Saturday, February 14, 2009

cyrano deserves vd

I have long been a fan of Cyrano de Bergerac. My high school yearbook quote was attributed to Edmond Rostand's protagonist:

To sing, to laugh, to dream,
To walk in my own way and be alone,
Free, with an eye to see things as they are.
~ Cyrano de Bergerac
Now, I don't know if this is a 100% accurate quote–no Google, no Wikipedia in my senior year–but that is beside the point. Because it symbolized my 17-year old soul crying out for understanding. Of course, I identified with Cyrano. Of course. A high school girl who felt witty and brilliant on the inside (gack) and never quite attractive enough on the outside. Swooning over some boy who couldn't keep his eyes off of the prom queen, pleasant though simple girl that she was. Sweet colicky jesus, I can hardly stand the thought that I was ever like that.

Perhaps it's not fair to dismiss all of the high-drama longings of teenagers. Most of us had to pass through (while many of us stayed) that period of idealistic, egotistic hyperbole. It's kind of like disdaining the fact that I sat in a diaper full of poop as a baby. It was a necessary phase. However, I stopped beshitting myself and grew the fuck up.

One of my love's favorite movies is the Steve Martin knock-off of Cyrano: Roxanne. It's amusing. Fodder for Martin's wit. But the last viewing ended any vestige of affection I had for Rostand's hero.

I'm done with Cyrano, Phantom and Pretty Woman. No romance there for me. Why is it that we're supposed to hurt for the homely, scarred and common when they fix their passion on the very ideal that rejects them (and not incidently, the majority of us)? Why can't Cyrano find beauty in a woman with buckteeth? Why didn't the Phantom fall in love with an obese contralto? How come we don't laud the prostitute who sees beauty in the mechanic? Why is there no big story there?

I know this is mundane and what's-the-big-deal but I see this so often I could retch. If we feel compassion for the "unlovely" and applaud the "success" of landing the "perfect" mate, then we reinforce the bigotry that started it all. I'm tired of seeing the "less attractive" vindicated by landing the "hottie" (a word, by the way, that is wholly reminiscent of middle school idiocy). Or conversely, look askance at the "beauty" who chooses someone so "plain." I am similarly irritated when I hear some smug shithead talk about how two people are "so right" for each other because they're similarly sized, similarly judged unattractive or they both have a limp or something.

So, should "ugly" people only marry/love "ugly" people? Obese with the obese? Big nose with the big nose? No. It doesn't fucking matter how the pairing is "balanced" according to society's capricious rules. That's my point. My idealistic point.

P.S. I know this post is teeming with quotation marks. I just couldn't use all those inane qualifiers without marking them as outside my viewpoint.

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