Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Longing for the generic. Last night I was walking home from a schmoozefest for which I'd had no plus-one. (Thankfully I ran into Richard and his own delightful plus-one, so I wasn't standing there talking to nobody.)

Anyway. I was crossing Elgin Street and I saw a generic hipster couple crossing in the opposite direction, arm-in-arm with the dude cradling a bottle of wine in his other arm. And I yearned to be that generic girl, to nestle into the knowledge that I was the sort of girl the world smiles on.

What a wonderful thing it would be. I would be thin, have a pretty face with a pointed chin, and long brown hair with a fringe. I would be able to wear anything I wanted, because clothes in shops are all made for generic girls. Maybe I'd wear a T-shirt made from that very thin cotton that looks terrible on anyone who isn't thin and glamorous.

I would have a generic boyfriend who looked nice in skinny jeans and had rumpled hair and did a nice line in scarves. (Oh, by the way, if I was this generic chick I would be able to wear scarves without the wind either blowing them in my face or unwinding them from around my neck.) My generic boyfriend would be called Matt or Nick or Josh and he would be pleasantly, ordinarily good-looking, and funny in a gentle, non-sarcastic way.

We would do generic things like going to the movies and snuggling at home on the couch watching DVDs. We would make ourselves generic breakfasts such as scrambled eggs and vegemite toast. We would have generic jobs that were kind of interesting and challenging but didn't require us sticking our necks out, if you know what I mean. We might have a generic dog or cat with a generic name like Max, Oscar, Coco or Misty.

What an idyllic life I'd lead. I'm not being sarcastic - as I passed this couple on the street I really longed to be one of these girls, to slip into the warm bath of ordinariness and feel validated for simply being what the world wants. After all, it's only people who fail at being what the world wants who have to resort to being 'intelligent', 'creative' or 'original'. These failed people have to find other ways of getting accepted and work much harder at them. Times like this, I think about that line in The Great Gatsby where Daisy bitterly says the best thing a woman can be in this world is "a beautiful fool".

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