The other night I watched the movie To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before on Netflix. There has been a lot of talk about it since it’s big debut and I felt compelled to talk about it.
1// How awesome is it that we are seeing an Asian-American lead in a movie that isn’t at all about race? In fact, I’m pretty sure that race is only mentioned once and it’s about Sixteen Candles.
2// Man how cute? So romantic! I wish my life was like that in high school! How lucky that there are so many people with YA Fiction Novel Lives.
The first one is 100% awesome. The second one…is the biggest lie in the universe. Yes, the movie was adorable. Cutest one I’ve seen in so long, and I got the warmest fuzziest feeling watching how it ended.
BUT THAT IS NOT REAL LIFE. We read books and watch movies to escape our real lives, not to watch them play out on screen. If you watched my life in a movie it would be the most boring and probably painfully pathetic movie you’ve ever watched. If it went up to present time there’d be some good stuff, but DEFINITELY not high school.
No one wrote a contract in highschool for a fake relationship and fell in love, got married, and lived happily ever after. I’m just here to tell you, that isn’t real life.
If someone had written a book or made a movie about what my young adult life was like it would go like this.
Opening credits would probably be me and my mom painting my bedroom an awful shade of orange and green that I deeply loved. It would show the actors and the producers and while we painted over the lens with our rollers and my mom wearing her painting overalls.
You’d see a lot of montage shots of me walking the halls with my ear buds in so I didn’t have to pay attention to the fact that most of the friends I had were either my sister’s friends or my ex-boyfriends friends who I didn’t really talk to.
PS I did have a couple of very genuine friends in high school that I still dearly love. We don’t talk much now, but I know they’re always around for the big stuff.
There would probably be even more shots of me driving to my grandma’s house every day for lunch because I didn’t want to deal with not having friends to sit with.
You’d see that I only attended dances where I asked the boys because they didn’t ask me. There would be a few moments where I tagged along with my friend’s friends, maybe some nice notes exchanged between me and some boy…And you’d see me failing classes and not doing my homework because I was bored and struggled to focus.
During my senior year you’d see me driving to school in my beat up old Maverick that I loved to death and would still have if I had a place to keep it. You’d see me on the drill team with a bunch of girls who were probably teasing me most of the time and I just went with it…laughed with them per se. And you’d see me getting dumped. You’d see me pining after boys I’d never date. Probably wouldn’t even talk to. You’d see me being jealous of my much prettier and much smarter friends (all three of them).
You’d see me barely graduating, joining the military, getting engaged, getting dumped.
That is real life. For a LOT of people.
As much as I like a cute story, sometimes I wish that adolescence was portrayed like it actually is for most of us: Awful.