by Miss What's-Your-Name-Again?
Today I don’t know why you decided, arbitrarily and unanimously, to begin to refer to me as “The Wicked Witch.” I had been nothing but nice to you, nicer than you certainly deserved, and had, in fact, carefully avoided extensive interaction with you for this precise reason… let’s be real. You’re cute, and you’re young so there is time for you to evolve from the smelly, vindictive little creatures that you are. But today, you were just cute, smelly, vindictive little four year olds, standing on the top of the play structure, chanting and pointing your grubby little fingers at me, screeching “WICKED WITCH, GO AWAY!”
It was a lose-lose. But I am not the bad guy. I just happened to stumble temporarily into a role that, actually, I have long suspected I was destined to play, ever since I first saw The Parent Trap.
This may be news to you, but there was a Parent Trap before the Lindsay Lohan one (and this may be news to you, Lindsay Lohan is that girl from the movie Mean Girls, and the girl who was always in court or rehab, who is not Amanda Bynes.) When I watched the movie as a kid, when Hayley Mills and Hayley Mills took the despicable stepmom-to-be, Vicki, on a camping trip, my reaction was abject horror. I have always held a strong dislike for activities involving nature because I fear both being destroyed by large beasts (i.e. lions, bears, sharks) and being in unavoidable close proximity to insects. So when the twins fool this poor woman into thinking she can ward off mountain lions by beating two sticks together, and give her sugar water spray to “defend” against mosquito bites, the only person I identified with was Vicki, the wicked stepmom-to-be, who would eventually get dumped when the girls’ father realizes he’s still in love with his ex-wife. Oh. I’m sorry if any of you haven’t seen The Parent Trap. Spoiler alert.
In fact, as my mother reminded me when I warned her I would be posting this strange, personal, essay- Vicki in fact was a conniving, money-grubbing ho who was only interested in living Real Housewives style with Hayley Mills and Hayley Mills’ rich pops. That only serves to show how greatly the plot sequence affected me; by the end of it I was willing to forgive her all of her poor choices simply because, in the woods, I fucking felt for her.
Some time after I broke off my engagement, my ex began dating a girl we had done a play with maybe a year before we broke up. When I heard this news, the irrepressible and fascinating suggestion that I was the Vicki in this story began to germinate in my mind. I can remember rehearsals for that play so clearly; I remember her, so young and fresh and cool. And I remember myself: tired, bitter, miserable. My relationship was ending, by all rights should have ended already, but I was nowhere close to being able to face it, couldn’t imagine ever having the strength or the will to leave, so instead I was just overwhelmingly unpleasant for a million reasons that weren’t the right one. I can just hear the audience watching it all, shouting at the screen, “Don’t marry her! She’s awful!! What about that other girl over there??” It is a horrifying and utterly mesmerizing thing to envision the movie of your life, and see yourself playing the Vicki.
Look, clearly there is a lot more to this story than my unpleasant self and my ex and his lovely girlfriend, but that’s not the point. I hope I will someday have a chance to virtuously snag my dream guy from the clutches of a Vicki somewhere, who will, in turn, find her own happiness, but that’s not really it either. I guess my point is: you can call me whatever the hell you want, because I think I’ve been it all so far, kiddos. And you will too. And that’s life. I hope.
But in the meantime: I’ll get you, my pretty. And your little fucking dog, too.