I am watching (500) Days of Summer.
And I’ve just realized something: I am Tom Hanson (Joseph Gordon Levitt).
It is funny, because I completely identify with his character despite the fact that I have been, at times, likened to Zooey Deschanel, who plays Summer Finn. I mean, it’s pretty amazing the comparisons blue eyes, bangs and a generally cheerful disposition will get you, but I like being compared to her so I will spread it around even if it’s probably not so true.
Sometimes I also like to pretend that I am a little like the character Summer Finn – independent, quirky, hip, free-spirited and untamable.
Truth is, that I have much more of Tom “Perfectly Adequate” Hanson in me than Summer Finn. Namely in that I have a long and storied history of developing wild crushes on people based upon fictions. Even when I have gotten to know people, I can still project my own version of someone onto someone and carry that around with me for a long time. Like, a long, long time.
It is why I am not only still single, but am always single. The constant disappointment of learning that people are real people and not the built-up, fictional versions of themselves that I have been obsessing over makes dating hard.
It’s probably why I hated Summer Finn the first couple times I saw this movie.
You see Tom jump to all sorts of conclusions about his compatibility with Summer based on non-legit criteria (like a shared interest in banana slugs) and develop a relationship with her that is built on selfish projections, if not full on delusions. The train-wreck of their relationship is almost entirely his fault because of this.
This problem I have also relates to The Jake Ryan Complex, which is a classic issue stemming from the movie Sixteen Candles. See, Molly Ringwald has a crazy crush on Jake Ryan because he is hot. That is all she really knows about him, but in the way of high school crushes, that is all she really needs to know.
He is really way super hot, in fairness to Molly Ringwald.
In Sixteen Candles, Jake Ryan turns out to be a nice guy and also interested in Molly Ringwald. He shows up to her sister’s wedding in a tiny convertible and gets her a birthday cake.
I have always wanted that – the guy who you obsess over from afar turns out to like you too and also turns out to be a person worth liking.
Here is a Ze Frank video that discusses a similar topic as well:
I know I post a lot of his videos, but it is because they tend to really hit me where I live. This one especially speaks to my soul, even more than all the Cheese Monster stuff he put out.
The craving for The Sweetness has been the main problem of my life, worse by far than my addiction to cheddar.
From now on, I am going to try very hard to stop being like Tom Hanson, and to stop waiting for a Jake Ryan, and to let go of the Sweetness, is the whole point of this blog post.
I think it will be hard, but I think it is worth trying.