maybe you aren’t the main character

Photo by Ash Fuentes

By Ash Fuentes

I try my best to empathize with people’s feelings, I really do, but people never fail to absolutely shock me in the worst ways possible. I’m sure at some point in our lives we’ve all had our “cute stranger” moments where we saw someone in public that was so attractive that we pointed them out to the friends that we’re with, jokingly referencing them in conversation later on. Yet, the fantasization should end there, really. It should never reach further than an inside joke between your friend group.

The Meet Cute concept that is so detrimental to getting the main couples together in books, TV shows, films, etc. instills this idea in our heads that our future lovers will come into our lives in a public way, going from complete strangers to soulmates in a span of a few weeks. While the concept is cute, that’s merely all it is: a concept. It’s part of a story. The writers needed to build something quickly to get to the rising action. I feel like we, “as a society” or whatever, are beginning to forget what should qualify as an actual Meet Cute both in writing and real life due to all the short come ups from the low level media we’ve been consuming as of late. Besides, in real life, 70% of those classic romantic comedies’ Meet Cutes would be considered a little creepy regardless. 

Most good meet cutes are moments of infatuation in which the two characters are coincidentally put together, have to talk to each other because they have no one else to talk to, and show mutual interest. The cute part is the mutual agreement. I think a prime example of a good meet cute is High School Musical. Troy and Gabriella were cute strangers to each other, yes, but both showed that shy interest. Also, they actually spoke to each other, as the filming implied they kept in touch through text after swapping numbers that New Year’s Eve. Effort was there from both parties. Is that too much to look for?

Fantasization is not for the weak minded. If you cannot separate your imagination from reality, you are one of the last people who should be “romanticizing your life.” Honestly, I dislike when people say that sometimes. Yes, you can be the main character of your story, but main characters still have to be likable with some rooting interest, right? Before you act, think of admirable, widely beloved main characters from pop culture. They’re selfless, considerate, quick thinking. So think quickly before you act! The last thing you should be doing is approaching a stranger in public and trying to get to know them better solely based on looks. Sometimes the attraction can be mutual, but please, if all it took for you to become hung up on them was a single look, start reevaluating. Especially when we are still living through a prevalent global pandemic where we have to wear masks and can’t see a person’s full face. Yes, looks aren’t everything, but if that’s what caught your attention and you didn’t talk, then I think you should at least know what that person really looks like… That girl that you saw with bangs and a mask on is not the one.

I just don’t understand how people become obsessed with a person they barely held eye contact with for more than two seconds. Are you really the “hopeless romantic” you claim to be or are you an obsessive creep?

Sure, Harry Potter was the Chosen One, the hero, and got with his best friend’s sister which may seem a little fucked up to some people, but at least he actually knew her personally for a couple years before even admitting he thought she was pretty.
Trust me when I say you are not going to meet your soulmate in the manga aisle at Barnes & Noble. Literally, anyone could walk into the same aisle as you. That idea is so un-special. That is not a Meet Cute! I suppose if you’re going to be a bit delusional and long for a cute stranger to notice you every single time you go out in public anywhere, at least keep it to yourself. “I burn, I pine, I perish.” Well… stop!

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