Every time I get into a relationship, I think I’m the star. So every time a relationship doesn’t work out, I mourn the loss of my leading man. But then later, the man ends up meeting someone else who is actually his leading lady, and it turns out I was simply the woman he has to be with at the beginning so he can realize he’s supposed to be with someone else.
I’m not the evil girlfriend the audience hates; I’m just the one viewers don’t feel that bad about when she ends up alone at the end. One example that comes to mind: John Cusack’s fiance in Serendipity. That character is not a villain; she just doesn’t end up with the guy. She gracefully steps back and disappears from the scene. Depressing, right? Playing that supporting role so many times over the past 14 years, I thought it was.
But then yesterday as I was doing tedious data-entry, I had an epiphany: I’m in other people’s movies. Which, of course, I already knew, but I suddenly realized it’s a good thing, especially because I think I’ve given some pretty impressive performances.
When I think about the guy I used to believe I’d end up with, and how he’s in a great, really long-term relationship, I’m glad his experience with me made him ready for that. When I think about the guy I moved to New York with, and how he just started dating someone who seems perfect for him, I’m happy our relationship prepared him for that one. When I think about a recent ex and how he should get back together with his old girlfriend (if he hasn’t already), I’m proud to say I may have helped him see they belong together.
The thing about these supporting characters is that you never see them again. So you don’t know if they’ve gone off and found the people they’re actually supposed to be with because you’re not watching anymore.
But I bet, if we went back and checked up on what’s-her-name and whoever-he-was, we’d find that eventually, they got cast in their own leading roles. And that makes me feel better, to believe I have to play all of these supporting roles so that one day I can be the star.
Of my own fake movie.
Just humor me.