No One Gets The Manic Pixie Dream Girl

A movie scene could begin something like this:

Some 20-something girl stands by the fence dividing the pit from the general seating area at an alt-J concert. She sips a cup full of coke, rocking back and forth anxiously as she waits for the last song.

The guy standing next to her who’s been silently watching for the last five minutes asks her if she, too, is envying the people who had the privilege of standing in the pit.

She points at her wristband. She had been granted VIP access. But she’s choosing to stand back here now, for a different point of view. A differing perspective.

It’s things like that, the type of “profound yet possibly disingenuine-sounding” musings that always land the girl in hot water. People are usually amused by her strangeness and wait for her to go on. If they’re boys, they’ll tend to take it as a come-on, as if she’s trying to impress them.

That’s what the guy seems to take it as — he invites her to run through the city with him. Forget driving two more hours to go home from a concert you attended by yourself, he says, letting the fact roll of his tongue with a tone of marveling awe, like what kind of girl does these kinds of things when she’s not even a die-hard alt-J fan —

They end up verbally sparring a bit about the universe and possibility. The boy thinks the girl should “just chill” but finds her frantic explanations over the way alt-J made her FEEL! cute. The girl’s bored the whole time, but she knows because she has the gift of always sounding excited about literally! everything! that no one will ever be any the wiser to how awkward and nervous she really feels. 

Then, the girl does something she wouldn’t have done even six months ago — she cuts him off, and leaves. Not to be rude, but just not to lead him on. Not needing any attention. Not even wanting any attention from yet another human who could describe her as “interesting” and has ulterior motives just because she found him on a street corner or in a grocery store or waiting on the library steps or just a stranger who doesn’t matter that much anyway and just wanted to talk to him for the sake of unconditional human connection– 

There’s things the girl thinks of later. Such as if she comes off seeming “Hollywood” or “unobtainable” or completely unreliable. Someone whose affections are unstable at best, a myth at worst.

She’s the girl who can make her worst enemy and her best friend feel just as good. The one who can talk about philosophy with the most vapid of people and the most analytical of people. The one who remains ever-changingly quirky and talkative, yet somehow mysterious enough to keep everyone at arm’s length against her own will.

No one’s ever going to dare wife up the manic pixie dream girl. Those who are unworthy are delusional enough to try. Those who are worthy may be too afraid to ever do anything but dream.

Meanwhile, maybe the manic pixie dream girl doesn’t want to be a dream anymore. Maybe she wants to be real to someone, if only they’d spare some part of their day to get coffee or eat dinner or go dancing or throw a ball or take a hike or go to church or even study in silence if only peppered for a few seconds in between of talking and active listening —

The one who gets the manic pixie dream girl is the one who isn’t scared to ask her what it is she wants. Few have asked, even less have gotten an answer.

But maybe it’s because sometimes, the manic pixie dream girl isn’t even aware others lack an answer. Then, an external prompting can help her find it within herself.

Then the responsibility falls on the girl, to no longer be scared to let those who matter know they matter. And let those who don’t matter remain strangers on the street.


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