Saturday, August 16, 2008

Too Crazy Or Not Crazy Enough?

Despite being tired, I went to bed fairly late last night, as I knew the extended nap I’d taken in the afternoon would prevent me from getting to sleep at a reasonable hour. About a half an hour after I’d fallen asleep, my phone rang, which baffled the hell out of me.
Naturally there was no response when I answered, as it was undoubtedly some drunken jackass misdialing.
It took another half an hour or so for me to fall asleep again.
I imagine the whole thing was just an example of The Universe being a dick:

“Hey Jon, are you asleep?”
“Are you sleeping?”
“Seriously; I need to know if you’re asleep!”
“Fine if you won’t wake up and tell me if you’re asleep…”
“Zzzzz-*snort* Huh? Whuzzat? Hello? Hello? *Sigh* Dammit!”
“Huh, I guess you really were asleep.”

When I got up this morning I tried to remember if there was anything that I needed to do out in the world. I couldn’t think of anything, as I’d done a proper job of grocery shopping on Monday, so I didn’t really need anything.
After sitting around doing nothing in particular, I remembered that I was supposed to finally get around to shipping my old 17” LCD monitor to my mom, along with the book Benighted, which my niece Jourdan wants to read.
So I showered, dressed, and went out to do that.
(I shipped them via UPS, and they should get there on Thursday.)
After that I stopped to pick up some lunch from a Chinese place. It wasn’t good, but that was my fault, as I’d forgotten that their version of what I ordered is different from the way other places make the same dish.
Once I finished that, I sat down to start working on a picture, but decided that it was too much of a pain in the ass, so I chose to write this instead.
I was going to write a more detailed review of the movie I watched last night, but I just don’t have the energy.
Ultimately the point that I was going to make was that while, overall, I’m glad that I have a better grip on reality than the titular Lars, I found that I was actually kind of jealous of him.
Well, I suppose I don’t have anything better to do, so I guess I’ll write at least some of what I was planning to write.
The premise of the movie is that this lonely, isolated and painfully shy guy named Lars, who lives in a very small town in what looked to be either northern Minnesota or North Dakota, buys a sex doll from the Internet, and then deludes himself into believing that she’s a real girl.
On the advice of a psychologist, his friends and family all choose to support him in this delusion in the hopes that eventually he’ll let go of it and rejoin the reality-based community, as there’s no way to convince him that he’s deluded.
What makes the movie so entertaining and touching – and this is mildly spoilery, I guess – is the zeal with which the members of the community throw themselves into supporting his delusion, doing everything they can to make his “girlfriend” feel welcome.
In fact, there comes a point at which Bianca – the doll – has a much more active social life than Lars does, which starts to create some tension in the “relationship.”
(She even gets elected to the school board.)
There’s a great scene in which Lars comes home to find that his sister-in-law, Karin, and a local woman named Mrs. Gruner, are dressing Bianca up for a night out. Lars is upset that Bianca is going out to an event being held for hospital volunteers – Bianca “reads” to children at the hospital – as he had plans for the two of them to stay in and play Scrabble.
After getting into a fight with Bianca about it, she leaves with Mrs. Gruner, and Lars goes outside to angrily chop firewood. Karin comes out to talk to him about it:

Lars: You don't care.
Karin: We don't care? We do care!
Lars: No you don't.
Karin: That is just not true! God! Every person in this town bends over backward to make Bianca feel at home. Why do you think she has so many places to go and so much to do? Huh? Huh? Because of you! Because - all these people - love you! We push her wheelchair. We drive her to work. We drive her home. We wash her. We dress her. We get her up, and put her to bed. We carry her. And she is not petite, Lars. Bianca is a big, big girl! None of this is easy - for any of us - but we do it... Oh! We do it for you! So don't you dare tell me how we don't care.

As much as I was moved by the way the community rallied around Lars to give him the support he needed, I couldn’t help but be jealous. Granted, I’ve had and do have people who care about me and are there for me when I need them, and I appreciate it, but there have also been a lot of people who have just turned their backs and walked away the very second some of my idiosyncrasies and eccentricities made being around me a challenge, and I have to say that whatever obstacles there are to being my friend pretty much pale in comparison to asking them to pretend that a sex toy is a real, living, breathing person.
So, yeah, I was actually a little jealous.
And of course, given that it’s a movie, there is, naturally, a cute co-worker who has a not-very secret crush on Lars, and watching him back rapidly away as she flung herself at him grated on my nerves as well.
There’s an episode of The Simpsons in which Marge gets mugged, and as a result develops agoraphobia, leaving her incapable of leaving the house. One morning, after getting Homer off to work and the kids off to school, she says, “Now what? Too crazy to go outside, not crazy enough to have an imaginary friend.”
That’s sort of how I felt after watching the movie; I’m quiet and isolated enough to be creepy and off-putting, but not quiet and isolated enough to be endearing and loveable.
By the way, it’s not my intention to whine or complain; I’m just bringing up some of the thoughts that occurred to me while watching what was a very thought-provoking movie.
Also, I’m jealous of the fact that Lars had enough money to pony up for a sex doll. Those things are expensive!
Umm…not that I’ve really checked into the pricing or anything…
Actually, it has occurred to me that it would be useful for me to have one (or more) to use as a reference for my art.
However, it’s never been anything I’ve really considered; it’s just been a thought.
So shut up! See? Nobody gives me any support…


Anonymous said...

Wow... awesome post. Favorite part: "I’m quiet and isolated enough to be creepy and off-putting, but not quiet and isolated enough to be endearing and loveable." I hear ya lol.

The funniest part was towards the end when you said that it just might be useful to have one (or more) for your art... and I was still thinking imaginary friends, not sex dolls. oh well, reading comprehension for the win.


Merlin T Wizard said...

I would totally pretend she was real for you, Jon. The thing is, I wouldn't like her personality, so I'd be really rude to her.

"Jeez, you're fat! What do you do all day while Jon's gone, gorge yourself on frosting and poptarts?"

Etc, etc.

Heimdall said...

Just to be perverse, and to test the limits of the supportiveness of my friends, I would probably go the extra mile and get a male sex doll and insist that it's a woman. Or maybe I'd go totally non-human, and get an inflatable sheep.
As for your assertion that you would be mean to her, that made me LMAO.
Also, if I could use imaginary friends for my art, I wouldn't need the sex doll(s).

Merlin T Wizard said...

A sheep would be even better! Then I could make all sorts of off-color remarks like,

"When you and Jon go at it, does he make you call him da-a-a-a-a-addy?"

Oh man, I'm going to hell for that one.