely spent way too much time worrying about the situation. I thought that if I didn’t date in high school, I wouldn’t date ever. Obviously this turned out to entirely not be the case, so please, please, if you’re still in high school, don’t worry about finding a boyfriend. If it happens, awesome, if not, you have the rest of your life for that, so enjoy high school for the spirit weeks and the teachers who actually know your name and the ability to eat whatever you want and not gain weight, because these are things that won’t last forever.
2. Thou must meet cute
Okay, so I have never had an actual meet cute story of the ‘oh, I tripped, he caught me, we exchanged numbers, now we’re in love’ variety. No, my ‘how we got together’ stories tend toward the How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days vein of ‘girl pursues guy with ulterior motive and no intention of becoming attached, ends up falling for guy’ variety. Interestingly, my problem isn’t whatever pathological weirdness I have that prevents me from just going ‘hey, you seem cool, let’s hang out’ and requires I have some nefarious purpose for going after a guy. My problem is that once all of this happens and I have fallen for said guy, I get so wrapped up in the idea of the story of how we got together, I assume it means we have to stay together, and I forget to check in on the state of the actual relationship. “But it was just like in the movies! It must mean something!” my brain says. I get too wrapped up in the story of us, even if it looks a lot like a tragedy now.