I was never lucky with boys. But on this night, this Saturday evening, 5 girlfriends and I were heading to a club 45 minutes from home. Surely, this would be my chance; the chance to meet boys with sensibilities for the witty friend. Boys that didn’t remember your grade school self in cat-eye glasses and ugly hand-me-down bell bottoms. So, we six girls with our freshly curled hair and colored lips, loaded into Shannon’s car and headed, map in hand, to our Mecca.
There were strobe lights, hordes of good looking people and pitchers of cheap wine. Pitchers of wine! Truly a Mecca for a 23 year old in the 80s. Oh yes, this would be the turning point for me and my “game”.
Fast forward to three hours later. I’m sitting alone at a high table, heels on the lower rung, head leaning on hand. I pushed the several empty pitchers out of the way and poured myself another glass of sour-tasting white wine. My friends waved from the dance floor wrapped up with the boys with whom they have been slow-dancing, fast-dancing and making out for two point three hours. Ok, maybe my bitter memory is exaggerating; maybe it was just two hours. Two wine-packed surly hours. And the ride home would seem even longer.
And so it goes. Sometimes the journey to Mecca is fruitful for some. Sometimes your journey to Mecca should be experienced in solitude. And sometimes the journey to and from Mecca is accompanied by wine sweats.
The 1980s, when I was coming up in high school, had icons like Madonna, Demi Moore, Heather Locklear and Phoebe Cates. Thank God the 80s also introduced us to Wendie Jo Sperber. Thank goodness.
From the moment those two Bosom Buddies walked through the sprinklers, I was hooked. And then into the frame walked Amy, the co-worker with the crush on the cute resident co-worker in drag. Suffice it to say, I felt a kinship to this character. Little did I know that my future would hold too many encounters with unattainable cute boys and, on a separate note, a chorus line of men in women’s clothing.
But separate from the poor judgment in men or their preference for clothing, I admired Wendie Jo’s character Amy because she was so smart, witty and, well, just regular. She wasn’t glamorous and sometimes she was overlooked for the prettier gals in the story. But no one, not one, was as clever, sarcastic or enlightened as Amy. And Kip and Henry adored and respected her. I’d found my role model.
Thus began my path. My journey toward creating that girl – the street smart, cynical, witty gal-pal. Or, in my terms, the chubby funny sidekick. It’s not a disparaging moniker. In my mind, it’s descriptive. And never intended to provoke anyone to say “you’re not chubby.” (ugh, I hate that). Look, I’m kinda overweight, I’m a bit twisted and I’ve been surrounded by stunning looking friends which translates to men believing I’m either 1) invisible, 2) an uninteresting hologram, or 3) a valet to hold my friend’s coat.
That’s me. Funny Chubby Sidekick. Maybe that’s you too.
As a sidekick, we have the best view of the show. And some fun perspective to share. As a sitcom preview might note: Hilarity ensues. And I thank Wendie Jo Sperber for making people notice the girl to the left of the blonde (guy, girl, or drag Queen).
Let’s hang out together. Some sidekick adventures to come.