Back when I graduated the eighth grade, I had to pick a high school- it was like picking a major in college, I (at *fourteen*) had to decide what I infinitely wanted to do with my life. Even then, I knew writing would never get me very far, so I needed a reliable fallback- and what the hell?
I decided I wanted to be an actress.
Looking back, I’d like to tell you I had no idea what I was thinking, but it isn’t true; I know exactly what I was thinking. I loved the stage, I got parts in plays without even trying, I was great at memorizing lines and you know what? I *knew* I was going to get through that “ugly duckling” phase! Heck, there was a good chance I might even end up being what one would call “attractive” one day . . . so it was settled.
I was going to be Marilyn Monroe.
(Eat your heart out, Joe Diamaggio!)
* * *
In Jacksonville, there was only one thing to do when you made a decision like this . . . and that was pick a magnet school. I picked Douglas Andersen, a school for the arts. I auditioned across the board to increase my odds and was accepted for writing, acting and singing. However I did not have algebra one (a credit I don’t believe I have to this day) and I ended up at Mandarin High, like a retard. Boo hoo.
But back to the story: to audition, I needed to learn a monologue. Like most fourteen year olds in 1998, the only monologue I knew by heart was from Clueless:
“Well, it’s like when I had this garden party for my father’s birthday, right? I put R.S.V.P. ’cause it was a sit-down dinner. But some people came that like did not R.S.V.P. . . .”
My mom thought it reeked. To keep me from flubbing my audition by partying with the Hatians, she brought me this book of monologues for actors- copyright, 1978. I was lost.
It was a book from another time, with monologues from movies I’d never heard of and most of which I still have not seen- movies like “Looking for Mister Goodbar” and “Lianna”, “Jules and Jim” and “Carrie.”
However I knew who Shirley MacClaine was (though I don’t remember how), so I chose her monologue from something called *The Apartment*, a movie I still haven’t seen:
What do you call it when somebody keeps getting smashed up in automobile accidents? That’s me with men. I was jinxed from the word go – the first time I was ever kissed was in a cemetery. I was fifteen. We used to go there to smoke. His name was George. And he threw me over for a drum majorette.
I just have this talent for falling in love with the wrong guy in the wrong place at the wrong time. The last one was the manager of a finance company, back home in Pittsburgh. They found a little shortage in his accounts, but he asked me to wait for him. He’ll be out in 1965.
So I came to New York and moved in with my sister and her husband. He drives a cab. And they sent me to secretarial school, and then I applied for a job at Consolidated, but I flunked the typing test. I can type up a storm, I just can’t spell.
So they gave me a pair of white gloves and stuck me in an elevator. And that’s how I met Jeff. Oh God, I’m so fouled up. What am I gonna do now? Maybe he does love me – only he doesn’t have the nerve to tell his wife.
* * *
It was a good bit for me, it got a lot of laughs and a letter of acceptance. But I promise you, if I were to do that monologue today, I could do it even better than Shirley MacClaine herself!
It’s like I chose my own destiny, ain’t it? This would not have happened if I’d stuck to my Hatians!
Unfortunately there’s a major babe drought in St. Augustine and you losers are all like, the more the merrier! Searching for a boy in this town is as useless as searching for meaning in a Pauly Shore movie and I’m supposed to swoon? I don’t THINK so! You see how picky I am about my shoes and they only go on my feet!
I would like to say this: Singledom is not something you can accomplish on your own. Many, many people contributed to my singledom. I would like to thank my parents for never giving me an example of a healthy relationship, Markus Frind who took a chance on creating that virtual smorgasboard of idiots and last but not least, the wonderful morons from the singles scene who’ve spent hours taking me on bad dates, without which I might never have stayed single!
And in conclusion, may I remind you that it does not say BOYFRIEND on the Statue of Liberty!