January 08, 2015

"You like misfits."

Yes, I do know how lucky I am. I grew up surrounded by artists, writers, cartoonists and comic book creators. (My dad once interviewed Stan Lee for a project.) I saved my allowance to spend at the comic book store. I kept my Archies and Mad Magazines for decades. (I never grew out of Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions. Never.) Vintage superhero lunchboxes line my kitchen shelves. I wear Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman t-shirts as part of my standard uniform. My first tattoo was going to be Spiderman.

But I had no idea I'd love Guardians of the Galaxy as much as I did.

One of my friends explained why last night. "You like misfits."

"Excuse me?"

"Everything you like is about misfits. The Full Monty? Misfts. Rocky Horror Picture Show? Misfits. Wrecking Crew? Misfits. The Commitments? Misfits. The Crying Game? Misfits. You don't care if it's a group or one misfit all by himself. You like them—and you like it best when everything works out for them."

Well, yes. I think she just summed up my entire personality. But I didn't realize. Guardians of the Galaxy does contains all that I crave in a story. A group of unexpected people come together and not only survive but succeed. That might not be the plot of all the misfits books and movies above, but it's spot on for Guardians.

"Aside from that," my friend continued, casually refilling my tequila, "there are mixed tapes. Mixed tapes are very important in your world. You don't go a week without wearing a mixed-tape shirt. You told me that you put together anthologies as if you're putting together a mixed tape."

Damn. Nailed.

It's interesting when someone sees you for who you are—and you didn't even know. I wonder if I like misfits because I always was one. A friend in school joked that if I ever hosted a party, it would be the most bizarre group of people ever. Because I hung out with a few jocks, band geeks, the nerds from the newspaper, punks, stoners, a solitary cheerleader, the boys from shop, the fabulous ladies from the makeup store.... Basically, I didn't have a clique. I slid quietly from circle to circle.

When I first wrote erotica, my books were definitely misfits. There was no shelf space for erotica in most stores. Every so often, one of my titles would land on a "human sexuality" or "gender studies" shelf. But my novels didn't fit in romance, weren't considered high-brow enough to be shelved as "fiction."

Maybe most people feel like misfits. Like we don't really belong anywhere. We're always on a quest for acceptance. And that's why situations like this sting so much.

Or maybe I'm trying too hard to analyze a movie that was simply entertaining, energetic, upbeat, and exciting. I saw it twice—the magical darkness of the movie theater exactly the same as it always was for me. Drawing me in. Taking me home.

Making me feel as if I belonged.



Miz Angell said...

Ok first off - LOVED Guardians of the Galaxy. And yes, the mixed tape TOTALLY drew me in.

My BFF and I always joke that our group of guards at work are the Island of Misfit Toys, because we take the people that no one wants and we turn them into kick ass guards.

I have a feeling that had we met in high school, we would have run the same way. I knew everyone, hung out with no one. I was in every club from the poetry society, to student government. The only thing I didn't do was cheerleading because I thought my legs were too fat. But yeah, I was a bit of a misfit myself. (And as far as misfit movies, let's not forget the Goonies).

And I was just thinking about doing a blog post on mixed tapes (again) the other day. Still will, when I can get it together.

t'Sade said...

I remember making mix tapes with my father. It was a good time and one of the happiest moments at the time.

And the movie was fantastic, but I've only seen it six times.

Maydeva said...

Misfits - oh lord yes. Give me the three legged dog at the pound that no one else will adopt, the blind cat, the person at a gathering that looks utterly lost, the plant that looks dead...I'm there. It's always been my nature. Mix tapes - bring them on too. Do you think that it may be insatiable curiosity for how things/people/beings connect? I'm always interested in the change that happens when you take something out of one situation or context and plop it in to another.
Guardians of the Galaxy rocked myworld too. :) I think I need a baby Groot.